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|Elisabeth R Jacob, Christine Duffield and Darren Jacob|
|Edith Cowan University, Australia
University Technology Sydney
|ScientificTracks Abstracts: J Nurs Care|
|Statement of the Problem: The increasing number of complex patients admitted to hospitals requires registered nurses to be able to recognise complications and picking up on deterioration. Advanced critical thinking skills are required to detect early signs of complications. Registered nurses are expected to commence their clinical careers with appropriate critical thinking skills to ensure safe nursing practice. Despite the importance of critical thinking in ensuring patient safety and enabling detection of changes in patients’ conditions, no standardised critical thinking tool specific to nurses is available in Australia to assess these skills in nursing. The purpose of this study was to develop an assessment tool to measure the critical thinking ability of nurses. Methodology & Theoretical Orientation: A modified Delphi study was used for the development of the critical thinking assessment tool. Funding for the study and ethical approval were obtained in 2016. The case scenarios for the questions were developed using national health data. Face validity was determined by an expert reference group of clinical and academic nurses. Case study answers were developed using a modified Delphi study. Panel members were expert clinicians and educators. Rasch analysis of the questionnaire was used to assess validity and reliability of the tool. Findings: The use of a modified Delphi study and Rasch analysis provided an effective way of developing a validated assessment tool for critical thinking. Conclusion & Significance: Critical thinking skills are vital to ensure patient safety and improve surveillance. This project reported on the development of a critical thinking assessment tool to provide a consistent method of measuring nurses’ critical thinking skills for Australian nurses. The ability to assess this skill will provide health care facilities with greater confidence in the critical thinking skill level of newly graduate registered nurses and ensure high levels of patient care are maintained.|
Elisabeth Jacob is currently the Associate Dean (Nursing) for the School of Nursing and Midwifery at Edith Cowan University. She practiced clinically as a registered nurse for over 20 years in both rural and metropolitan hospitals where she developed her interest in nursing education and workforce. She has experience in nursing management and education and practiced in medical, emergency and intensive care wards. Elisabeth’s research interests include: development of the nursing workforce; skill mix and its effect on patient outcomes; critical thinking and patient outcomes; and mixed methods research.
Darren Jacob is a Staff Development Nurse Emergency Department at Joondalup Health Service and a research assistant at Edith Cowan University. He is interested in the areas of emergency department patient flow and design, advanced nursing roles, workforce education and deteriorating patients.
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