A Brief Guide For Clinical Reasoning Cycle

Earning degrees in the field of medicine is not as easy as other disciplines. Pursuing nursing courses requires you to deal with numerous assignments and the clinical reasoning cycle is one of them. Here is how the experts define the term ‘clinical reasoning cycle.

“CLINICAL REASONING IS DEFINED AS A PROCESS USED BY NURSES TO COLLECT CUES, INFORMATION PROCESSING, UNDERSTANDING THE PROBLEM/SITUATION OF A PATIENT, PLAN AND APPLY INTERVENTIONS, ASSESSING IDENTIFIED RESULTS, AND LEARN FROM THE PROCESS. THE TERM CLINICAL REASONING IS INTERCHANGED WITH ‘PROBLEM-SOLVING’, ‘CLINICAL JUDGMENT’, ‘CRITICAL THINKING, AND DECISION MAKING. HOWEVER, THESE TERMS ARE SOMEHOW RELATED TO CRITICAL REASONING. IN OTHER WORDS, CLINICAL REASONING IS SAID AS A CYCLICAL PROCESS WHICH OFTEN SPIRAL RELATED CLINICAL ENCOUNTERS OR LEADS TO A SERIES OF LINKED CLINICAL ENCOUNTERS.”

The Clinical Reasoning Cycle: Phases And Its Importance

Being a nursing student, you may be aware of the word ‘clinical reasoning cycle.’ Now, the question comes to our mind is “what does it mean?” The clinical reasoning cycle is a concept in the field of nursing. Tracy-Levett Jones promoted this nursing cycle. He was a professor at Nursing at Newcastle.

Nevertheless, clinical reasoning is explained as a cognitive process that is employed by nurses, clinicians, and other health experts. Mainly, it is used to access and examine the patient’s condition, determine an accurate diagnosis, clinical case, and consider best treatment plans.

Therefore, the clinical reasoning cycle is comprised of balancing evidence, integrating collected knowledge, and making conclusions. To put it another way, the thought processes of health professionals and clinicians are called clinical reasoning.

Clinical Reasoning: Importance

Clinical reasoning cycle is explained as a line that shows difference between recovery and a dilapidated patient’s health status. Nurses and clinicians who are not good in clinical reasoning generally raise a health condition at death risk.

The New South Wales Health Incident Management in the NSW Public Health System 2007 identified some top-most reasons for the health results of a different patient, including health professionals’ failure while diagnosing the health condition of a patient, failure in determining and making proper and correct treatment plans, etc.

Clinical reasoning benefits in making prompt to adequate treatment plans, making on-time diagnoses, obviate unnecessary investigations which minimizes patient’s cost and enhance the patient’s health condition ultimately.

Training and education as a doctor or nurse, or even a healthcare professional move a step closer to practicing clinical reasoning.

Different Phases of Clinical Reasoning Cycle

The clinical reasoning cycle is comprised of several phases, such as collecting information, processing information, problem identification, establish goals, taking appropriate actions, etc. Let’s discuss this clinical reasoning in nursing aspects.

Considering facts of the patient

It is a stage where clinicians generally present a clinical case. Here, they receive the current medical status and information of the patient. For instance; an infant is admitted to the NICU for neonatal jaundice.

Collection of information

Collecting information is the second stage of the clinical reasoning cycle. Here, you generally consider the patient’s past medical history, presenting complaints, existing treatment plan, current signs, and investigating results. After this, you are required to analyze the findings based on the established knowledge of pathology, pharmacology, physiology, ethics, and culture to develop cues and draw information.

Processing information

This is one of the most important stages of clinical reasoning. At this stage, you need to process data based on the current health status of a patient in terms of pharmacological and pathophysiological patterns, consider the relevant details, and ascertain possible results.

Identify the problem

Once you are done with the above three steps, you are now required to determine the reasons for the patient’s current state.

Establish goals

In this phase of the clinical reasoning cycle, find out the appropriate treatment goals as per the patient’s situation. You must also note that treatment plans should be without a time-oriented goal. 

Take action

Here, you are required to implement these steps in order to meet the patient’s treatment goals. Of course, it will affect several healthcare team members, so that everyone may be modernized about the treatment design for the delicate patient.

Evaluation

Evaluation generally examines and assesses the powerfulness of the course of action that has been made. With the help of this phase, you are allowed to identify whether to continue or readjust the line of action.

Reflection

This phase of clinical intelligence fortifies the art. Here, you learn about the case and what can you do differently in order to reach a better outcome.

These were the clinical reasoning cycle phases that ease decision-making and problem-solving. It allows you as a health care professional to offer the best patient care. 

Therefore, it can be said that the clinical reasoning cycle acts importantly in the field of medical practice. The process includes the symptoms, assessing the effects, and the deciding the treatment course. 

However, in countries like the USA and Australia, nursing is seen as a noble profession and thus, a nurse and other clinical professionals need to go with the accurate practices of the clinical reasoning cycle. Therefore, students, as well as nursing professionals, must have adequate knowledge, understanding, and importance of the clinical reasoning cycle.

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