How will you use critical thinking in your evidence-based practice, as a nurse, and as an informed citizen?

Background: Critical thinking is a habit of mind. That means that it’s not a set of facts you can learn or a routine procedure you can memorize. It’s a way to train your mind whenever it encounters new information. When you learn to think critically you are changing the way that you think. One of the goals of this program is to give you practice thinking critically about a variety of different topics and in a variety of different contexts. If you become a critical thinker on the job as a nurse, you cannot help but become a critical thinker in your personal life, and vice versa. Remember, habits get stronger and more easily used the more you practice them.

So, this week you’ll read a chapter from a book called The 5 Elements of Effective Thinking about "Being your own Socrates." If you’re unfamiliar with who Socrates was, just remember that he was a philosopher who made an art out of asking really effective, challenging questions. No one he talked to could get away with making a claim that was not completely defined and supported by logical evidence. This kind of questioning is the foundation of evidence-based practice. You’re being asked to watch a movie because this will hopefully illustrate that critical thinking can be utilized in every aspect of your life – professional and personal. 🙂


1) Read "Be your own Socrates" and take notes on it

2) Think of times in your personal or professional life that you have acted as your own Socrates

3) Watch your favorite movie. Even if you’ve seen it 30 times, watch it again. And as you watch it, take notes using Burger and Starbird’s guidelines for being your own Socrates by asking questions. As they suggest, "actively construct well-founded questions about what is missing, what is assumed, what might be extended, or what is vague or unclear."

4) In your main post, begin with an introduction, then LIST the questions that you came up with for your favorite movie, and then answer the following questions:

a) How did it feel to ask probing questions about something that you thought you already knew a lot about? What did you learn about this film and about yourself as a viewer from asking critical questions about this film? What topics or issues did you realize you could learn more about by asking questions of this film?
b) Describe a situation in your professional or personal life in which this habit of asking probing questions would benefit you? In your answer, keep in mind that EBP requires you to find reliable evidence to support any claim or decision you make in healthcare, but that in order to find the right evidence, you need to first ask the right questions.

As with all discussions, main posts should be at least 500 words. Use scholarly references, support your statements (includes opinions), use proper APA and respond to one colleague’s post.

Use of course readings and viewings to support your points is required. Outside source support is encouraged.




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