One of the most important aspects of nursing care is the ability to make sound clinical judgments when faced with multiple different patients who are all presenting with varying conditions

One of the most important aspects of nursing care is the ability to make sound clinical judgments when faced with multiple different patients who are all presenting with varying conditions. The nurse must handle each new symptom or complaint with an open mind and constant use of his/her clinical education. No patient is alike and therefore, rarely will a patient present like a textbook. This is where clinical judgement is needed in order for nurses to make decisions about the care of a patient when the symptoms do not match up or when the first attempted interventions are no longer working. As Tanner writes, clinical judgement “is largely dependent on nurses’ initial clinical grasp, which in turn, is influenced by their background, the context for decision making, and their relationship with the patient” (Christine A. Tanner, 2006, p. 207). Clinical judgement is based off of not only the nurse’s knowledge base, but also his/her experiences and interpersonal relationship with the patient. These aspects of nursing care are highly influential when it comes to making clinical decisions about a patient’s care. For example, a nurse may form a relationship with the patient who has a very low or high pain tolerance therefore affecting how their pain is treated. When that patient normally complains of a two or three on the pain scale, but is now complaining of a nine, sound clinical judgment would suggest the need for immediate intervention and assessment. Overall, the impact of clinical judgement on the actions of a nurse is not solely based on any one aspect, but on numerous previous experiences, clinical knowledge base, and interpersonal relationships with the patient.
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