Decision Making Models in Nursing with Examples and Applications

As a nursing student, decision making is an essential skill that you must possess. Nursing is a profession that requires critical thinking, problem-solving, and decision making skills to provide quality care to patients. In this article, we will discuss the different decision making models in nursing, their advantages, disadvantages, and when to use them. By the end of this article, you will have a better understanding of decision making in nursing and how to apply different decision making models in clinical practice.

Definition of Decision Making

Decision making is the process of choosing between two or more alternatives. It involves identifying the problem, gathering information, analyzing the data, and choosing the best alternative. In nursing, decision making is a critical component of patient care. Nurses must make informed decisions based on evidence, patient preferences, and clinical judgment.

Importance of Decision Making in Nursing

Effective decision making is crucial in nursing as it affects patient outcomes, safety, and satisfaction. Nurses make decisions every day that impact the lives of their patients. These decisions can range from simple to complex, and they must be made in a timely and accurate manner. Nurses must also consider the ethical, legal, and cultural implications of their decisions.

Types of Decision Making Models in Nursing

There are several decision making models in nursing, including the rational decision making model, intuitive decision making model, evidence-based decision making model, and shared decision making model. Let’s explore each model in detail.

Rational Decision Making Model

The rational decision making model is a structured approach to decision making that involves the following steps:

  1. Identifying the problem: The first step is to identify the problem and define it clearly.
  2. Gathering information: The second step is to gather relevant information from credible sources.
  3. Analyzing the data: The third step is to analyze the information and identify potential solutions.
  4. Evaluating alternatives: The fourth step is to evaluate the other options and choose the best one.
  5. Implementing the decision: The fifth step is to implement the chosen alternative.
  6. Evaluating the outcome: The final step is to assess the outcome and make any necessary adjustments.

The advantages of the rational decision making model include the following:

  • It is a structured approach that ensures all aspects of the problem are considered.
  • It encourages critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
  • It can be used in a variety of situations.
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Disadvantages of the rational decision making model include:

  • It can be time-consuming.
  • It may not be appropriate for complex or urgent situations.

Intuitive Decision Making Model

The intuitive decision making model is based on the nurse’s intuition, experience, and feelings. It involves the following characteristics:

  1. Quick and automatic decision making based on feelings and past experiences.
  2. It is often used in emergencies with limited time to gather information.
  3. It is subjective and relies on the nurse’s judgment.

The advantages of the intuitive decision making model include the following:

  • It is quick and efficient.
  • It can be used in emergencies.

Disadvantages of the intuitive decision making model include:

  • It can be subjective and biased.
  • It is not appropriate for complex or unfamiliar situations.

Evidence-Based Decision Making Model

The evidence-based decision making model is based on research and clinical evidence. It involves the following principles:

  1. Identifying the problem and asking a clinical question.
  2. Searching for the best available evidence.
  3. Critically appraising the evidence.
  4. Integrating the evidence with clinical expertise and patient preferences.
  1. Implementing the decision.
  2. Evaluating the outcome and making any necessary adjustments.

The advantages of the evidence-based decision making model include the following:

  • It is based on scientific evidence and research.
  • It is patient-centered and considers the patient’s preferences.
  • It is adaptable to different clinical situations.

Disadvantages of the evidence-based decision making model include:

  • It may not be appropriate for urgent or emergencies.
  • It can be time-consuming to gather and appraise evidence.

Shared Decision Making Model

The shared decision making model involves the nurse and the patient working together to make decisions about the patient’s care. It applies the following principles:

  1. Sharing information about the patient’s condition and treatment options.
  2. Discussing the risks and benefits of each option.
  3. Considering the patient’s preferences and values.
  4. Making a decision together.

Advantages of the shared decision making model include:

  • It is patient-centered and considers the patient’s preferences and values.
  • It promotes patient autonomy and informed consent.
  • It can improve patient satisfaction and adherence to treatment.

Disadvantages of the shared decision making model include:

  • It can be time-consuming to involve the patient in decision making.
  • It may not be appropriate for patients who cannot participate in decision making.

Application of Decision Making Models in Nursing

Now that we have discussed the different decision making models in nursing let’s explore how they can be applied in clinical practice.

Examples of scenarios where each model can be used:

  • Rational decision making model: A nurse is deciding which medication to administer to a patient with multiple chronic conditions. The nurse considers the patient’s medical history, current medications, and potential side effects of each medication before making a decision.
  • Intuitive decision making model: A nurse is caring for a patient who suddenly develops chest pain and shortness of breath. The nurse quickly recognizes the symptoms as a possible heart attack and takes immediate action.
  • Evidence-based decision making model: A nurse is developing a care plan for a patient with diabetes. The nurse searches for the best available evidence on diabetes management and incorporates this evidence into the care plan.
  • Shared decision making model: A nurse is discussing treatment options with a patient who has cancer. The nurse presents the patient with the available treatment options, discusses the risks and benefits of each option, and makes a decision together with the patient.
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Factors that influence the choice of a decision making model:

  • Patient preferences and values
  • Clinical situation and urgency
  • Available resources
  • Nurse’s experience and expertise

Skills required to implement each model effectively:

  • Rational decision making model: Critical thinking and problem-solving skills, data analysis and interpretation, decision making and implementation skills.
  • Intuitive decision making model: Experience, intuition, and the ability to quickly recognize patterns and make decisions based on past experiences.
  • Evidence-based decision making model: Research skills, critical appraisal skills, and the ability to integrate evidence with clinical expertise and patient preferences.
  • Shared decision making model: Communication skills, active listening skills, and the ability to involve the patient in decision making.

Conclusion

In conclusion, decision making is an essential skill for nursing students to possess. Several decision making models can be used in nursing depending on the situation. Each model has its advantages and disadvantages, and the choice of a model depends on several factors, including the patient’s preferences, clinical situation, available resources, and the nurse’s experience and expertise. To improve your decision making skills, you must develop critical thinking, problem-solving, research, communication, and active listening skills.

Recommendations for nursing students to improve their decision making skills:

  • Take courses or workshops on critical thinking, problem-solving, and research skills.
  • Read evidence-based practice guidelines and research studies to keep up to date with the latest research and best practices in nursing.
  • Practice active listening and communication skills with patients and colleagues.
  • Reflect on your decision making process and identify areas for improvement.
  • Seek feedback from colleagues and supervisors to improve your decision making skills.
  • Collaborate with interdisciplinary healthcare team members to enhance your decision making skills.
Video Guide

FAQs

Q: Why is decision making important in nursing?

A: Decision making is essential in nursing because it affects patients’ quality of care. Nurses must make daily decisions about patient care, medication administration, and treatment options. Good decision making ensures that patients receive safe and effective care.

Q: What is the best decision making model for nursing?

A: There is no single best decision making model for nursing. The choice of a model depends on several factors, including the patient’s preferences, clinical situation, available resources, and the nurse’s experience and expertise. Nurses must be able to use multiple decision making models and choose the model that is most appropriate for the situation.

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Q: Can decision making models be used in other healthcare professions?

A: Yes, decision making models can be used in other healthcare professions, including medicine, pharmacy, and physical therapy. The principles of decision making models are universal and can be applied to any healthcare profession.

Q: Can decision making models be used in non-healthcare professions?

A: Yes, decision making models can be used in non-healthcare professions as well. The principles of decision making models can be applied to any profession that requires critical thinking and problem-solving.

Q: How can I improve my decision making skills as a nursing student?

A: To improve your decision making skills, you should develop critical thinking, problem-solving, and research skills, as well as communication and active listening skills. You can take courses or workshops on these skills, read evidence-based practice guidelines and research studies, reflect on your decision making process, seek feedback from colleagues and supervisors, and collaborate with interdisciplinary healthcare team members.

Q: What is the 5-stage model of decision making?

A: The 5-stage model of decision making is also known as the Simon Model. This model includes the following stages: 1) Intelligence – identifying a problem, 2) Design – exploring possible solutions, 3) Choice – selecting the best solution, 4) Implementation – putting the decision into action; and 5) Monitoring – evaluating the outcomes of the decision. This model is commonly used in management and organizational decision making but can also be applied in healthcare and nursing.

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