Diagnostic Reasoning Process
Diagnostic Reasoning Process
Diagnostic reasoning process involves the process of using information collected through an assessment, which is used to make an informed decision related to a client. The processes involved include data clustering, identification of a patient’s needs, and then determining the diagnosis (Rhoads ; Petersen, 2018). Clinical reasoning is important in helping healthcare practitioners in making accurate clinical judgments and decisions in regards to patient care. These skills should be continuously enhanced to improve the delivery of healthcare services. Nursing students are educated and trained on how to use this process, which is a process, which is progressed even after they join the nursing profession (Rhoads ; Petersen, 2018).
Understanding a patient’s problem is not a onetime thing as symptoms keep changing as well as the aspects, which are related to certain health issues. This makes it important for the healthcare practitioners to continue advancing their healthcare skills (Rhoads & Petersen, 2018). The diagnostic reasoning process is important as it impacts the lives of the patients which makes it vital for healthcare practitioners to employ clinical reasoning. With an increase in incorrect diagnosis, which may have a negative impact to the patient as well as the healthcare practitioner, improving the diagnosis process is an important strategy meant to increase patient safety (Rhoads & Petersen, 2018).
Some of the negative effects of an incorrect diagnosis include the treatment of a nonexistent health condition, which may also lead to a delay in treating the existing medical condition. Research has indicated diagnosis errors leading to health complications, which would have been addressed if the right diagnosis procedures were implemented (Burns, Delgado, & McGraw-Hill Education, 2016). Healthcare practitioners may also face lawsuits due to misdiagnosis because of medical errors, which could have been avoided. For an efficient diagnostic process, nurse practitioners should understand the cognitive process involved in the diagnosis process, which is achieved thorough continuous learning to improve diagnostic reasoning skills (Burns, Delgado, & McGraw-Hill Education, 2016).
Cognitive Steps to Employ As a Nurse Practitioner or Nurse Educator
One of the steps to employ as a nurse practitioner to improve their diagnostic reasoning process involves using feedback to improve clinical judgments (Burns, Delgado, & McGraw-Hill Education, 2016). This information may be based on the outcome of the diagnostic decisions made. If correct diagnostic decisions are made, the decision receives reinforcement where else an incorrect decision faces opposition and negative consequences (Burns, Delgado, & McGraw-Hill Education, 2016). Feedback is important as a lack of it may mean positive results, which may not be the case. Collection of feedback is important in improving the clinician’s judgment and also in ensuring patient safety. Another cognitive step for nurse practitioners to employ to improve diagnostic reasoning skills includes deliberate practice (Burns, Delgado, ; McGraw-Hill Education, 2016).
This involves additional training and education to improve a healthcare’s potential in delivering healthcare services to patients. Research has indicated daily practice not to develop sufficient diagnostic skills since healthcare workers are only attending to their daily duties and not increasing their knowledge in diagnostic services (Rajkomar & Dhaliwal, 2011). Deliberate practice is an excellent instrument in enhancing one’s diagnostic skills and cannot be substituted for anything. This will also provide additional opportunities to the healthcare professionals through simulation training and rehearsals, which will increase their clinical judgments (Rajkomar ; Dhaliwal, 2011). Deliberate practice will provide nurse practitioners with the necessary knowledge, which is beneficial in addressing some of the complex cases related to diagnostic services (Rajkomar ; Dhaliwal, 2011).
Metacognition is also a step to improve the diagnostic reasoning skills. This involves increasing awareness of the diverse and complex diagnostic aspects, which will enable the nurse educator to identify and understand any cognitive errors, which may interfere with an accurate judgment (Rajkomar ; Dhaliwal, 2011). Metacognition analyses the thinking process of healthcare professionals, which is used to determine any possible errors due to the thinking process. When a nurse practitioner is aware of his/her thinking process, he/she is able to recognize errors with a high likelihood of happening. This will enable the healthcare practitioner to develop strategies to address these errors helping them to improve their diagnostic reasoning process (Rajkomar ; Dhaliwal, 2011).
Burns, S. M., Delgado, S. A., ; McGraw-Hill Education. (2016). Cases in diagnostic reasoning: Acute ; critical care nurse practitioner. New York: McGraw Hill Education.
Rajkomar, A., ; Dhaliwal, G. (2011). Improving Diagnostic Reasoning to Improve Patient Safety. The Permanente Journal, 15(3), 68–73.
Rhoads, J., ; Petersen, S. W. (2018). Advanced health assessment and diagnostic reasoning. Burlington, Massachusetts: Jones ; Bartlett Learning.