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2010/1 Module Catalogue
 Module Code: NUR3009 Module Title: CLINICAL DECISION MAKING (ACUTE)
Module Provider: Health & Social Care Short Name: DECISION-3
Level: HE3 Module Co-ordinator: MOORE CR Mrs (HSC)
Number of credits: 10 Number of ECTS credits: 5
Module Availability
Semester 1
Assessment Pattern
You are required to analyse of one aspect of care of a patient / client, with particular
reference to the decision making process involved. 2000 words 100%
Module Overview
Module Aims
The development of professional knowledge together with a growing understanding of the intricacies of decision making processes that are important to the advance of professional practice. This module aims to provide participants with the opportunity to develop their knowledge and understanding of the decision making process within health and social care practice.
Learning Outcomes
On completing this module the student should be able to:
Subject knowledge and understanding
• develop their knowledge and understanding of the decision making process within health and social care practice
• consider key elements in the decision making process such as critical thinking, memory, judgment theory, levels of expertise and appropriate decision making modes utilized.

Cognitive skills
• reflect on the process of clinical decision making
• discuss the complexities arising from clinical dilemmas and their impact on decision making
• critically analyse a decision made concerning the care of a patient / client with particular reference to the clinical reasoning process involved

Practical skills
• undertake effective clinical decision making based on best available evidence and known best practice
• utilise a systematic problem-solving approach in their clinical decision making process in order to make choices between alternative actions

Key / transferable skills
• communicate effectively regarding decisions made in practice
• demonstrate cognitive flexibility in utilising clinical decision making approaches
Module Content

Problem setting:
Problem identification, structuring the problem, pattern recognition.

Decision making:
Process in practice, alternative actions, information processing, diagnostic reasoning, using evidence and best practice

Factors affecting decision-making:
Intrinsic and extrinsic, legal and ethical frameworks, health and social care policies

Decision analysis approach:
Evaluation of effectiveness of decision making, peer review and feedback, clinical supervision

Methods of Teaching/Learning
Taught: 30 hours
Work-based learning: 35 hours
Self-directed learning: 35 hours
Selected Texts/Journals

This is reading that is essential for your understanding of issues/concepts that will be covered by the module content.

Alfaro-Lefevre R 2004 Critical Thinking and clinical judgement: A Practical Approach 3rd Edn Saunders St Louis

Benner P 1984 From Novice to Expert. Excellence and Power in Clinical Nursing Practice Addison Wesley, London

Brechin A Brown H Eby M (Eds) 2000 Critical practice in Health and Social Care Sage Publications London

Dowie J Elstein A Eds 1993 Professional Judgment: A Reader in Clinical Decision Making Cambridge University Press Cambridge

Elstein A 2000 Clinical problem solving and decision psychology Academic Medicine 75 S134 – 136

Hammond K R 1996 How convergence of research paradigms can improve research on diagnostic judgement Med Dec Making 16(3) 281 - 87

Higgs H, Jones M (eds) 2000 Clinical Reasoning in the Health Professions 2nd Edn Heineman Butterworth, London

Norman S 2005 Research in clinical reasoning: past history and current trends Med Education 39 418 – 427

Thompson C Dowding D Eds 2002 Clinical Decision Making and Judgement in Nursing Churchill Livingstone Edinburgh


This is reading that will inform the content. You should endeavour to read some of the following.

Alfaro-Lefevre R 2002 Applying the Nursing Process: A tool for critical thinking 6th edn Lippincott Williams and Wilkins, Philadelphia

Carnevali D Thomas M 1993 Diagnostic Reasoning and Treatment Decision Making in Nursing J.B Lippincott company Philadelphia

Chinn P L Jacobs M K 1995 Theory and Nursing. A systematic approach. 5th edn Chapter 1 Mosby, London

Fitzpatrick J J Whall A L 1989 Conceptual Models of Nursing Analysis and Application 2nd edn Appleton and Lange, Norwalk, Connecticut

Rubenfeld M G Scheffer B K 1995 Critical Thinking in Nursing; An Interactive Approach J B Lippincott Company Philadelphia

Schön D 1983 The Reflective Practitioner: how professionals think in action Avebury Aldershot

Silverton L 1992 The Art and Science of Midwifery Prentice Hall, New Jersey

Advances in Nursing Science
British Journal of Community Nursing
Journal of Advanced Nursing
Nursing Research
Recent Advances in Nursing
Journal of Health and Social care
International Journal of Nursing Studies

Specialist tutors will advise students on the specific reading required for their area of practice and additional reading lists will be provided by specialist tutors.


Useful web sites
Royal College of Nursing
Nursing & Midwifery Council
Dept of Health
National Institute of clinical Excellence (NICE)
York Centre for Systematic Reviews and Dissemination
Last Updated
29TH JULY 2010