The Importance of Critical Thinking and Its Contribution to Nursing Care Based on Evidence-Based Practice

Monday, 22 July 2013: 1:30 PM

Luboslava Kundracikova, RN
Department of General and Traumatology Surgery, Lubovnianska nemocnica, n.o, Stara Lubovna, Slovakia
Lubica Dernarova, PhD, MPH
Department of Nursing, Faculty of Health Care, Presov, Slovakia

Learning Objective 1: The learner will be able to evaluate the importance of applying critical thinking in nursing care.

Learning Objective 2: The learner will be able to use a modified standard of care of peripheral venous catheter according to the evidence-based practice.


A peripheral venous catheter is an essential part of the patient’s management on the standard wards and represents a significant progress in the treatment of patients. Their use is associated with a risk of complications. The integrity of the skin is always disrupted which may lead to pathogenic organisms invasion. The precondition of safe and effective nursing care is patient’s protection from harm, during the time of the implementation of peripheral venous catheter. It is crucial to apply critical thinking and perform clinical decisions based on evidence.


We investigated the extent to which nurses use critical thinking in practice. For purposes of the study performances of implementation and treatment of peripheral venous catheter were selected. Research was addressed to nurses as competent staff with professional experience. Questionnaire was used as a quantitative method of research. Four hospitals in Slovakia were included in the file. 492 questionnaires were evaluated.


The data obtained were critically evaluated, statistically processed and compared to relevant studies. Some defects were found in knowledge of nurses in connection with the implementation and care of peripheral venous catheters as well as failure to follow established standards. Based on the research findings, we have formulated proposals to modify the standards and recommendations for practice were made.


Performance, implementation and care of peripheral venous catheters are one of the most common and standardized nursing procedures. In their implementation nurse needs to use critical principles of reasoning and decision-making to effectively precede complications. Prerequisite for safe and effective nursing care is compliance with all the criteria set out in the standards which are in accordance with the recommendations of evidence-based practice. Nurses must be able to critically review the existing directives and to apply the corresponding changes into standard practice.