The Clinical Picture
Arguably, the biggest and most important realm of critical thinking has to do with the clinical picture.
There are four skills when it comes to the clinical picture:
- Clinical Grasp
- Clinical Forethought
The foundation for all four of these skills is to have your patient’s story; and your patient’s story is what paints your clinical picture. It includes the story of:
- the patient
- the hospitalization
- the disease
- the treatments attempted or introduced and how the patient responded
- the trends
- The current vital signs, lab values, assessment findings, etc
Think about that for a second: it is a story. Sometimes the story is given to you, sometime you have to search for it, most of the time it’s a little bit of both. But at the end of they day, it will be the basis for all that you do, which is why it’s the first thing you should wrap your mind around before you do anything.
Under this category, you can explore what goes into each skill and how to start forming habits of thought around each one.