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Module Specifications

Archived Version 2008 - 2009

Module Title Clinical Judgement and Decision Making
Module Code NS503
School School of Nursing and Human Sciences

Online Module Resources

Level 5 Credit Rating 10
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Module Aims
  • For students to become proficient in articulating how judgement and decision-making processes guide our thoughts, behaviours and relations with others.
  • To equip students with the ability to identify and analyse ineffective judgements and decisions at individual and organisational levels.
  • For students to acquire relevant thinking skills related to judgement and decision-making in nursing

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module and following a period of personal study it is intended that the student will be able to:

  • Identify and reflect on the judgements and decisions made in clinical practice and in the coordination of care.
  • Analyse how judgements impact on decision-making.
  • Apply their understanding to the attributions, judgements and decisions made by clients.
  • Analyse judgement and decision processes involved in nursing assessments, interventions and the evaluation of patient / client outcomes.
  • Critically analyse the relevance of prescriptive and descriptive models of judgement and decision-making to their clinical practice.
  • Critically appraise intuition and understand how intuitive processes may be studied.
  • Apply relevant techniques such as decision analysis and models such as the cognitive continuum model.
  • Demonstrate an integrative approach to judgement and decision-making based on individual-level and organisational-level perspectives.
  • Use their understanding of judgement and decision-making to critically direct their approach to continuous improvement and evidence-based practice.

Indicative Time Allowances
Lectures 30
Tutorials 6
Laboratories 18
Seminars 0
Independent Learning Time 96

Total 150
Assume that a 10 credit module load represents approximately 150 hours' work, which includes all teaching, in-course assignments, laboratory work or other specialised training and an estimated private learning time associated with the module.

Indicative Syllabus
Sourcing and using information in the clinical setting.§Background and trends in the study of judgement and decision-making.§Relevant models of judgement and decision-making: The cognitive continuum model, theory of task structure, the lens model and problem-space theory.§Judgement and decision-making under uncertainty and stress.§Prescriptive and descriptive approaches to judgement and decision-making.§Application of judgement and decision-making to reflective and evidence-based practice.§Classification of phenomena, interventions and outcomes relevant to direct and indirect nursing care.§Organisational factors related to judgement and decision-making.§Cognitive psychological models of perception, attention and memory.§Skills learning, implicit memory and intuition.§Expertise, specialist practice and clinical nursing.§Heuristic use in judgement and decision-making.§Routine outcomes measurement.§Nursing theories related to judgement and decision-making.§Human error in healthcare and the systems approach.§Decision aids and research techniques (e.g., decision analysis, decision support systems, concept mapping, thought listing).
Continuous Assessment70% Examination Weight30%
Indicative Reading List
Essential:Anderson, J.R. (2000). Cognitive psychology and its implications. New York: Worth.Page, A. (2003). Keeping patients safe: transforming the work environment of nurses. Washington: Institute of Medicine.Thompson, C., & Dowding, D. (2001). Clinical decision-making and judgement in nursing. Edinburgh: Churchill Linvingstone.Supplementary:Baddeley, A. (1997). Human memory: theory and practice. Hove: Psychology Press.Benner, P. (1999). Clinical wisdom and interventions in critical care: A thinking in action approach. Philadelphia: Saunders. Benner, P., Tanner, C.A., & Chelsea, C.A. (1996). Expertise in nursing practice: Caring, clinical judgement and ethics. New York: Springer Verlag.Carpenito-Moyet, J. (2004). Handbook of nursing diagnoses. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Lipkins.Committee on Quality Health Care in America (2001). Crossing the quality chasm: a new health system for the 21st century. Washington: Institute of Medicine.Connolly, T., Arkes, H.R., & Hammond, K.R. (2000). Judgement and decision-making: An interdisciplinary reader. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Doherty, M. (1997). Social judgement theory. Hove: Psychology Press.Downie, R., & MacNaughton, J. (2000). Clinical judgment. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Eysenck, M., & Keane, M.T. (2000). Cognitive psychology: A student's handbook. Hove: Lawrence Erlbaum.Fonteyn, M. (1998). Thinking strategies for nursing practice. Philadelphia: Lippincott.Gavin, H. (1998). The essence of cognitive psychology. Hemel Hempstead: Prentice Hall Europe.Goleb, A. L. (1997) Decision Analysis: an integrated approach. New York: Wiley.Gross, R. (2001). Decisions and evidence in evidence-based practice: Applying evidence-based medicine to clinical decision-making. St. Louis: Mosby.Hammond, K.R. (1996). Human judgement and social policy. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Hammond, K.R. (2000). Judgements under stress. New York: Oxford University Press. Harvey, N. (2001). Studying judgement: Methods and models. Hove: Psychology Press.Hastie, R. (2001). Rational choice in an uncertain world: the psychology of judgment and decision making. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Heller, R. (1998) Making Decisions. London: Dorling KindersleyKohn, L.T., Corrigan, J.M., & Donaldson, M.S. (1999). To err is human: Building a safer health system. Washington: National Academy Press.Kunda, Z. (2000). Social cognition: Making sense of people. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Moorhead, S., Johnson, M., Maas, M. (2004). Nursing Outcomes Classification. St Louis: Mosby.McCloskey, J.C., & Bulechek, G.M. (2004). Nursing Interventions Classification (NIC). St Louis: Mosby. NANDA (2003). Nursing diagnoses: Definitions and classifications 2003-2004. Philadelphia: NANDA International.Plous, S. (1993). The psychology of judgement and decision-making. New York: McGraw Hill. Shapira, Z. (2002). Organizational decision making. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Wickens, C., Gordon, S., & Liu, Y. (2004). An introduction to human factors engineering. New York: Longman.Useful Journals:British Medical JournalJournal of Personality and Social PsychologyJournal of Advanced NursingSocial Science and MedicineInternational Journal of Nursing StudiesMedical Decision MakingJournal of Nursing Administration
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