Clinical Reasoning

Use the Clinical Reasoning Cycle on page 2 of this booklet to review the case study and answer the questions below in relation to the care of Mrs Kennedy.

1. Provide an introduction. The purpose of the introduction is to give the marker a clear idea of what your essay will cover. It should provide some background information on the specific problem or issue

you are addressing. A few sentences explaining your essay in general terms will give the marker an idea of what to expect from the rest of your essay.

2. Analyse the changes in Mrs Kennedy’s clinical presentation and link these to the pathophysiological processes, which are occurring. You will need to explain what could be causing the changes in her signs and symptoms. This question is asking you to analyse the changes in her subjective and objective data that has been provided. For example, what causes her heart rate to increase- here you are required to explain about pathophysiological changes. (Pathophysiological processes mean explanation of mechanisms how the condition develops).

3. Discuss and critically analyse the priorities of care that you have included as part of your nursing care. You will need to consider the changes in her condition, giving rationales for the priorities of care and specifically the management of her chest discomfort. This question is asking you to consider the most important problems that Carole is having currently- remember ABC and look at her condition and presentations.

4. Briefly discuss the psychosocial issues relating to Mrs Kennedy’s current stage of disease and her life situation. This question requires you to look at the psychological factors and her surrounding social environment that could have on her physical and mental wellness. There are a number of issues that could be addressed however; you are not required to discuss all of them. You can choose one or two to discuss.

5. Provide a conclusion. The conclusion brings closure to the reader, summing up your points or providing a final perspective on your topic. Simply review the main points (being careful not to restate them exactly).