Intuition in Nursing Practice : Knowledge, Experience, and Clinical Decision Making
Senanayake, Thusara (2017)
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Intuition is a commonly used aspect in nursing practice. As the evidence based practice is the prominent practice today, the intuition based practice is hidden and somewhat devalued. Although it is difficult to define due to its nature, intuition is an essential part of effective clinical decision making. This research is an inductive qualitative content analysis that focuses on novice nurse and expert nurse, and their use of intuition based on knowledge and experience. Benner’s From Novice to Expert theory as well as Carper’s Fundamental Patterns of Knowing in Nursing theory form the theoretical framework of this research. Benner’s theory talks about five stages of nurses’ professional development, whereas Carper’s theory focuses on the different ways of knowing in nursing profession. The aim is to define intuition, knowing, and clinical decision making. In addition, this research describes the impact of knowledge and experience on intuition and clinical decision making related to novice nurse and expert nurse. The research material consists of 20 scholarly articles, for instance from Sage and Research gate. Although intuition has been used by nurses in practice every day, the attention given to this kind of nursing practice is too little. Therefore, this subject area has not been researched enough. The research shows that intuition is a complex term to define. It can be seen as unconscious awareness of reasoning, a sixth sense, or a gut-feeling. It is used during nursing practice in clinical decision making. Intuition is mainly used by expert nurses, but unlike in Benner’s model, also novice nurses can use it, especially if they have some previously gained life experience. Knowledge and experience are the most influencing factors on intuition. Therefore, gaining nursing intuition requires a good knowledge base and clinical experience. Other factors affecting successful clinical decision making are the different aspects of knowing that include, for instance, knowing the self, the profession, and the patient.