Clinical judgment and decision-making in wound assessment and management: Is experience enough?
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Logan, G. (2015) 'Clinical judgment and decision-making in wound assessment and management: Is experience enough?', British Journal of Community Nursing, 20(Sup.3), pp. S21-S28.
The assessment and management of wounds forms a large proportion of community nurses' workload, often requiring judgment and decision-making in complex, challenging and uncertain circumstances. The processes through which nurses form judgments and make decisions within this context are reviewed in this article against existing theories on these subjects. There is variability in wound assessment and management practice which may be attributed to uncertainties within the context, a lack of knowledge in appropriate treatment choices and the inability to correctly value the importance of the clinical information presented. Nurses may be required to draw on intuition to guide their judgments and decision-making by association with experience and expertise. In addition, a step-by-step analytical approach underpinned by an evidence base may be required to ensure accuracy in practice. Developing an understanding of the different theories of judgment and decision-making may facilitate nurses' abilities to reflect on their own decision tasks, thereby enhancing the care provided.