Critical thinking may be defined as a process that involves skillful reasoning that deeply looks it assumptions and alternative viewpoints made in any given situation (Facione 2011). It is a reflective thinking based on reasoning that helps an individual in deciding what to do. It is characterized by self-guidance, self-discipline and independent reasoning. As put across by Brookfield, it enables one to clearly understand the logical parts of a problem, identify, construct and evaluate arguments, as well as identify inconsistencies and mistakes in reasoning (Brookfield 1987). This thus provides the benchmark for formulating and generating systematic solutions to problems by making right decisions.
With respect to the Dr. Smith’s scenario, I would first investigate how the nurse came to learn that Dr. Smith was intoxicated. How sure she was with whatever she was claiming. I would scrutinize and explore Dr. Smith’s situation to verify if he showed any symptoms of intoxication.
Since the situation may have negative impact on the medical services offered by the hospital, I would request that Dr. Smith be placed in a private room out of bounds for the other patients (hereby the customers of the hospital ) for further medical tests and examination. In addition, I would advice other personnel not to overreact to the situation since the problem and its cause are yet to be determined. There shall be on-job guidance and counseling for the rest of the personnel to avoid any future reoccurrence of the same problem.
After careful examination and only when am certain that the physician was actually intoxicated, I would give him a compulsory leave from duty for a few days after which he will be expected to explain, before a disciplinary panel, what really happened. If it is found that it was due to his misconduct, Dr. Smith will be given a warning letter before resuming his duties at the hospital.
On the other hand, if I find out that it was not true that Dr. Smith was intoxicated, I will warn the nurse and advice her to critically and carefully examination any problem or situation at hand before taking any action. I would further caution her over the dangers of rushing into conclusions as well as consequences of irrational decision making as stipulated by Card (Card 2004). Last but not least, I would communicate to every employee the benefits of critical thinking such as its ability to promote creativity and essentiality in self-reflection (Rubenfeld & Scheffer, 2007).