Critical Thinking in Home Health: Skills to Assess, Analyze, and Act

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Critical Thinking in Home Health: Skills to Assess, Analyze, and Act

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Critical Thinking in Home Health: Skills to Assess, Analyze, and Act

Shelley Cohen, RN, MSN, CEN
Alison Basmajian, RN, MSN
Polly Gerber Zimmermann, RN, MS, MBA, CEN, FAEN

Many home health nurses come with a lack of critical thinking experience rather playing a more independent case manager role. Co-Author’s Alison Basmajian, RN, MSN and Shelley Cohen, RN, MSN, CEN, and Polly Gerber Zimmermann, RN, MS, MBA, CEN, FAEN, focus on making critical thinking part of your agency’s culture.

Critical Thinking in Home Health: Skills to Assess, Analyze, and Act explains how to teach critical thinking, how to train for it during orientation and how to apply it to the home health setting. Includes relevant, concrete information for the development and tuning of critical thinking skills for the new graduate and the experienced nurse. This resource also addresses the experienced nurse, as this is often the home health nurse while offering dozens of tools to help with the implementation effort.

This product will help you:

  • Describe the characteristics of the home health setting that require good critical-thinking skills
  • Identify key aspects of critical thinking
  • Explain how nurses develop competency in critical thinking
  • Determine classroom strategies to teach, promote, and support the development of critical thinking
  • Determine ways to evaluate nurses’ progress in critical thinking throughout orientation
  • Develop strategies for the development of critical-thinking skills during the orientation process
  • Discuss the role played by managers and educators in promoting environments that support critical thinking
  • Analyze the challenges that both new and experienced nurses face in the incorporation of critical-thinking skills in the practice setting
  • Explain interventions to help both new and experienced nurses meet their managers ‘and preceptors’ expectations for critical thinking
  • Apply critical thinking to nursing documentation


About the Authors:

Shelley Cohen, RN, MSN, CEN, is the founder of Health Resources Unlimited, a Tennessee-based education and consulting company that focuses on teaching triage, new managers, and critical thinking concepts. As the author/co-author of 18 books and more than 50 published articles, Cohen coaches and mentor’s nurses from the level of novice to expert. For more than 40 years she has held a variety of roles as both a staff nurse and nurse leader.

Alison Basmajian, RN, MSN, has worked in community health nursing for 40 years. Her areas of expertise include infection control and surveillance, medical record management, emergency management, and performance improvement. In addition, Basjmajian worked for 10 years as an associate for at JLU Health Record Systems in Pembroke, MA, specializing in Joint Commission preparation, state survey preparation, medical records consulting, interim management, and work process flow evaluation and improvement. Currently, Basmajian works for Home Health VNA and Merrimack Valley Hospice in the role of staff education and development, performance improvement, policy development, risk management, and infection control. In addition, Basmajian is an adjunct faculty member at University of Massachusetts Lowell, teaching community health to senior nursing students.

Polly Gerber Zimmermann, RN, MS, MBA, CEN, FAEN, has experience in staff and management medical-surgical and emergency nursing. She is an associate professor in the Chicago City Colleges School of Nursing-Malcolm X Campus.  She is a frequent author on nursing topics including critical thinking.


Page Count: 130
Dimensions: 8.5x11
ISBN: 978-1-68308-143-2

Published: October 2016

Table of Contents

1. Introduction: Critical Thinking in the Home Care Setting
2. Defining Critical Thinking
3. New Nurses and Critical Thinking
4. The Critical Thinking Classroom
5. Orientation: Bringing Critical Thinking to the Clinical Environment
6. Nursing Practice That Promotes and Motivates Critical Thinking
7. Novice to Expert: Setting Realistic Expectations for Critical Thinking
8. Applying Critical Thinking to Nursing Documentation
9. Relating Critical Thinking to Its Higher Purpose
10. Resources and Tools