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Advanced Science and Technology Letters
Vol.128 (Healthcare and Nursing 2016), pp.33-37
http://dx.doi.org/10.14257/astl.2016.128.07
Critical Thinking and Communication
Skills in Nursing Students
Kim, Mi-Ran1, Han, Su-Jeong 2*,
1
Konyang University, mrkim@konyang.ac.kr
Konyang University, sjhan@konyang.ac.kr
2
Abstract. This study measures the critical thinking and communication skills in
nursing students. And the relationships among critical thinking and
communication skills are investigated. The data was collected by questionnaires
form 104 nursing students. Data were analyzed by Pearson correlations
coefficient with the SPSS Win 15.0 program. Results show that Critical
thinking and communication skills showed that there were differences
according to GPA. Critical thinking and communication skill has positive
correlation. This study suggests that nursing educators should build strategies to
support students to have critical thinking and communication skill for nursing
education.
Keywords: critical thinking, communication skill, student
1
Introduction
Learning is more likely to occur when both challenges and skills are high and well
matched, and students are encouraged to fully use their skills to meet a challenge. At
the academic settings, the professors must help achieve a balance challenge and skill
to ensure that the students made learning flow. Today’s society is in the information
age. How to utilize the vast amount of information that is being generated every day
for problem-solving is important in higher education. There are critical thinking and
effective communication and problem-solving abilities as indicators of success in
higher education [1]. Critical thinking is frequently discussed in the nursing
education. Critical thinking in nursing is a purposeful, self-regulatory judgment
associated in some way with clinical decision making, diagnostic reasoning, the
nursing process, clinical judgment, and problem solving. Critical thinkers have seven
dispositions: truth seeking, open-mindedness, analyticity, systematicity, selfconfidence, inquisitiveness and cognitive maturity [2]. Communication skills have
long been recognized as an import element of nursing, and nursing training, with
* Corresponding Author: Su-Jeong Han
College of Nursing Science, Konyang University
158 Kwanjeodong-ro, Seogu, Daejeon-si, Rep. of Korea 302-832
Tel: +82-42-600-6344 FAX: +82-42-600-6314 E-mail: sjhan@konyang.ac.kr
ISSN: 2287-1233 ASTL
Copyright 2016 SERSC
Advanced Science and Technology Letters
Vol.128 (Healthcare and Nursing 2016)
many arguing that effective communication is fundamental to quality nursing practice
[3].
The objectives of this study were to examine the critical thinking and
communication skills for nursing students.
2
2.1
Method
Study design
This study assesses the relationship between the critical thinking and communication
skills in nursing students.
2.2
Sampling and data collection
One hundred four nursing students at a university in D city took part in this study.
Data were collected using face to face interview with a structured questionnaire. The
participant in this study, who consented to participate, understood the purpose of this
study, and had the complete capacity to verbally communicate in Korean.
2.3
Instruments
Critical thinking: The modified the tool of Choi [4] was used. It consists of 27
questions with the 5-point Likert scale. There are 7 subscales of perceptions healthy
skepticism (4 items), intellectual fairness (4 items), objectivity (3 items),
systematicity (3 items), prudence (4 items), intellectual eagerness/curiosity (5 items)
and self-confidence (4 items). Higher score means positive perception of critical
thinking. Reliability was reported using correlation coefficients α= .82.
Communication skill: In order to determine the learning flow, a tool of the 49
questions was used which was developed by Lee [5]. 5-point Likert scale was used.
Higher score means positive perception of communication skill. Reliability was
reported using correlation coefficients α= .82.
2.4 Data analysis
The data were analyzed using the SPSS Win 15.0 program. Descriptive statistics was
determined for all demographic variables. Cronbach’s alpha reliability coefficients
were used to estimate internal consistency and reliability of the tools. Critical thinking
and communication skill were analyzed using descriptive statistics. The differences
critical thinking and communication skill according to demographic data were
analyzed using ANOVA and Scheffé test for post-hoc test. Pearson’s correlations
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Copyright © 2016 SERSC
Advanced Science and Technology Letters
Vol.128 (Healthcare and Nursing 2016)
were performed in order to identify the degree of relations of variables. General
statistical techniques were used to analyze the data based on an alpha level of .05
3
Result
3.1 Critical thinking and communication skill levels
Respondents included 104 college students which aged 19-40 years. The mean age
was 20.1 years (SD=2.31). The sample was predominantly female (84.6%). In the
descriptive statistics for the nursing students’ critical thinking and communication
skill, the mean score for the critical thinking was 3.45 out of a total score of 5 and
communication skill was 3.53 on a scale of 1-5 (Table 1).
Table 1. Critical thinking and communication skills of subjects
Mean(SD)
Range
Subcategory
mean score
Mean(SD)
27
93.39(9.84)
6~118
3.45(0.36)
Health skepticism
4
14.21(2.37)
8~20
3.55(0.59)
Intellectual fairness
4
15.19(2.25)
8~20
3.79(0.56)
Objectivity
3
12.01(1.37)
8~15
4.00(0.45)
Systematicity
3
8.59(1.94)
3~14
2.86(0.64)
Prudence
4
13.15(3.22)
4~19
3.28(0.75)
5
16.56(2.77)
10~22
3.31(0.55)
4
13.66(2.42)
7~20
3.41(0.60)
Communication skill
49
53.40(5.71)
40~69
3.53(0.29)
Perceiving process
14
53.40(5.71)
40~69
3.81(0.40)
Adapting process
14
48.17(4.97)
37~60
3.44(0.35)
Self-presentation process
7
24.95(3.69)
16~35
3.56(0.52)
Planning process
7
38.94(5.76)
22~52
3.24(0.48)
Coding process
7
24.93(3.59)
15~33
3.56(0.51)
Variable s
Subcategories
Critical thinking
Intellectual
eagerness/curiosity
Self-confidence
Copyright © 2016 SERSC
Subcategory sum score
Items
35
Advanced Science and Technology Letters
Vol.128 (Healthcare and Nursing 2016)
3.2 Differences in critical thinking and communication skill according to
demographic characteristics.
Among the characteristics, the GPA that showed significant differences in critical
thinking (F=6.91, p=.002) and communication skill (F=3.15, p=.047) (Table 2).
Table 2. Difference in critical thinking and communication skills according to demographic
characteristics
n
Critical thinking
Communication skill
variables
Mean(SD)
F(p)Scheffé
Mean(SD)
F(p) Scheffé
GPA
High a
Middle
Low
15
b
c
3.63(0.31)
3.50(0.35)
6.919
68
3.49(0.33)
20
3.22(0.39)
3.150
3.58(0.26)
(.002)
a, b>c
(.047)
3.59(0.31)
3.3 Correlation between critical thinking and communication skills.
The mean critical thinking score was correlated with the mean communication skill
scores (r=.468 at p<.001). Each of the critical thinking factors was significantly
correlated with communication skill, with two exceptions; the factor of health
skepticism and self-confidence (Table 3).
Table 3. Correlation between critical thinking and communication skills
Communication skill
r
Critical thinking
36
p
.468
<.001*
Health skepticism
.146
.139
Intellectual fairness
.235
.016
Objectivity
.498
<.001*
Systematicity
.312
.001
Prudence
.304
.002
Intellectual ngerness/curiosity
.387
<.001*
Self-confidence
.184
.062
Copyright © 2016 SERSC
Advanced Science and Technology Letters
Vol.128 (Healthcare and Nursing 2016)
4
Discussion
In this study, the critical thinking and communication skill were found to be
significantly correlated. The findings of this study provide strong evidence that
critical thinking and communication skill were a significant factor in nursing
education. This is similar to the findings of previous studies [1-3].
5
Conclusion
This study examined nursing students’ critical thinking and communication skill.
Results showed that critical thinking and communication skill has positive correlation.
Critical thinking has been called one of the most important attributes for success in
the 21st century and has been defined as the process of reasonably deciding what to
believe and do. Also effective communication is fundamental to quality nursing
practice. Base on above results, nursing educators should be developed a curriculum
and classroom techniques that foster critical thinking and communication skills.
References
1. An, G.J. & Yoo, M.S.: Critical thinking and learning styles of nursing students at the
Baccalaureate nursing program in Korea. Contemporary Nurse, 29, 100--109 (2008)
2. Suliman, W.A. & Halabi, J.: Critical thinking, self-esteem, and state anxiety of nursing
students. Nur Edu Today, 27, 162--168 (2007)
3. Mullan, B.A. & Kothe, E.J.: Evaluating a nursing communication skills training course: The
relationships between self-rated ability, satisfaction, and actual performance. Nurs Edu in
Pract, 10, 374--378 (2010)
4. Choi, H.R.: The Influence of Nurses' Performance with Critical Thinking Disposition and
Problem Solving Process. Master thesis, Eulji University, Daejeon (2011)
5. Lee, S.J.: The Effects of Action Learning Program on Nurses' Problem Solving and
Communication Skills. Master thesis, Chonnam National University, Kwangju (2009)
Copyright © 2016 SERSC
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