The assessment strategy has been developed in order to encourage the student to demonstrate safe and effective decision making strategies in an autonomous practitioner role within emergency and urgent care settings.

The aim of the 3000 word essay is to assess the student’s clinical reasoning skills utilising theory applied to practice. The student will be expected to display safe clinical judgment and to be able to defend their decisions.

Additionally the aim of the 3000 word assignment is to assess an understanding of the main decision making theories by examining and evaluating aspects of decision making and clinical reasoning from practice

The assessment will take the form of a 3000 word (+/- 10%) essay examining aspects of decision making from practice, critically evaluating the process and the outcome.  The assignment is awarded 100% of the marks of the assessment for the module.

Your introduction should provide rationale for your chosen case/decision, and clearly identify the link to decision making. Include only a brief patient history (a full history should be included as an appendix if necessary). Explain what the decision was and put it into context.

Within the main body of the essay analyse and evaluate the decision incorporating the decision-making theories. At level 3 you should as a minimum include the two general approaches- rational and phenomenological, giving examples of both and analysing their strengths and weaknesses. At level M you should also include the hypothetico-deductive approach in your critical discussion. Your discussion should analyse not just the process, but also the outcome of the decision. You need to relate the decision making theories to the decision made in practice. Consider the influencing factors that could affect the decision making process. Discuss whether personal bias, personal feelings, values or beliefs have influenced the process. Include whether any objective tools/protocols influenced the process; evaluate their contribution to the outcome. Consider any constraints that might affect the delivery of care or the outcome of the decision.

Provide suggestions/recommendations for improvement in your practice.

Conclude by summarising the key points. Ensure not to introduce any new ideas/concepts in the conclusion.

 

A suggested format is shown below        

•             Introduction: why is decision making so important for ENPS

•             Explain what you are going to discuss in this essay and why

•             BRIEF description of the decision you are going to analyse with the outcome as well (you might want to include the anonymised notes in the appendix if you think this will be useful)

•             Explain what the rationalist approach to decision making is, what are the advantages and disadvantages of this approach, what are some of the tools associated with this approach used? Refer back to the decision you made where did you use a rationalist approach and how?

•             Explain what the phenomological approach to decision making is, what are the advantages and disadvantages of this approach, what are some of the tools associated with this approach used? Refer back to the decision you made where did you use a rationalist approach and how?

•             Explain what the hypothetico-deductive approach to decision making is, what are the advantages and disadvantages of this approach, what are some of the tools associated with this approach used? Refer back to the decision you made where did you use a rationalist approach and how?

•             What are some of the issues which can positively or adversely affect decision making as an ENP (references needed)

 

•             Summarise and conclude what approaches to decision making did you utilise in your decision (it will be a combination)

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