Teaching and evaluating critical thinking in respiratory care

Shelley C. Mishoe, Kathleen M Hernlen

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


The capacity to perform critical thinking in respiratory care may be enhanced through awareness and education to improve skills, abilities, and opportunities. The essential skills for critical thinking in respiratory care include prioritizing, anticipating, troubleshooting, communicating, negotiating, decision making, and reflecting. In addition to these skills, critical thinkers exhibit certain characteristics such as critical evaluation, judgment, insight, motivation, and lifelong learning. The teaching of critical thinking may be accomplished though problembased learning using an evidenced-based approach to solve clinical problems similar to those encountered in professional practice. Other traditional strategies such as discussion, debate, case study, and case presentations can be used. Web-based curriculum and technologic advances have created opportunities such as bulletin boards, real-time chats, and interactive media tools that can incorporate critical thinking. Many concerns and controversies surround the assessment of critical thinking, and individuals who administer critical thinking tests must be aware of the strengths and limitations of these assessment tools, as well as their relevance to the workplace. The foundational works reported in this article summarize the current status of assessment of critical thinking and can stimulate further investigation and application of the skills, characteristics, educational strategies, and measurement of critical thinking in respiratory care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)477-488
Number of pages12
JournalRespiratory Care Clinics of North America
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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