Landing on Your Feet: The Cat Approach to Critical Thinking in Nursing

ReadingthuRsday-R2Pleasureinlearning is happy to feature another post from Tommie Pniewski, Professor of Nursing.  Today, Ms. Pniewski shares an innovative strategy to enhance reading in her nursing courses.

As a cat lands on its feet, so does the practicing nurse have to do the same! In nursing, we never know what is around the corner, hence, my classroom is very unpredictable. I recently tried a student engagement activity which I thought was a break from the monotony.cat_attack
Considering a cat’s “stealth” in landing on its feet, I thought about a nursing student needing the same “stealth” in reading to extract the essential material of the text from the obligatory wordiness of a textbook. Since “stealth” is defined by Merriam-Webster as “a secret, quiet, and clever way of moving or behaving,” I thought: “What if I challenged the students to attack the textbook as a hungry cat would approach food from a forbidden source…would they be able to deliver the material painlessly? So…

So, how do you land on your feet?
bold movesHow to land on your feet as a nurse? By thinking on your feet! You will have 30 minutes to work as a group of 3-4 to apply the following situations; every team will have a team leader & 2-3 students =3-4/group and everyone must do something!  Object of the Game is to see how you can “Land on your feet by prioritizing information for each of the following & then share with the group…………….Go!!!!”
(This is just an example of the material that the students presented)

  • Alzheimer’s disease: What is the course of development? What is the nurse to do? (4 students)
  • Self-Assessment and Sexual Disorders: How do we deal with feelings?(4 students)cat
  • Factitious Disorders: What makes these difficult to deal with? (3 students)
  • Dissociative Disorders: What are common thoughts about this uncommon disorder? (3 students)
  • What are emergency identifiers of withdrawal? (4 students)
  • What is the common core of defense mechanisms? When do they come into play? (3 students)

funny-pictures-cat-goes-to-cat-doctorI found that when push comes to shove, they delivered! During the course of the presentations, I found that many of the test questions that I had already prepared were well-covered in the student’s research on these topics. In an effort to stimulate reading and comprehension, I choose the cat for the approach for information acquisition.
Can’t wait to see how they do on their test!


2 comments on “Landing on Your Feet: The Cat Approach to Critical Thinking in Nursing

  1. Peggy Bozarth says:

    Good idea for student engagement and results. Thanks Tom!

  2. bethmeade says:

    Awesome, creative, and fun!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s