Management decision-making in nursing
McCaughan, Kareen Lucielle.
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This study developed a new, valid and reliable evaluation instrument to measure the level, type and pattern of management decisions of fifteen nursing students. The management decision score achieved using this instrument was correlated with two psychological determinants of management decision making: creativity and problem-solving ability. The instrument was a written patient management problem in case format, answered by a free form written response. The student responses were classified for type of management decision according to the sub-categories of technical, inter-personal, environmental and unique. Using statistical analysis a significant difference was found in the type of management decisions most frequently selected by the study sample. The students predominantly selected technical type decisions. This preference for one type of management decision may be due to a number of psychological and environmental factors. These factors may program and mold the type of management decisions student nurses make early in their career. Low but positive correlations were found between the total management score and the two psychological tests. This finding supports the authors cited in the literature who state that although creativity augments the type of management decision making, it is not present or encouraged widely in the nursing profession. These factors are worth considering when the profession becomes concerned over ritualization and lack of individuality in patient care. The tool is easy to administer, lends itself to a variety of professional settings and shows promise with further refinement for computer application.