Use Of Clinical Reasoning Skills to Enable Patient Centred Problem Solving

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Patient Centred Care is explained in detail on a government website which can be accessed via this link.

A summary of the key points from this government resource follow.


Patient Centred Care is an approach to the planning, delivery, and evaluation of healthcare that is grounded in mutually beneficial partnerships among healthcare providers, patients and families.

From a patient’s perspective, it involves:

  • Respect for patients preferences and values
  • Emotional support
  • Physical comfort
  • Information, communication and education
  • Continuity and transition
  • Co-ordination of care
  • The involvement of family and friends
  • Access to care

Clinical Reasoning

Clinical reasoning is the process by which clinicians collect cues, process the information, come to an understanding of a patient problem or situation, plan and implement interventions, evaluate outcomes, and reflect on and learn from the process(University of Newcastle, 2009).

The Clinical Educator will use their Core Clinical Education Skills to assist the student with the clinical reasoning process. Please refer to the appropriate sections of this website for more detailed information regarding Core Clinical Education Skills.

It is vital in an Aged Care setting, that the Clinical Educator develops the students clinical reasoning skills in order to enable Patient Centred Care.



Ask your student to pick a treatment they have used with a patient recently. Prepare a table with the above dot points of what patient centred care is about from a patient perspective. Ask the student to write down what aspects of the treatment apply to each dot point.

Ask the student why they decided to use each aspect under each dot point. (Thus their clinical reasoning)

Are there any headings which have nothing written under them?

Would it have been appropriate for the student to have addressed these areas? If so, consider what could have been done to address these areas? Could something have been added to the assessment to give more information to enable these areas to be addressed?

You can perform the same exercise for yourself as a reflection exercise to identify the involvement of patient centred care in your patient/client management. Remember, there may be times when a heading may not apply in a particular circumstance and it is your role as the Clinical Educator to guide the student to identify this.

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