Comparison of 'think aloud' and observation as data collection methods in the study of decision making regarding sedation in intensive care patients.
This paper reports on an Australian study of 'expert' and 'novice' orthopaedic nursing practitioners' clinical reasoning. Concurrent and retrospective verbal reports of patient assessment and care planning in real 'everyday' practice situations were collected from nine pairs of 'expert' and 'novice' orthopaedic nurses. Verbal protocol analyses revealed that the experts used the same level of concepts as novices, that their clinical reasoning was as physically orientated as that of novices, and that the implicit constructions of nursing in the reasonings of both experts and novices were consistent with a 'medical model' of health care. The research design, limitations and findings are discussed.