Critical Thinking, Decision Making, Solving Problems and Communicating Effectively

Critical Thinking, Decision Making, Solving Problems and Communicating Effectively


Assignment 1

Describe a situation when you made an important decision.  What content in the chapter applied to that situation?  What was the outcome?


Assignment 2

Why are problem solving and decision making skills important to you as a professional? Describe the two best decisions you have made in your life and the two worst.  What factors assisted you in making the wise decisions?  What elements of critical thinking and problem solving were involved in your decision making?  What content of the chapter applied to that situation?


Assignment 3

Consider a recent interaction you witnessed.

  • Did the sender express the message clearly?
  • Use the appropriate medium?
  • Listen and respond to questions and comments?
  • What was the outcome?


Now, think about a recent interaction where you were the sender using the above criteria.  If you could replay the interaction, what would you do differently?


Assignment 4

You are a manager of your department which has 12 employees.  Your supervisor has approved the funds to send two employees from each shift to a major conference in a nearby city.  Most of the employees would like to go, but the financial resources limit your selection.  How would you resolve this situation?


Assignment 5

You are a school nurse.  In the past two weeks, nine cases of head lice were reported in different classrooms.  The potential for spread is high, and both the teachers and the parents are growing anxious.


Compose a memo for distribution to the teachers and a business letter to the parents.  Your goals are to inform, reassure, and direct future inquiries.  Make sure you use the guidelines and format covered in the notes.


NOTE:  For the students who are not nurses, if you want, you may change the scenario in this assignment and prepare the memo & letter to a situation tailored to your allied health specialty.


Assignment 6

Please research an internet source that enhances the material covered in this unit.

Please post your summary and comments and include the URL for your classmates.

Reading Assignment: Chapters 8 & 9 in Sullivan


Individual Student Learning Outcomes
Upon completion of this unit, the student will be able to:


  1. Describe how to use the critical-thinking process.
  2. Describe ways to foster creativity.
  3. Develop a plan to improve your decision-making and problem-solving skills.
  4. Compare and contrast individual and collective decision-making processes in various situations.
  5. Recognize stumbling blocks to making decisions and solving problems.
  6. Foster innovation in your work and that of others.
  7. Identify the factors that influence communication.
  8. Discuss how communication can be distorted and misunderstood.
  9. Choose which communication mode to use depending on the message and relationship.
  10. Explain how communication strategies vary according to the situation and those involved.
  11. Improve your collaborative communication skills.
  12. Develop a plan to enhance your communication skills.




Written Communication within the Organization

  • Know that you want to say before you start writing
  • Put people in your writing
  • Use action words
  • Write plainly
  • Use as few words as possible
  • Use simple direct sentences
  • Give the reader direction
  • Arrange the material logically
  • Use paragraphs to lead readers
  • Connect your thoughts
  • Be clear
  • Express similar thought in similar ways



Business Letter Format


  • Official letterhead/stationary. You should create your own stationary which should include ALL of your updated contact information centered on the top of the paper.  You should also bold the information and increase the font size.
      • Skip 4-8 lines, depending on the length of the letter and the size of the letterhead
    • Date
      • Skip four lines
    • Inside address – check for accurate address and spelling – include the person’s full name and title
      • Double space
    • RE: – Regarding – this alerts the reader to the subject of your letter
      • Double space
    • Salutation
      • Use a comma for informal letters and a colon for formal letters
      • Dear Sir, Dear Dr., To Whom It May Concern, Dear Senator, etc.

Double space


    • Body of letter
    • Single space within the paragraph and double space between paragraphs
      • Double space
    • Complimentary closing – “Sincerely,”
      • Skip 4 lines if the letter is typed
    • Signature (typed)
      • Place your written signature above your typed name
      • Double space
    • Enclosures
    • Copies – cc: followed by the names of the persons receiving copies of the memos



Memo Format

  • Date
    • Double space
  • To: – alphabetize the list if sending to more than one person, or use a ranking system
    • Double space
  • From:
    • Double space
  • Subject: or use RE: In a few words, state the reason you are writing the memo.  This lets the reader know at a glance what you will be talking about
    • Triple space
  • Signature
    • Triple space
  • Copies – cc: followed by the names of the persons receiving copies of the memo

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top