In academics, a nursing concept map is a teaching and learning strategy that bridges between significant issues and how people learn. In nursing, a concept map is an essential technique for combining theory and practice, academic writing, case management, and studying methods for students in this field. Concept maps provide basic teaching techniques that enable learners to acquire the necessary information accurately.
Using concept maps improves the nursing students’ confidence, sense of accomplishment, and critical thinking skills. This article defines a concept map for nursing, its components, uses, and tips for making it.
What Is A Nursing Concept Map?
In nursing, a concept map is a graphical tool that defines patient issues, organizes assessment results, and selects relevant procedures and strategies while assessing outcomes.
A nursing student can efficiently and effectively device strategies using the tools and services of the concept map. The concept maps nursing students mostly use belong to the following categories:
- Hierarchical maps: These maps include essential data at the top and group information depending on its importance.
- Spider maps: These concept maps expand outwardly by grouping sub-themes based on the element.
- System maps: These maps organize details in a flow-chart model. They contain outputs, inputs, and flow diagram forms.
- Flow charts: Flow charts are concept maps with further information in the form of flow schemes.
Novak and Gowin created concept maps as schematic devices that learners use to represent concept meanings in a propositions’ framework. The basis of concept maps is the assimilation meaningful learning theory by David Ausubel. The assimilation theory has constructivist and cognitive learning components.
According to assimilation theory, students learn and think with concepts. Thus, the notions are meaningful in how the student’s cognitive structures develop connections between the ideas. Nursing concept maps enable students to organize knowledge structures that form the basis of decision-making and critical thinking skills in clinical settings and classrooms.
For instance, a student can use concept maps in a clinical setting to bridge the gap between clinical practice and theory, revealing the essential relationships in a clinical situation. Using concept maps in clinical settings focuses on the identified concept map development criteria instead of using concept maps as guides for developing clinical judgment skills.
What Nursing Maps Should Include
Concept mapping for nursing students entails making diagrams illustrating how concepts relate. Students use labeled arrows to connect the ideas in a downward-branching hierarchical structure. Essentially, a concept map presents a visual model representing concepts and how they relate to each other.
Using this concept, a person can easily understand the material by breaking down essential topics into small pieces that enhance the comprehension of concepts’ relationships. Some people see it as a critical thinking map nursing students can use to understand complex concepts and relationships. That’s because this map develops the learners’ necessary thinking skills, such as analyzing, creating, and evaluating data.
This map is generally a presentation of concepts and topics that require extra effort and time to understand. Thus, creating a concept map can make studying complex concepts straightforward.
A concept map for nursing students can include the following:
- A definition of the patient’s issues
- Organized assessment results
- Relevant diagnosis and procedures
- Outcome assessment
Essentially, the components of the concept map nursing students use depend on the situation and the patient. Nevertheless, the nursing concept map template can help you with patient problem identification, data organization, and visualization of different healthcare practices.
How To Make Nursing Concept Map
Maybe you’re a nursing student and new to concept mapping. Perhaps, you want to make a concept map but don’t know how to go about it. Concept maps are everyday learning and visual materials that you can create using map-making tools. Currently, students can quickly use different web-based map makers. Nevertheless, the best map maker for nursing students provides several templates and crucial tools for making a nursing concept chart.
What’s more, an ideal map maker features unlimited maps, collaboration capabilities, and much more. Here’s how to do a concept map for nursing using an online map maker:
- Choose a map-maker: Decide on the map-maker to use and then visit it on your web browser.
- Get started: Clock on the ” Get Started ” button after loading the map maker on your web browser, clock on the “Get Started” button.
- Choose a theme: Pick the theme that suits the topic of your concept map. Use the “floating node” option to add nodes.
- Insert sub-nodes: Press the tab key after clicking the node to insert the sub-nodes.
- Fill out the nursing branches: Fill out the nursing branch depending on the condition of the patient. For instance, create appropriate sub-nodes when creating a nursing diagnosis concept map. Save your project and then export it to your computer.
- Decide on the crucial information: Creating a concept map requires a student or a practicing nurse to include the essential information. They must also decide on the information to cluster in every box.
- Organize information: Organize it with labels once you’ve decided on the information to include in your concept map. Also, link the information logically.
Once you have created a patient concept map, use it to develop an intervention, goal, and evaluate the outcome of the condition. If you described a patient with the concept map, use it to assess their improvements to monitor the treatment’s effectiveness.
Structure Of Care Plan Concept Map
When developing a basic concept map, a nursing student should think about the goal or purpose of the map. And this will serve as the basic structure of the map. For instance, a nursing mind map for a specific medical condition can have rectangles or circles with its causes, symptoms, prognosis, tests, and treatments.
If the purpose of a concept map is to describe a specific patient’s condition, you can have a central box with the basic information of the patient. The boxes surrounding the central one can list the complaints of the patient, responses to medical questions, current medications, test results, and potential treatment plans.
Uses Of Concept Mapping For Nurses
In the academic world, concept mapping enables nursing faculties to evaluate complex patient care comprehension by students. It also allows the faculties to determine whether the learners understand the existing interrelationships by creating a simulation that facilitates learning and teaching. Essentially, concept mapping enhances the comprehension of different concepts by students.
A concept map enables learners to develop clinical reasoning and critical thinking skills. What’s more, it allows learners to apply the theoretical knowledge they acquire in class to real-life patients or actual case studies in an organized manner.
Nursing care mapping facilitates a multidisciplinary approach, enabling practitioners to view patients holistically while visualizing the connections between different aspects of a specific condition or patient. Essentially, nurses use concept maps to provide quality care to patients because they define their illness, symptoms, and treatments. And this information enables nurses to provide consistent care and treatment. What’s more, they highlight the interventions for patients, thereby promoting holistic medicine and defining the expected outcomes.
Tips For Making A Good Nursing Process Concept Map
A concept map documents diagnosis, treatment, and care that the primary nurse accords every patient in a treatment facility. Although this documentation may not seem essential to some people, it helps the other medical team members to accord the patient an effective treatment even in the absence of the primary nurse. Therefore, creating a good concept map is an essential skill for every nurse. Here are practical tips for creating a concept map.
- Choose the information to include carefully: A concept map should consist of all the patient’s basic and relevant health information. And this can consist of the vital signs or complaints, medical tests, results, and interventions. What’s more, include the behaviors that you witness when examining the patient in the concept map.
- Include accurate and precise entries: A good pathophysiology concept map should feature the complete, precise, and exact entries in legible handwriting. Include factual information in the concept map and not your opinions. Also, use abbreviations only if the education or health facility approves them.
- Correct errors: After making the first draft of the concept map, go through it carefully, correcting all mistakes. And this is a crucial step because a single mistake can be fatal if another nurse medical practitioner doesn’t recognize it when caring for the patient.
- Make legal considerations: Creating a good infection concept map facilitates the provision of quality care to patients. However, it also provides evidence in medical malpractice, and the patient decides to sue the nurse. Therefore, review the chat and recall the actions you took before creating the final draft.
- Use examples: If unsure about how you should create a concept map, use an example from a professional writer or practicing nurse. That way, you’ll know what to include in the concept map, how to have it, and what to leave out.
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