Chapter 06: Making Decisions and Solving Problems Nursing School Test Banks

Chapter 06: Making Decisions and Solving Problems
Yoder-Wise: Leading and Managing in Nursing, 6th Edition

MULTIPLE CHOICE

1. The risk manager informs the nurse manager of an orthopedic unit that her unit has had an increase in incident reports about patients falling during the 11-7 shift. The nurse manager knows that the best way to resolve the problem is to:
a. Use creativity.
b. Obtain support from the 7-3 shift.
c. Use institutional research.
d. Identify the problem.
ANS: D
Identification of a problem is the first step in problem solving and occurs before any other step. The most common cause for failure to resolve problems is the improper identification of the problem/issue; therefore, problem recognition and identification are considered the most vital steps.

REF: Page 109 | Page 110
TOP: AONE competency: Knowledge of the Health Care Environment

2. The nurse manager of a rehab unit wants to purchase a new anti-embolic stocking. To make a high-quality decision, the nurse manager would:
a. Involve the rehab staff in the decision.
b. Involve the sales representative.
c. Make the decision alone.
d. Involve administration in the decision.
ANS: A
In a shared decision model, the decisions are made through an interactive, deliberate process and the staff may express and discuss options and preferences. The shared decision model has been shown to increase work performance and productivity, decrease employee turnover, and enhance employee satisfaction.

REF: Page 103 TOP: AONE competency: Communication and Relationship-Building

3. Several nurses on an adolescent psychiatric unit complain that the teens are becoming unmanageable on the 0700-1900 shift. To resolve this problem, the nurse manager decides that the staff should have a brainstorming session. The goal of brainstorming is to:
a. Evaluate problem solutions.
b. Critique the ideas of others.
c. Generate as many solutions as possible.
d. Identify only practical and realistic ideas.
ANS: C
Brainstorming encourages creativity when one is beginning to problem-solve and avoids premature shutting down of ideas through early evaluation. The goal is to generate ideas, no matter how seemingly unrealistic or absurd.

REF: Page 106 | Page 107
TOP: AONE competency: Communication and Relationship-Building

4. During a fire drill, several psychiatric patients become agitated. The nurse manager quickly assigns a staff member to each patient. This autocratic decision style is most appropriate for:
a. Routine problems.
b. Crisis situations.
c. Managers who prefer a telling style.
d. Followers who cannot agree on a solution.
ANS: B
An autocratic style is appropriate when rapid decision making is required, such as in a crisis situation.

REF: Page 103 | Page 104 TOP: AONE competency: Leadership

5. After the nurses who work on an adolescent psychiatric unit have had a brainstorming session, they are ready to resolve the problem of teenagers who are unmanageable. To maximize group effectiveness in decision making and problem solving, the nurse manager has:
a. Prevented conflict.
b. Formed highly cohesive groups.
c. Used majority rule to arrive at decisions.
d. Encouraged equal participation among members.
ANS: D
Groups are more likely to be effective if members are involved, the group is cohesive, communication is encouraged, and members demonstrate some understanding of the group process. The nurse leader or manager should provide a nonthreatening and positive environment in which group members are encouraged to participate actively.

REF: Page 105 TOP: AONE competency: Communication and Relationship-Building

6. To solve a problem, the nurse manager understands that the most important problem-solving step is:
a. The implementation phase.
b. Identification of numerous solutions.
c. Accurate identification of the problem.
d. Evaluation of the effectiveness of problem resolution.
ANS: C
To proceed effectively, it is important to determine if a problem exists and to accurately identify a problem. Failure to resolve problems is most often linked to improper identification of the problem.

REF: Page 109 | Page 110
TOP: AONE competency: Knowledge of the Health Care Environment

7. A clinic nurse has observed another nurse deviating from agency policy in performing wound care. The best approach for the clinic nurse to take is to:
a. Stay out of it.
b. Inform the nursing supervisor.
c. Fill out a notification form (incident report).
d. Assess the risk to the client and the agency before proceeding.
ANS: D
If the situation is subjective, non-routine, and unstructured or if outcomes are unknown or unpredictable, the nurse leader and manager may need to take a descriptive or behavioral approach. More information (such as degree of risk to the client and to the agency) needs to be gathered to address this situation effectively.

REF: Page 103 TOP: AONE competency: Knowledge of the Health Care Environment

8. In a rural hospital, the unit for which you are charge nurse has a particularly busy morning. A 52-year-old patient is complaining of left-sided chest pain and a multiparous patient is about to deliver. A child with asthma is experiencing early signs of an attack. The other RN on the unit is a recent graduate who has not yet been orientated to the labor room and has limited cardiac nursing experience. An unregulated assistant is also available. You must decide which patient situation you will take and where the RNs skills can best be used. Given the limitations in skills and experience, number of staff available, and time constraints, you must make a decision that involves:
a. A higher-order thinking process.
b. Selecting the best option for reaching a predefined goal.
c. Optimizing.
d. Satisficing.
ANS: D
With this approach, the decision maker selects an acceptable solution, one that may minimally meet the objective or standard for a decision. This approach allows for quick decisions and may be the most appropriate when lack of time is an issue.

REF: Page 103 TOP: AONE competency: Knowledge of the Health Care Environment

9. The risk manager wants to evaluate the reasons for an increased number of falls on the rehab unit. The risk manager devises a fishbone diagram. A fishbone diagram is a useful tool to:
a. Identify the root causes of problems.
b. List possible solutions to problems.
c. Help leaders select the best options.
d. Evaluate the outcomes of decisions made.
ANS: A
A fishbone diagram, also known as a cause-and-effect diagram, is useful for determining the reasons (causes) for an effect (falls).

REF: Page 111 TOP: AONE competency: Knowledge of the Health Care Environment

10. An outpatient surgery manager is evaluating infusion pumps for the operating room. The manager should:
a. Select the least expensive brand.
b. Use a decision-making tool to evaluate brands.
c. Ask the nursing staff which brand they prefer.
d. Select the vendor the institution usually buys from.
ANS: B
Decision-making tools such as decision grids and SWOT analyses are most appropriate when information is available and options are known.

REF: Page 108 | Page 109
TOP: AONE competency: Knowledge of the Health Care Environment

11. Select the statement that best defines the difference between problem solving and decision making:
a. Decision-making skills require critical thinking; problem-solving skills do not.
b. Problem-solving skills require critical thinking; decision-making skills do not.
c. Decision making is a goal-directed effort; problem solving is focused on solving an immediate problem.
d. Problem solving is a goal-directed effort; decision making is focused on solving an immediate problem.
ANS: C
Problem solving is focused on solving immediate problems, whereas decision making is a goal-directed process that is aimed at selecting appropriate actions from among options. Not all decisions begin with a problem.

REF: Page 101 TOP: AONE competency: Leadership

12. Sue, a nurse manager, has a staff nurse that has been absent a great deal for the past three months. A whistleblower gives some information to Sue indicating that the staff nurse will be resigning and returning to school. Because of this, Sue decides to do which of the following?
a. Immediately fire the staff nurse.
b. Speak to the whistleblower and elicit more information.
c. Speak to the staff nurse and ask her to resign.
d. Do nothing.
ANS: D
Doing nothing is often warranted because of lack of energy, time, or resources to solve the real problem adequately, and because the benefits are not seen as sufficiently compelling to commit to an action.

REF: Page 109 | Page 110 TOP: AONE competency: Leadership

13. The maintenance department wishes to have the nursing lounge renovated, so the lounge will be more user-friendly. The department asks the nursing staff to make a wish list of everything that they would like to see in the new lounge. This process is an example of which part of the decision-making process?
a. Assessment/Data collection
b. Planning
c. Data interpretation
d. Generating hypotheses
ANS: A
In this particular model (a model similar to the nursing model), data collection is the first step toward identifying important alternatives or determining if there is a problem or problems.

REF: Page 112 | Page 113 TOP: AONE competency: Leadership

14. A good nursing decision maker is one who:
a. Uses various models to guide the process based on the circumstances of the situation.
b. Adopts one model and uses it to guide all decision making.
c. Decides not to use any models because they are all useless.
d. Develops a new model each time a decision has to be made.
ANS: A
The decision model that a nurse uses depends on specific circumstances. Is the situation routine and predictable or complex and uncertain? Is the goal to make a decision that is just good enough (conservative) or one that is optimal?

REF: Page 101 | Page 102 TOP: AONE competency: Leadership

15. From the information supplied in this chapter, which statement best defines critical thinking? Critical thinking is a:
a. High-level cognitive process.
b. Process that helps to develop reflective criticism for the purpose of reaching a conclusion.
c. High-level cognitive process that includes creativity, problem solving, and decision making.
d. Discussion that guides the nursing process.
ANS: C
It is generally accepted by many authors and researchers that this statement best defines critical thinking.

REF: Page 101 | Page 102 TOP: AONE competency: Business Skills

16. Decision making is described by the nursing educator as the process one uses to:
a. Solve a problem.
b. Choose between alternatives.
c. Reflect on a certain situation.
d. Generate ideas.
ANS: B
The hallmark of decision making is choosing among options. Generating options is one phase of decision making, and solving a problem refers to problem solving, which is problem centered. Decision making does not always begin with problems, but rather is defined as a purposeful, goal-directed effort that uses a systematic process to choose among options.

REF: Page 101 TOP: AONE competency: Leadership

17. Justin is a nurse manager in a rehabilitation unit in a small urban center. There is a high turnover rate among rehab-assistants because of the heavy work assignments. Despite his need for staff, Justin decides to review each application thoroughly and interview candidates carefully because he recognizes that it is important to hire staff who can best provide high-quality care and who will fit well with the team. Which of the following decision-making models did Justin use in making his decision?
a. Subjective model
b. Objective model
c. Optimizing model
d. Satisficing model
ANS: C
Optimizing is a decision style in which the decision maker selects the option that is best, based on an analysis of the pros and cons associated with each option. A better decision is more likely when using this approach, although it takes longer to arrive at a decision.

REF: Page 103 TOP: AONE competency: Business Skills

18. Justin is a nurse manager in a rehabilitation unit in a small urban center. There is a high turnover rate among rehab-assistants because of the heavy work assignments. Despite his need for staff, Justin decides to review each application thoroughly and interview candidates carefully because he recognizes that it is important to hire staff who can best provide high-quality care and who will fit well with the team. Which of the following decision-making solutions should Justin consider to have a more efficient department
a. Replace staff only with qualified applicants.
b. Determine what the problem or problems are before hiring new staff.
c. Consult with the human resources department and develop a plan for hiring new staff.
d. Consider all the options listed.
ANS: D
Decision making involves a goal-oriented consideration of many options that are objectively weighed according to their possible risks, consequences, and positive outcomes. The options should be ranked in the order in which they are likely to result in the desired goals or objectives. The solution selected should be the one that is most feasible and satisfactory and has the fewest undesirable consequences. In this instance, all of the options listed might be considered and weighed.

REF: Page 101 | Page 112 | Page 113 TOP: AONE competency: Business Skills

19. When confronted with the controversy and the apparent poor morale of the evening staff, the unit manager decided the staff needed to take some time off. He scheduled holidays for the staff without consulting them. A couple of the staff nurses approached the manager and indicated that the problem was not scheduling, but rather the team leader and her patient assignments. What was the unit managers first missed step in problem solving?
a. Not using a problem-solving model
b. Not considering a number of alternatives
c. Poor evaluation of outcomes
d. Incorrect problem identification
ANS: D
The unit manager did not begin with an accurate identification of the problem. Problem solving needs to begin with why?

REF: Page 109 | Page 110 TOP: AONE competency: Business Skills

20. John Smith, one of three managers at BSG Labs, drafted a policy that would allow his department to do more testing in his lab. This policy included the times for regular collection as well as a new process for emergency laboratory testing. The policy and procedures were never followed. The reason was that:
a. The policy was too lengthy and inundated readers with too much detail.
b. The policy made decisions for other departments in the company.
c. The staff did not believe that the new policy would be effective.
d. Testing should not be done in the lab.
ANS: B
Two primary criteria make for effective decisions. First, the decision must be of a high quality; that is, it achieves the predefined goals, objectives, and outcomes. Second, those who are responsible for its implementation must accept the decision. Higher-quality decisions are more likely to result if groups are involved in the decision-making and problem-solving process. Taking ownership of the process and outcome provides a smoother transition in changes.

REF: Page 105 TOP: AONE competency: Leadership

21. High-quality decisions are most likely to be made in nursing situations when:
a. Team leaders make the crucial decisions.
b. Individuals are advised of the problems.
c. Group size is neither too small nor too large.
d. Members are passively involved.
ANS: C
Research has shown that group size is important. Too small a group means a limited number of options generated. Too large a group can mean lack of structure or lack of meaningful discussion.

REF: Page 105 TOP: AONE competency: Leadership

22. Knowing when to have the entire team participate in the decision-making process or when to have only the team leader make the decisions depends on the situation and the desired outcomes. The autocratic process is used in which of the following situations?
a. The task and the outcome are relatively simple and defined
b. It is unlikely that the group will reach a consensus.
c. A decision has to be discussed thoroughly.
d. A number of options need to be considered.
ANS: A
An autocratic style is appropriate when rapid decision making is required and in situations where the task and the potential outcome are well-defined.

REF: Page 103 | Page 104 TOP: AONE competency: Leadership

23. Jane, an experienced head nurse, is given the task of completing the summer vacation schedule for the pediatric unit. She is fully aware of the hospitals restrictions on time off and the number of staff on vacation at any given time, as well as its issues regarding seniority. She weighs the options of allowing staff choice, such as it takes more time but gives employees options. However, if choice is allowed, this could cause arguments. Which of the following is the best alternative?
a. Ask for requests for vacation time in advance, and post the times.
b. Post the completed vacation schedule.
c. Post a tentative schedule, and request feedback.
d. Post a blank schedule, and ask staff members to fill in their times by a given date.
ANS: D
This is based on a decision-making model that allows experience and knowledge to predict whether a decision will or will not work. The experience of the head nurse suggests that it is important to involve staff in decisions that affect them the most.

REF: Page 101 | Page 102
TOP: AONE competency: Knowledge of the Health Care Environment

24. The agency in which you are a nursing leader makes a decision to reduce the number of RN positions in favor of PN positions because agency data suggest that the clients in the agency can receive appropriate care from PN staff. Furthermore, the agency is facing a decline in funding and without restructuring, some clients might not receive services at all. You provide this information on this decision to the staff and ask them to advise you if they have any feedback, concerns, or alternative solutions. This decision-making style is known as:
a. Paternalistic.
b. Shared.
c. Reasoned
d. Informative.
ANS: D
The informative model offers the staff the ability to make a decision after the information has been shared and without the active involvement of the manager.

REF: Page 103 TOP: AONE competency: Leadership

MULTIPLE RESPONSE

1. In a busy rehabilitation unit, the team manager decided that the best way to reward the staff was to give them a monetary bonus rather than time off. The staff was very concerned about the decision and went to the administration with a number of complaints. Critical thinking is a process that entails a number of steps. What steps did the manager omit? She should have (select all that apply):
a. Identified what assumptions were underpinning the issues.
b. Considered why it was important to make this change or the context for the change.
c. Considered how this change might affect staff relationships. d. Attained a majority consensus of all staff.
ANS: A, B, C
Taking a majority consensus is not a step in the critical thinking process. Points A, B, and C are what, why, and how questions that are part of effective critical thinking processes.

REF: Page 101 | Page 102 TOP: AONE competency: Leadership

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