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Test-taking tip #6: Use Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and the ABCs (Airway, Breathing, and Circulation) to identify the option that is the priority.
- This technique is best used when answering a question that asks what the nurse should do first or which action is most important.
- Examine each option and identify which level need according to Maslow is associated with each option. Identify whether any of the options are associated with maintaining a patent airway and, if not, examine each option from the perspective of maintaining breathing and so on.
- For example, in a question associated with postoperative care, an option that addresses the presence of an oral airway generally is the priority.
- Study tips: Start by identifying the action that is least important and work backward toward the option with the action that is most important. Then identify the reasoning behind the assigned order. This technique focuses on the how and why and helps you to clarify the reasoning underlying your critical thinking. This technique is often done best when working in a small study group.
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