Edited by Marta Sinclair
Janice Langan-Fox and Vedran Vranic Throughout history, the construct of intuition has been alluded to with great scepticism, and has been shrouded in mystery. To this very day, there exists a large variety of interpretations of intuition. Since these interpretations emerge from the culmination of various definitions used, the practicality and applicability of intuition is often clouded or misconstrued. Nevertheless, the use of intuition has been reported in a large variety of occupations. This chapter examines its prevalence in critical occupations that often deal with life and death situations. Maybe because of the gravity of their decisions, professionals in these occupations do not take intuition lightly. In what follows, we provide examples and quotes, detailing intuition use in different critical settings. MEDICAL OCCUPATIONS Nursing and Emergency Nursing In a recent qualitative study of 14 experienced emergency nurses, reports similar to the response below were collated: At about 11 pm, a 7-month-old baby accompanied by his babysitter arrived with no specific complaint. I suddenly felt my stomach turn. I assessed the infant’s basic signs, found nothing unusual yet picked him up and informed the pediatric resident that I was taking him to the resuscitation area. When asked why, I replied that he needed to be there. The resident had no choice but to follow me. Two hours later the baby was admitted to the operating theater requiring a repair to a large previously undiagnosed ventral septal defect. Later, the pediatric resident asked how I knew about the heart failure. I could...
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