Decision Making

Last updated: Thursday, September 15, 2016

Courtesy of Siba Majid
This tutorial is aimed at pre-registration hospital pharmacists after their first few months in post, and at new foundation level pharmacists.

An important part of being a professional is making decisions. You will often rely on facts to make decisions: information that you’ve learned, data from a patient’s notes, evidence that you find in a book.

But the decisions you make professionally will not always rely solely on facts, or you may not always have all the facts that you need. And in these situations you may feel less certain about what to do. You might, for example, need to make a decision in circumstances where:

  • The medicine or the clinical situation is unfamiliar to you
  • You don’t have enough information or the information you have is conflicting
  • There is pressure on you to make a quick decision
  • You or a colleague has made a mistake
  • There is no ideal solution, but a decision still needs to be made
  • A colleague or patient is upset, angry, or threatening to complain

It is difficult to teach you how to handle these ‘less straightforward’ situations. A lot of them might be said to require professional judgement. This is something that we tend to learn by experience. However, in this section of the Learning Portal we will provide some scenarios to help you think about these kinds of situation in advance, and also introduce some principles to guide you.

This tutorial comprises various sections:


You can download a PDF of the text of this tutorial.
When you've finished this tutorial, why not record a CPD entry via the GPhC's Plan + Record facility?