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Nursing: The Role Of Emotional Intelligence In Nursing

I am going to discuss the book I read, Emotional Intelligence 2. 0 by Travis Bradberry and Jean Greaves. I am going to talk about the history, definitions, and major concepts of emotional intelligence. I am going to discuss functions in nursing and how emotional intelligence is applicable. I am going to talk about how I will use emotional intelligence in my own practice and my personal growth after reading the book. History and Concepts of Emotional Intelligence

Emotional Intelligence is the ability to understand one’s emotions, the feelings of others, how those emotions affect people, and how to use those emotions to manage ourselves and relationships effectively (Salovey & Mayer, 1990). The idea of Emotional Intelligence came to life in 1990 when two friends, Dr. Peter Salovey and Dr. John Mayer wanted to be able to measure the differences in people’s ability to recognize, understand, utilize, and regulate emotions (Mann, 2012). Although Salovey and Mayer came up with the concept, Daniel Goleman is essentially responsible for bringing it to the public (Mann, 2012).

According to Mann (2012), how successful one is in their career and professional life can be attributed to their emotional intelligence. Unlike intelligence quotient (IQ) scores, emotional intelligence scores can be improved over time (Faguy, 2012). According to Savel and Munro (2016), Daniel Goleman’s five core dimensions of emotional intelligence are self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and social skills. Multiple variations of emotional intelligence exist, however, Daniel Goleman and Travis Bradberry’s models are commonly used (Savel & Munro, 2016).

According to Bradberry & Greaves (2009), the four skills of emotional intelligence are self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and relationship management. The first two skills pertain to personal competence, in which the focus is on oneself, while the last two skills pertain to social competence, in which the focus is how one behaves with other people (Bradberry & Greaves, 2009). Self-awareness is knowing what one is feeling and why they are feeling it (Bradberry & Greaves, 2009). Self-management is knowing one’s emotions and how to use them to manage one’s behavior.

Social awareness is the ability to read other people’s emotions and understand them. Relationship management is knowing one’s own emotions, the emotions of others and how to manage those emotions effectively. Functions and Roles Self-awareness Knowing one’s emotions and how they are perceived by others is important in nursing. For example, I tend to always have an angry or irritated expression on my face, which usually intimidates people even though I am almost never angry. Being aware of what one’s face shows can affect their emotions.

When one has a patient with a colostomy or a terrible wound, having a bad expression on one’s face can cause the patient to feel ashamed or upset. Communication Communicating effectively in nursing is important just like in any profession. Being aware of one’s emotions and staff members’ emotions will create a more cohesive team. Providing the best quality care to the patient is our priority and when we fail to communicate effectively, the patient may not get the patient care that they need or may be harmed in the process.

Emotional intelligence relates to assertive communication because when one is aware of his or her emotions, he or she is able to express oneself more effectively and behave accordingly. Delegation Delegating tasks to certified nurse assistants (CNAs) or licensed practical nurses (LPNs) not only improves patient care, but it also helps to get things done in a timely manner. In some of my clinical rotations, I have noticed that CNAs tend to get taken advantage of in the workplace because nurses repeatedly assign them tasks just because they do not want to do them.

Nurses need to know their own emotions and how others perceive them. It is important that the nurses do not take their emotions out on their CNAs because this can then lead to conflict. Role 1 In order to be a successful nurse manager, understanding his or her own emotions and the ability to assess the emotions of the other staff members is needed. If the nurse manager’s emotions overcome him or her, it is best to take a step back and examine those emotions. Role 2 During my obstetrics clinical rotation, I had a patient with gestational diabetes who was at risk for delivering a baby large for gestational age.

The nurse I was assigned to that day was promptly called to the patient’s room because the baby was at risk for shoulder dystocia. When we got there, the room was chaotic and filled with nurses ready to help at any moment. When the baby’s head was out, one of the nurses that was standing next to the bed literally dove towards the baby in anticipation that she would need to rotate the shoulders. Since this was the first birth that I saw, I was excited yet confused because I had no idea what was going on at the time.

During that birth, I demonstrated self-management because even though I was confused as to what was happening, I remained calm and was able to help the nurses. I react well to chaotic situations because I do not become stressed or flustered and get done whatever needs to be done in a calm manner. How Emotional Intelligence can be Applied in my own Practice After I graduate, I want to get a few years of experience working in an emergency department or jail and then get my certification to be a sexual assault nurse examiner (SANE).

Emotional intelligence is important in nursing to ensure the best possible care, however, I believe that it is especially important for a SANE nurse. Dealing with children or adult victims of physical or sexual abuse is difficult not only for the nurse, but also for the patients. Being able to read and understand the patient’s emotions is important because they have been through something very traumatic. Personal Growth When I started this class, I thought I had a pretty good idea of what leadership is, and which qualities makes a leader successful.

During my senior year of college, I was the Western captain of the equestrian team, which required me to be both a leader to my peers in the arena, as well as a leader academically. Taking the role of captain was an exciting personal challenge for me, as I am often reserved, and even shy at times. After reading a little about emotional intelligence before I read the book, I believed that I knew myself fairly well and I expected to score somewhere in the 80’s on the test. I was surprised that my personal competence score was 78, when I had assumed it to be in the 80s.

I followed the book’s strategies for improving my emotional intelligence score for a couple of weeks and retook the test. I was able to increase my score from 78 to an 83 in a few short weeks, which really surprised me. I took the book’s strategies and started to apply them in my community health rotation. One of the strategies to improve my social awareness score was to practice observing the mood in a room. During my community health clinical at Denver Urban Matters, one of the duties for my group was to take clients back to the food bank and help them pick out the amount that they were allowed to have.

My last day there, I helped four people shop for their food and was able to pick up the mood in the room instantly. The mood in the shopping area was very chaotic and I could tell that many of the clients were getting frustrated with the food choices available at that time. My time at Denver Urban Matters opened up a whole new world to me and I have learned so much not only about myself, but also about certain populations in Denver as well. After applying the strategies recommended to me by the book, I now have a better understanding of myself and how others perceive me.

Emotional intelligence plays an important role not only in our professional lives, but our personal lives as well. Self-awareness, advocacy, and communication are three functions in nursing that emotional intelligence can have a big impact on. Emotional intelligence will be useful when working with victims of abuse by being able to recognize their emotions and managing my behavior accordingly. After reading this book and using the strategies to improve my emotional intelligence, I have noticed a difference in how I perceive my own emotions and how I act on those emotions.

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