Emotional intelligence in Nursing
Emotional intelligence in nursing is the ability to process emotions, understanding and assimilations, and manage emotions. Extensive research outside the practice of nursing has exhibited correlations between significant workplace and measured emotional intelligence and the outcomes of workforce such as management of stress, effective leadership, and performance, retention of jobs, job satisfaction, positive conflict styles and burnout prevention . In a number of nursing research studies, pilot data have exhibited the same results that correlates measured emotional intelligence with nursing performance levels in the nursing leaders and clinical staff, stress adaptation, job satisfaction, professional achievement and some positive clinical outcomes in patients.
Emotional intelligence surfaced from years of intelligence research regarding the relationship between performance abilities, feeling and thinking which were not regarded to be related before 1990 . Three main models of emotional intelligence have been used in research. The models are different in three ways. These ways include the settings whereby the concept was developed, the instrumentation used in measurement and the definition of the utilized concept. Nursing research reveals the use of all the three models, but the one that has been used more frequently is the ability model . All the three models reflect attributes like social awareness, self-management, self-awareness and social/relationship management.
Nurses usually offer care for suffering families and patients whose emotions have been heightened. Compassion is a necessary element of the care that nurses provide. Emotions play a significant role in communication and relationships between families, patients and nurses. Self-compassion is the ability to be compassionate to one. If nurses lack this ability, they might not be ready to be compassionate to patients. People who are emotionally intelligent are known to be confident, understanding and can manages and control their emotions. The purpose of this co-relational and descriptive study was to inspect the relationship between emotional intelligence and self-compassion. Three questions were used to guide the selection of models. The questions that were asked during the model selection include the following: Which model is the easiest to use in the evaluation of stories? Is the model compatible with narrative data? Can the model confine elements of the emotional labor that are intrinsic in nursing? There is also a summary of the evaluation of the models as follows:
The ease of use was one of the most significant factors for the selection of the model. During the trial story scoring, identification of the attributes of emotional attributes proved easiest by use of the definitions of personality model. It was quite challenging to identify attributes using the definitions of the operational mixed models. During story evaluation, nursing traits were easily identifiable than nursing skills. More compatibility with narrative data was also critical. The self-reporting nature of autobiography was attuned to the stories dataset.
Apart from identifying qualities of emotional intelligence in the stories, the team of researchers got interested in relating the attributes emotional intelligence to perceptions that were central to the practice of nursing. The team selected nursing intuition, performance and professionalism. Professionalism may be defined in a number of ways. For the purposes of this sturdy, the researchers used it to reveal the development of role maturity, especially in terms of increasing the range of practice. In the early stages of development, the nurse may have the greatest emphasis on the technical aspects of practice. The nurse starts to include more inclusive relationships with patients and their family system, plus team and collegial relationships . The nurses with maturity and growth may participate in broader issues in their clinical area in the larger institution that they practice. To measure professionalism, the research team deployed a likert scale that reflected a continuum of scope of practice.
The team chose Benners` concept to operationalize performance. This describes the development of performance from the early years of mentored practice to later functioning as an independent content expert who teaches and mentors others. To measure the performance, a Likert scale was used based on benner’s definitions or novice. The third concept that was selected was nursing intuition. The nursing concept has been has been articulated to and explored in nursing research in the last few decades. While there is no consensus definition, it is often described as a composite interaction of awareness, knowledge, experiential and relational attributes. Nursing research has revealed correlations between clinical judgment and intuition, aversion of crisis and effective decision making. Other researchers offered evidence that intuition is not solely found in expert nurses.
This study used mixed methodology and purposive sample that consisted of content analysis design and quantitative data analysis. The study used seventy five nursing stories that were reviewed by a research team made up of four nurses. The content analysis design was chosen because story analysis may be used to identify elements of practice that are hard to identify in a research that is more empirically focused. The stories were written by nurses on their memorable experiences that revealed the essence of nursing. These stories were accumulated and published in 2009. Every author gave written permission for their stories to be used. There were no identification information or author names in the data. The source of the stories were a recently published book that had inspirational stories concerning nurses and written by nurses.
While specific demographic info regarding the authors of every story was not available, it became clear from the content of the story that a wide range of clinical setting, experience, gender and age were indicated. A range of experience and age was evident in the stories form new graduates to nurses in the later years of their career. Intensive care nurses and medical surgical nurses were included since the nurses were in the school, community and mental health settings.
While the study design developed, the study procedures also evolved. The first phases of study involved identifying the presence of emotional intelligence attributes in the nursing stories. Once it got clear that attributes were present, the research team decided to add to the procedures a second phase where the stories were examined for evidence of the three concepts of nursing including nursing intuition, performance and professionalism. Once it was clear that the concept were also identified in the stories, a third phase was included in the study whereby the correlations between the three nursing concepts and emotional intelligence were explored. In the first phase of the study procedures, stories were independently scored by each study that used specific scoring criteria. Specific scoring criteria and definitions were used for criteria 1-3. During a pilot of scoring procedures, inter-rater reliability between the study investigators proved to be high.
The research team compared individual scoring with a second scoring procedure. In the second procedure, individual scoring was followed by group evaluation of their scores and the stories. There was consensus in the group that this was the better procedure. For this reason, a second step in the scoring procedures developed in which the final scores were determined after group sharing and discussion in the individual scores. For criteria 1 and 4, the final score was determined by the scoring agreement of three out of four investigators. Criteria 2 and 3 used averaged scores from the four researches to determine the final score.
Criterion 1(The presence of emotional intelligence attributes)
Scoring this criterion consisted of a count of the number of emotional intelligence attributes in every story. The data was collected using frequency distributions.
Criterion 2 (professionalism)
This criterion focused on the scope of nursing practice as illustrated in stories. Every story illustrated that the nurse is focused on technical procedures. The story illustrates that the nurse is focused on meeting the objectives of the job. The story illustrates superior performance that encompasses patient care.
Criterion 3 (Performance)
Performance was scored using Likert scale of 1-5. The operational definition for this scale was based on Benner’s definitions of novice to expert nursing that focused on performance independence. The following was used for 1-5 Likert scale: (1) New graduate; (2) competent nurse who requires supervision; (3) independent and competent nurse; (4) independent and competent nurse who serves a mentor; (5) highly competent nurse who serves as an expert.
Criterion 4 (Evidence of nursing intuition).
This criterion was graded mainly on the subjective response of every researcher. Data was collected for each story on data sheets completed by each researcher on each nursing story. During the meetings, each story was read aloud and each score was read aloud.
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