Emotional Intelligence In Nursing

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Introduction Over the past century, the health services across Ireland and internationally have evolved and expanded into significantly sizeable and complex organisations (Department of Health and Children, 2003). The Health Service Executive (HSE) is the largest employer of staff in Ireland, employing over 67,000 employees directly (HSE, 2013). As services have grown, there has been a continuous strive to improve the quality of service provision in healthcare (Kumar, 2013). Safety, patient experience and clinical effectiveness have been highlighted as key areas in defining quality in healthcare (Department of Health (DoH), 2008). Both management and leadership are fundamental in strengthening and improving the quality of care in the expanding…show more content…
Emotional intelligence incorporates the ability to identify, consider and influence the feelings of others and oneself (Hur, van den Berg and Wilderom, 2011), to achieve self and social awareness, empathise with others, and understand the role of emotions in actions and decision-making (Rego et al., 2010). Although leadership is fundamentally an emotional practice (Kerr et al., 2006), emotional intelligence highlights the importance of utilising both emotional and mental approaches in leadership roles (Eason, 2009). Caring competency and professional empathy are vital responsibilities of nursing care and emotional intelligence which promote improved quality of care (Smith, Profetto-McGrath and Cummings, 2009) and increased job satisfaction (Akerjordet and Severinsson, 2010). Emotionally intelligent leaders have the ability to inspire trusting relationships, exhibit effective communication, convey empathy to staff, patients and families, and have a positive influence on busy environments through recognition and appreciation of stressful situations (Smith, Profetto-McGrath and Cummings, 2009; Akerjordet and Severinsson, 2010). Although it is acknowledged that a greater understanding of emotional intelligence as a significant contributor to leadership practice and quality improvement is necessary (Akerjordet and Severinsson, 2010), it is…show more content…
Problem-solving and decision-making are fundamental aspects involved in management planning (Sullivan and Garland, 2010) to deliver patient-centred high-quality care (HIQA, 2012). Planning is important in establishing both long and short-term strategic objectives and targets (HIQA, 2012). Planning occurs at different levels in the healthcare system which aims to develop and communicate the organisation’s mission and to evaluate and effectively distribute resources (Andrews, 2004). Managers are responsible for daily contingency planning in identifying and coping with difficulties in a crisis or reacting in anticipation of problems which may affect staffing levels and working ability (Sullivan and Garland, 2010), as well as ensuring plans are in place for the day-to-day functioning of the unit (Andrews, 2004). Managers must also have the ability to focus on long-term strategic planning for the future direction of the unit to facilitate change and progress (Sullivan and Garland, 2010). It is important that managers provide motivation for staff to carry out the vision of the organisation as expected (Ellis and Abbott, 2010) through praise, recognition and disciplinary action, such as that used in transactional management, in order to achieve high standard

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