Free Essay on Emotional Intelligence and Patient Safety

Published: 2022-12-07
Free Essay on Emotional Intelligence and Patient Safety
Type of paper:  Research proposal
Categories:  Psychology Medicine Emotional intelligence Human services
Pages: 7
Wordcount: 1730 words
15 min read

According to Sommaruga, Casu, Giaquinto, and Gremigni (2017), patient's safety and care must guarantee to each patient a set of diagnostic and therapeutic acts that will ensure the best health outcome, in accordance with the current state of medical science, at the best cost, the least iatrogenic risk, and for his greater satisfaction in terms of procedures, results and human contacts within the health care system. Holbery (2015) states that emotional intelligence plays a great role in enhancing the patient's safety and improving quality of care. Emotional intelligence could be defined as the ability to recognize and manage our own emotions, as well as that of others (Sommaruga et al., 2017). This allows improving the care that is provided; as well as teamwork, well-being and professional satisfaction. According to Foster, Fethney, McKenzie, Fisher, Harkness, and Kozlowski (2017), emotions are incorporated into cognitive processes because they can redirect attention to relevant information, facilitate decision making and the analysis of different points of view. It can also be the basis for creative and innovative proposals. In this way, positive emotions make nurses face problems from multiple perspectives, analyzing them with optimism and perseverance (Powell, Mabry, & Mixer, 2015). Emotions prioritize thinking by directing attention to important information so that emotions facilitate judgment and decision making. Emotional intelligence helps in enhancing patient's safety.

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Purpose of the Study

Emotional Intelligence is important in Nursing because it provides a series of qualities that allow the work to be performed in optimal conditions for both the patient and the professional. The purpose of this project is to examine the relationship between emotional intelligence and patient's safety.

Literature Review

1- Nursing and Emotional Intelligence

According to Al-Hamdan, Oweidat, Al-Faouri, and Codier (2017), communication and collaboration are inseparable from human behavior, and their conformation includes emotions. The term emotional intelligence describes the consciousness, processing, and handling of the wide variety of feelings that humans experience (Codier & Codier, 2015). Foster et al., (2017) agrees with Al-Hamdan et al. (2017) and Codier and Codier (2015) by stating that EI knowledge base will increase sensitivity to others and will contribute to the nurse's ability to provide patient-centered care, accept diversity, manage conflict and be a contributing member of their team.

Rosenstein and Stark (2015) analyzed emotional intelligence from a different perspective. They do so by analyzing the high-stress levels that nurse go through in their jobs and how emotional intelligence is important for nurses. According to Rosenstein and Stark (2015), emotional intelligence is essential in the field of nursing; especially in the context of cuts, injuries, pain, high workload, reduction of incentives, etc. since it allows reducing stress levels by acting directly on stressors, reducing the current increase in the phenomenon of burn-out, avoiding emotional work and lateral violence among nurses. All this allows establishing an optimal relationship within the multidisciplinary team and therefore better patient care; as well as an increase in the personal and professional satisfaction of the nurse.

Powell, Mabry, and Mixer (2015) are much more explicit when describing EI, stating that it has both a verbal and a non-verbal dimension related to the expression of emotions, control of them and their use when solving problems. This is evident throughout the process of counseling a patient and identifying their problems since nurses are not immune to the emotions of a patient (Powell et al., 2015). The interpretation of a patient's emotions can be translated into an improvement in the patient's emotional state and anxiety if the skills offered by EI are put to good use. Just like Rosenstein and Stark (2015), Sommaruga et al. (2017) analyze the concept of EI by first analyzing the hectic work environment of nurses and how they can easily suffer from stress and burnout. According to Sommaruga et al. (2017), it is well known that employees in emotionally charged jobs such as nursing are more vulnerable to high levels of burnout. This leads to great wear and tear on the staff, excessive work stoppages, reduced productivity and efficiency, which are manifested in a deterioration in the quality of care. Nurses deal with the reality inherent in a highly stressful job (Sommaruga et al., 2017).

2- Nursing and Patient Safety

Nurses play a great role in ensuring the safety of their patients. It is the responsibility of the nurse to monitor patients and note any clinical deterioration, nurses are also tasked with detecting any errors, understanding all the care processes, and carrying out many tasks that's ensure that patients are safe (Kutney-Lee et al., 2009). The World Health Organization (WHO) defines patient safety as the absence, for a patient, of unnecessary harm or potential harm associated with health care. Patient safety is a fundamental principle of health care. There is a certain degree of dangerousness inherent in each step of the health care process (Kendall-Gallagher & Blegen, 2009). Adverse events can be related to problems of clinical practice, products, procedures or system. Improving patient safety requires a complex effort on the part of the entire system that covers a wide range of actions aimed at improving performance; the management of safety and environmental risks, including the control of infections; the safe use of medicines, and the safety of equipment, clinical practice and the environment in which health care is provided.

Patient safety implies legal and moral responsibility in the exercise of the profession in a competent and safe manner. In this sense, it is essential to properly assess the aspirants to the profession: they must have a vocation, abilities, and aptitudes. Patient safety is the cornerstone of quality in medical care and needs individual and team approaches by nurses (Longtin, Sax, Leape, Sheridan, Donaldson, & Pittet, 2010). Patient wants to feel safe and confident in the health care received and it is the responsibility of nurses to ensure patients feel safe. The essential components of quality of care are three: The scientific-technical factor (The application of the best available knowledge according to the means and available resources). The perceived factor (The satisfaction of patients with care, results, and treatment received). The institutional or corporate factor: Linked to the image of a health center.

The dimensions of the quality of care can be classified into 8 categories: Professional competence or scientific-technical quality, effectiveness, efficiency, accessibility, satisfaction, adequacy, patient-centered care, and patient safety. Of these dimensions, two of undoubted importance, care centered on the patient and patient safety should be highlighted. The first involves organizing care, thinking of patients rather than those who facilitate it (Aiken et al., 2012). The second involves practicing care free of avoidable damages, which involves developing systems and processes aimed at reducing the probability of occurrence of system failures as well as people's errors and increasing the probability of detecting them when they occur and mitigating their consequences.

3- Emotional Intelligence and Patient Safety.

Al-Hamdan et al. (2017) agree with Codier and Codier (2017) by stating that for health professional's emotional intelligence is extremely important because it allows them to have self-control in their work. The self-control that this gives them helps them to better manage the difficult situations they may face, especially in the field of practical nursing where they work with people in a delicate state of health. This is also important because it allows a nurse to offer the best of himself/herself to his/her clients or patients. Codier and Codier (2015) add that nurses will be better prepared to practice effective communication if they understand the impact of emotions on themselves and on others.

Rather than tackle EI as a single subject, Codier and Codier (2017) break it into several facets (self-control, empathy, and effective communication) and analyzes each facet separately and linking them to EI. According to Codier and Codier (2017), emotional intelligence ensures that nurses have self-regulation. Self-regulation refers to how a person responds to various situations and requires several elements. Feeling upset and thinking about acting aggressively is natural, but self-regulating nurses are able to recognize thoughts and feelings first, and then channel their actions in appropriate and healthy directions. Nurses who are able to self-regulate, can control aggressive or passive behavior, and remain calm under stress. Being able to prevent the loss of self-control, provides the nurse with a moment to stop and think about a situation, to avoid an inappropriate response in a tense situation that may adversely affect the health and safety of a patient (Codier & Codier, 2017). Nurses who develop the ability to have and express empathy as well as having emotional intelligence, are able to treat patients with dignity and compassion, in effect establishing a bridge between science and the art of nursing practice.

There are many factors that can cause stress such as rapid changes and complex environment. In a study on the sources of occupational stress in nurses, the high workload was identified as one of the greatest sources of stress (Codier & Codier, 2017). To avoid all the negative consequences previously described in relation to emotional work, this is where EI plays a key role. EI provides the necessary tools so that the nurse does not change their internal emotions, but empathizes with those of the patient, in such a way that they genuinely feel the same and their internal and external actions change in consonance.

Operational Definition

Emotions: Sudden and momentary emotional reaction, pleasant or painful, often accompanied by physical manifestations or psychological disorders.

Emotional intelligence (EI): The ability to understand, manage and act prudently in human relationships.

Patient's safety: Prevention of any harm to a patient.


Aiken, L. H., Sermeus, W., Van den Heede, K., Sloane, D. M., Busse, R., McKee, M., ... & Tishelman, C. (2012). Patient safety, satisfaction, and quality of hospital care: cross sectional surveys of nurses and patients in 12 countries in Europe and the United States. BMJ, 344, e1717.

AlHamdan, Z., Oweidat, I. A., AlFaouri, I., & Codier, E. (2017). Correlating Emotional intelligence and job performance among Jordanian hospitals' registered nurses. In Nursing forum, 52, (1), 12-20. doi: 10.1111/nuf.12160.

Codier, E., & Codier, D. (2015). A model for the role of emotional intelligence in patient safety. Asia-Pacific journal of oncology nursing, 2(2), 112. DOI: 10.4103/2347-5625.157594

Codier, E., & Codier, D. D. (2017). Could emotional intelligence make patients safer? AJN The American Journal of Nursing, 117(7), 58-62.

Foster, K., Fethney, J., McKenzie, H., Fisher, M., Harkness, E., & Kozlowski, D. (2017). Emotional intelligence increases over time: A longitudinal study of Australian pre-registration nursing students. Nurse education today, 55, 65-70.

Holbery, N. (2015). Emotional intelligence-essential for trauma nursing. International emergency nursing, 23(1), 13-16.

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