Nurturing yourself and each other: the value of emotional intelligence

Dooley, Dolores, East, Leah, and Nagle, Cate (2018) Nurturing yourself and each other: the value of emotional intelligence. Women and Birth, 31 (S1). O29. S13-S13.

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Background: Emotional intelligence refers to the individual's capacity to identify, use, understand and respond appropriately to emotions in themselves and others. The nursing and midwifery literature recommends emotional intelligence as an important construct for enhancing well-being amongst nurses and midwives. Despite this, how nursing and midwifery students perceive emotional intelligence is not well understood. Emotional intelligence capabilities are seen as fundamental to the student nurse or midwifes ability to negotiate the emotional complexities of clinical practice as well as support their own emotional well-being.

Objective: The study aimed to explore final year undergraduate nursing and midwifery students' perceptions of emotional intelligence.

Method: Qualitative data were collected via face to face semi-structured interviews with final year Bachelor of Nursing and Bachelor of Nursing and Bachelor of Midwifery enrolled at Deakin University, Victoria. Interviews were digitally recorded with participants' written and informed consent and professionally transcribed. Data was analysed using thematic analysis.

Key Findings: Emotional intelligence was valued as an important concept, yet the application of emotional intelligence to their undergraduate curriculum was not well-defined. Participants appeared to be caught between competing paradigms; their perceptions of emotional intelligence and the reality of the clinical environment. Participants acknowledged the emotional aspects of their classroom and clinical learning, but were ill equipped and/or were not supported in linking their coping strategies to emotional intelligence. Suppression or denial of emotions, or distancing themselves behind tasks and policies were some of the strategies employed by participants in their attempt to impose emotional control within the clinical environment.

Conclusion: Explicitly nurturing emotional intelligence in their undergraduate years would convey to nursing and midwifery students the importance of emotional well-being and may better equip them to manage the emotional complexities of their professional life.

Item ID: 55864
Item Type: Article (Abstract)
ISSN: 1878-1799
Additional Information:

Presented at the Australian College of Midwives National Conference, 15-18 October 2018, Perth, WA, Australia

Date Deposited: 17 Oct 2018 03:08
FoR Codes: 13 EDUCATION > 1399 Other Education > 139999 Education not elsewhere classified @ 50%
11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1110 Nursing > 111006 Midwifery @ 50%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9205 Specific Population Health (excl. Indigenous Health) > 920507 Womens Health @ 50%
92 HEALTH > 9205 Specific Population Health (excl. Indigenous Health) > 920501 Child Health @ 50%
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