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2012 Master's Level Graduate Research Conference

Session I - Session II - Session III - Session IV

Caring Encounters of Nurses and the Role of Emotional Intelligence

Caring Encounters of Nurses and the Role of Emotional Intelligence Purpose: This phenomenological study explores the role emotional intelligence plays in the provision of holistic nursing care in the rural acute care setting. Emotional intelligence is defined as a skill set that includes the abilities to perceive, identify, use, and manage emotions (Mayer, Salovey, & Caruso, 2008). McQueen (2004) views emotional intelligence as a tool that allows nursing to impact the quality of care provided. Design: Interpretive phenomenology guided the data collection and team interpretation of the seven-step process described by Diekelmann, Allen, & Tanner, (1989). A purposive and convenience sample of ten registered nurses completed the semi-structured interviews by describing an encounter they felt illustrated the “essence” of nursing. The identified themes were compared with the emotional intelligence framework, domains, and competencies outlined by Kooker, Shoultz, and Codier (2007). Findings: Emerging themes identified include: (1) Establishing connection, (2) Communicating care through time, touch, and presence, (3) Caring for patient and family as a whole, (4) Making a difference, (5) Facing and Embracing Challenges. All four domains of emotional intelligence were identified in the caring encounters relayed by the participants. Conclusions/Implications: Shorter hospital stays require nurses to develop caring, therapeutic relationships with patients quickly. It is important to identify and understand the role emotional intelligence plays in these relationships. Nursing administrators and educators must be cognizant of the need to teach emotional intelligence skills to nurses. Emotional intelligence equips nursing to meet the challenges of caring for patients today.

Presenter: Cathy Wells (Roberts Wesleyan College) -- wells_cathy@roberts.edu
Topic: Occupational Therapy/Nursing - Panel
Location: 102 Edwards
Time: 10:30 am (Session II)

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