How To Improve Emotional Intelligence In Nursing

Nurses are professionals who work with patients, families, and other members of the healthcare team constantly. As such, they must be able to handle difficult situations effectively and consistently.

Nurses that show poor emotional regulation are a danger to patient care. Poorly regulated emotions can negatively affect performance as nurses fail to put forth their best effort due to stress or frustration.

This is particularly true in nursing positions like nurse manager where you have close relationships with colleagues and staff.

If a coworker does not seem willing to cooperate or collaborate, you may feel pressured into acting similarly. In turn, this could negatively impact your own job and personal health and wellness.

Emotional intelligence (EI) refers to one’s ability to recognize, understand, and manage one’s own feelings and those of others. It also includes how well someone controls his or her reactions to various stimuli.

There are several factors that influence EI. Genetics, early experiences, education, socialization, and life events all play a significant part in shaping one’s level of empathy and perception of other people.

Luckily for you, there are ways to improve your overall EQ! This article will go over some simple strategies to try.

Have patience

how to improve emotional intelligence in nursing

As mentioned before, one of the most important things that can improve your emotional intelligence is having a good amount of patience. This could be with people or situations, which are beyond our control.

Nurses deal with so many different patients and issues every day, it’s easy to get distracted by something else and lose sight of what needs to be done.

Having patience will help you focus more effectively and get the job done properly.

It also helps you maintain your own calm and keeps you motivated since you’ll have seen that you made an effort and completed what you set out to do.

Drinking alcohol may contribute to this because alcohol lowers serotonin levels, a neurotransmitter linked to mood regulation. So, drinking too much might make it harder for you to feel happy or enjoy yourself.

However, staying sober during social events or work hours is a better option than drinking.

You would probably agree that nurses are some of the hardest working individuals around!

So, practicing self-control and being patient with yourself and others is essential to improving your emotional intelligence. It’s a worthy investment if you want to thrive as a nurse.

Make eye contact

how to improve emotional intelligence in nursing

When you look at someone, your eyes are 2 of the most important ways that people perceive each other. A recent study conducted by psychologist Megumi Murofushi found that making direct eye contact with someone for just six seconds can increase trust between two individuals.

She called this effect the “contact illusion” because it seems like a short time, but still enough to create confidence. It works even better if the person being contacted looks away first before looking back. This cuts off any potential threat or avoidance of engagement which increases their sense of security.

Making direct eye contact is one way to improve emotional intelligence in nursing. If you want to see how well you handle relationships, watch what you do when you meet new people.

Practice makes perfect, so keep doing it!

Your fellow nurses would also be able to tell whether you have strong interpersonal skills by how you treat them.

Be realistic

how to improve emotional intelligence in nursing

A lot of theories about emotional intelligence (EI) emphasize that you can learn it, but they all seem to miss the most important thing: being able to identify your emotions is a fundamental part of improving your EI.

Some theories go so far as to suggest that people with higher EI are just better at suppressing their feelings. This isn’t true — we know from research that both men and women find equal benefit in learning how to recognize and manage their emotions.

So, if there’s one thing you should realize about EI, it’s that feeling aware is an essential component.

There are several reasons why knowing your own emotions is integral to nursing. First, as mentioned before, nurses spend a significant amount of time interacting with patients, families, and colleagues. When someone else is upset or hurt, you would like to be prepared for that.

Second, some studies show that nurses who have high levels of empathy tend to do better than those who don’t. Empathy means understanding what another person is going through and sharing that experience – something that many nurses consider to be a strength.

Third, personal experiences like divorce, death of a loved one, or retirement can sometimes reduce emotional stability. If you’re not sure what you feel yourself, you may look more closely at the emotions of others. You could also ask other people about their feelings to see whether you understand them well enough.

Share your experiences

how to improve emotional intelligence in nursing

As mentioned earlier, nursing is an emotionally demanding career. Nurses are constantly assessing patients’ conditions and predicting what treatments will work or not work.

If you want to improve your emotional intelligence as a nurse, then sharing your experiences is one of the best things you can do.

When something unexpected happens, share how you feel about it. For example, if a patient doesn’t respond to treatment, ask yourself why that happened and what could be done differently next time.

By giving yourself more time to reflect on situations, you’ll learn how to manage your emotions better.

At the same time, you’ll also realize there’s no perfect way to deal with every situation, which helps eliminate some stress from your life.

Be honest with your peers

how to improve emotional intelligence in nursing

As mentioned before, nurses are some of the most influential people in this world. If you’re not careful, they can use their knowledge and position to take advantage of you or hurt you for no reason.

Nurses have vast amounts of knowledge that they share it with everyone around them. This is why being able to recognize and manage your emotions is so important as a nurse.

If a coworker does something that makes you feel bad, put aside any personal issues and agree to disagree. Or better yet, do not let things fester for too long!

Ask yourself what part of the situation was due to their lack of emotional intelligence and if there's anything you could've done to prevent it, then don't beat yourself up about it.

Instead, learn from the experience and move on. Keep your composure and focus on your priorities and tasks at hand.

Listen to others closely

how to improve emotional intelligence in nursing

In nursing, you will spend a lot of time listening to your colleagues and superiors talk about things. You will have to really listen to what they say and how they say it to get good insights into their feelings and emotions.

By doing this, you can learn a lot about what is going on in their lives, about any problems that may exist between them and themself or someone else, and about potential weaknesses they may have as professionals.

It also helps you understand why certain things are happening and if they are able to perform their job well. All of these qualities are important for nurses to know.

At the same time, you will need to be aware of whether there is something wrong or inappropriate with the person talking. If you find that something exists, you must do everything possible to fix it before letting other people know or worse, affecting patient care.

In addition to using active listening to gather information, use silence to evaluate how someone is feeling. When someone pauses or stops speaking during a conversation, that is usually because they are thinking about something or struggling with something.

If they seem nervous, distracted, or uncomfortable, try not to press them but instead give them space and see where the discussion goes from there.

Don’t be egotistical

how to improve emotional intelligence in nursing

As mentioned earlier, nurses with higher emotional intelligence are better listeners, understand other people’s emotions, show empathy, and manage their own emotions more effectively.

But before you can develop these skills, you need to know what makes someone feel positive about themselves or angry, for example.

This is called understanding social cues. If you don’t, then it will be hard for others to tell if you are happy around them, or if they just made you that way.

You must learn how to read nonverbal clues such as tone of voice, body language, and expression. When there are no signs that something isn’t going well, then things often go from bad to worse.

So, try to pay attention to social cues when interacting with patients, colleagues, and family members. This will help maintain an appropriate level of stress and prevent situations where one person may hurt another.

It also helps promote teamwork and trust by showing respect for each other and his or her position.

Be humble

how to improve emotional intelligence in nursing

A key element of emotional intelligence is being able to identify your own emotions and understand what effect they have on you and others. Being aware of your strengths and weaknesses can help you improve how well you regulate your emotions.

A good way to do this is by learning about emotional-intelligence theories such as those mentioned above. But before you start improving, make sure you know enough about the theory already!

Research has shown that people who are higher in emotional intelligence are more likely to be successful at work and outside of it. So once you’ve got the basics down, try applying some of these concepts to learn from yourself and better manage your moods and stress levels.

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