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Emotional intelligence: a qualitative study of student nurses’ and midwives’ theoretical and clinical experience
journal contributionposted on 2019-01-01, 00:00 authored by Dolores Dooley, L East, Catherine NagleCatherine Nagle
Background: Emotional intelligence defined as the ability to recognise and respond appropriately to emotions in oneself and others is valued within nursing and midwifery professions. Objective: To explore nursing and midwifery students’ understanding and experiences of emotional intelligence in their undergraduate program. Methods: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with undergraduate nursing and midwifery students. Data were recorded, transcribed and underwent thematic analysis. Findings: Three themes emerged from the interviews with seven participants: Emotional intelligence and undergraduate studies, Emotionally needed to be invested; Emotional intelligence and the clinical environment, I don’t want to like harden up; and Emotional intelligence and patient care, I just felt helpless. Conclusion: The impact of emotions and subsequent behaviours on students’ theoretical learning and clinical practice was significant. Students’ often felt ill-prepared to portray emotional intelligence, particularly within the clinical environment. Impact statement: This study provided valuable insights into nursing and midwifery students’ understanding and experiences of emotional intelligence.