Using Emotional Intelligence to Communicate in a Health Care Setting

1161 Words Apr 30th, 2013 5 Pages
Before discussing how a healthcare worker uses emotional intelligence when establishing communication with a client in a health care environment, it is imperative to first have a clear understanding of what emotional intelligence is. Only then can we assess how it is used by a healthcare worker when communicating with client and its relevance in such a setting.

Defining what communication means in this context is also important to understanding how a healthcare worker uses emotional intelligence to establish effective discourse with a client. Communication is much more than just words and encompasses intrapersonal, interpersonal and observational skills which are critical when communicating with a client. With this in mind, it could be
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As McEwen and Kraszewski (2010, p.1) point out, understanding and engaging various modes of communication affords the healthcare worker an opportunity to critically analyse the interactions between themselves and the patient. Information garnered through this analysis can prove vital when formulating an individual care plan for the patient.

The links between emotional intelligence and communicating effectively can now be seen as taking a holistic approach to patient care. Establishing trust and respect is the foundation of good communication, and the use of emotional intelligence allows the healthcare worker to address the needs of a patient individually and this cultivates trust and respect within the relationship.

However, as Birks and Watt (2007, p.368) point out, the level of emotional intelligence each healthcare worker possesses will vary and empirical studies measuring emotional intelligence are flawed. This brings into question any ideas of uniformity in the emotional intelligence approach to patient care. As such, developing consistent levels of effective communication within a healthcare environment through the use of emotional intelligence seems unlikely.

This view is countered by Ioannidou and Konstantikaki (2008, p. 121), who suggest that emotional intelligence is something that can be taught. With the acceptance of this idea and with the use of the previously defined model of emotional intelligence, we can see how