Published research reports that Emotional Intelligence (EI) skills are correlated with health professionals’ performance (Satterfield, Swenson, & Rabow, 2009) (Weng, Hung, Liu, & et al, 2011). There is an association between health professionals’ EI, patient satisfaction, and health outcomes (Morals, 2014). A poor provider/patient relationship creates patients’ mistrust of the healthcare system, and less adherence to a health professional’s advice. Several articles indicate that EI training in healthcare has improved empathy and quality of care, suggesting that the training helps those who are not natural communicators to learn and develop their reflective abilities. Other studies have found that integrating EI training into graduate medical education has improved physicians’ interpersonal, intrapersonal as well as intercultural communication skills; creating a more caring and empathetic environment for patients, building better team dynamics and allowing health professionals to maintain self-care. Furthermore, EI training will enable health professionals to develop personal and social management skills and build leadership skills.
Qatar’s high-density multicultural setting has made cultural competency education a pressing need in healthcare. Emotional Intelligence (EI) training is one of the core skills that cultural competency educators are currently including in their cross-cultural trainings. Intolerance of cultural differences may result in a liability. In some cases, patients may fail to follow instructions because they feel misunderstood or not treated with enough respect. Doctors, on the other hand, can be unaware that they have misunderstood the patient’s emotions or that they have been disrespectful. Since emotions strongly influence thinking, behaviors and actions, emotional regulation should be coupled with teaching otherwise it may result in medical errors. Low EI skills could lead to failure to meet patients’ needs, create negative dynamics within the medical team and cause physicians to be emotionally burnt out. EI is not an innate quality bestowed at birth, it is a learning skill that requires continuous training to be developed and enhanced.
Identified Practice Gaps/Educational Needs
Health professionals need to be aware of their own emotions. They need to learn to build personal competency i.e. self-awareness and self-management and to avoid being emotionally hijacked. Health professionals need to accurately assess their patients’ and colleagues’ emotions, understand their motives and be empathetic. They should be able to utilize their self-awareness, self-management, social awareness and relationship management skills to navigate situations constructively.
The Mastering Emotional Intelligence - Level 1 course is designed to improve health professionals’ EI skills and guide them to use the power of EI to create a healthy, effective, equitable and compassionate social and work environment ultimately leading to improved patient outcomes.
At the end of the course, participants will be able to:
- Define emotions, intelligence and Emotional Intelligence.
- Describe the background of Emotional Intelligence as an ability-based skill.
- Recognize the impact of Emotional Intelligence on healthcare.
- Identify the four core skills of Emotional Intelligence.
- Discuss the Emotional Intelligence strategies.
- Set up the Emotional Intelligence future work plan and goals.
Physicians, nurses, dentists, pharmacists, allied health professionals, educators, researchers and administrators.
Institute for Population Health