New Beginnings Doula Training

New Beginnings Doula Training
Courses for doulas and online childbirth education

Monday, June 20, 2011

Emotional Intelligence or intuition:which ever flies with you.

In nursing school we learned how nursing was an art.  It involved not only scientific skills, but the ability to work with others as well as understand at a deeper level how to specifically help one person.  Many people also refer to this as intuition.  So many times in my career as a nurse I have across examples of how nurses have used this.

One time that stands out in particular was a nurse I worked with in the NICU.  She told me about a particular time when she was taking care of a young infant where she had to use her intuition.  She was taking care of an infant one night, and just felt like something was wrong.  She told the doctor there that night, but the labs and tests all look normal.  But because she had just felt like something was , she was very watchful of this particular baby.  When something happened in the morning that required immediate intervention to safe it's life, she was ready.

Some people call this intuition, some call it spirit, and now the medical world has a word for it: emotional intelligence.  Just to let you know that there is really something out there that involves our emotions and our ability to think and reason.

"The science .... was based largely on research by John Mayer and Peter Salovey,[1,2]cognitive psychologists interested in the role of emotions in reasoning. In the course of their research, Mayer and Salovey identified a subset of people who did not separate reasoning and emotion. Instead, those individuals "used emotions to facilitate their reasoning processes." When compared with other people, these individuals functioned very differently, in fact more effectively, in the work place, in relationships, and in managing their own health and wellness. Mayer and Salovey had a name for this difference. They called it emotional intelligence. Defined as the ability to correctly identify emotions, use emotions in reasoning, and understand emotions and manage them, emotional intelligence became the focus of workforce, academic, organizational, and clinical research that began to demonstrate outcomes that traditional measures of intelligence did not"

Here's a great example from the same site:

"Ann's patient, a middle-aged man in the final stages of cancer, had recently requested to be allowed a natural death and an "AND" order. Ann had cared for him throughout his hospital stay. During the last shift Ann worked, the care team had begun the transition from cure-focused medical treatment to comfort care, per the patient's request. Ann had worked hard to facilitate the transition and get a clear comfort care plan in place. Entering her patient's room after shift report, Ann's experienced eyes saw immediately that her patient had not only deteriorated dramatically since she had last seen him, but that his condition had also declined over the previous hour. He was clearly uncomfortable, gasping for breath, and fearful. Death was suddenly near. There were obvious physiological, psychological, interpersonal, and probably religious and cultural issues that needed to be addressed, but there was little time. What was most important? Where should she begin? Ann's response to her patient, her immediate assessment, problem solving, and interventions arose from a rich menu of experience and skills.
Ann immediately was in contact with her patient's family, and her intervention with the patient began. Ann's rapid assessment of her patient's physical condition included such findings as his obvious pain and air hunger. As important as the physiological issues was her patient's very human experience of dying—his anxieties, desires, and fears. Ann's ability to be effective with her patient was dependent on her ability to both think and feel, to integrate her critical-thinking abilities with her emotional abilities. She was effective because she integrated "her head and her heart." She did this by identifying emotions, understanding them, managing them, and using her emotions to facilitate her reasoning—these are the skills that make up emotional intelligence."

So whatever you want to call it, it's there and it's real.  Again from the same article,

"Approximately three-dozen research reports that represent over seven countries were identified in a literature search that extended from the first nursing research study on emotional intelligence in 1999 to August 2010. As with emotional intelligence research in professions outside nursing, the earliest nursing research on emotional intelligence was focused on nursing leadership.[7–9] Some research focused on specialty nurses or nursing students.[10–16]Other research has focused on job stress, job satisfaction, physical health, and burnout.[17–22] A few researchers began to examine patients' emotional intelligence and how it related to care outcomes.[23,24] Other studies explored the presence of emotional intelligence in nursing practice and its relationship with concepts such as intuition, professionalism, and caring. In one study, emotional intelligence in nurses correlated with patients' perception of caring behaviors on the part of the nurse.[25,26]
Nursing research on emotional intelligence has also examined its role in nursing technology and in conflict management among nurses.[16,27] Nursing workforce research has demonstrated both pilot and supporting evidence of correlations between measured emotional intelligence and job performance. Emotional intelligence scores have also correlated with retention in nursing and self-reported organizational commitment.[27,28]Correlation between emotional intelligence scores and nurses' ethical behavior has also been explored."

No comments:

Birth is a Journey: Does it have to be life changing?

  • One woman might have to climb on an overfilled boat, risking her life and nearly dying as she escapes over the ocean to come to this land. This experience could certainly be life altering. It may very well color the rest of her life, positively or negatively. (I overcame this amazing struggle and here I am triumphant! OR Holy crap, that was SO hard I don’t know if I can go on! By the way, neither response is “right”. No one would judge the woman with the 2nd response.)
  • One woman may buy an airplane ticket, sit on a comfortable 747 and fly to America with a nice smooth flight and landing. She is happy to be in America. Those welcoming her are glad she is here safe and sound. She may only travel by plane 2-4 times in her life, so it is pretty memorable. But the journey itself probably wouldn’t be life changing; it would simply be a journey.
  • One woman may learn to fly an ultra-light plane to lead a flock of geese into America teaching them to migrate. This experience could certainly be empowering and life altering.