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Validity of transactional analysis and emotional intelligence in training nursing students

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      Introduction: Emotional intelligence (EI) is considered a critical component of a nurse’s characteristic trait which is known as a significant predictor of a person’s job performance and life success. Transactional Analysis (TA) plays a fundamental role in nurse-patient communication and managing emotions during difficult dialect with patients. The aim of this review is to discuss the framework of EI and TA, and how the combined theories can be utilized to further educate nurses and enhance the patient’s experience. Exploring the idea of combining EI, TA, and other theories and adding these addendums to the nursing curriculum may advance the empathy and communication skills of nursing students.

      Methods: The method used in this review is a literature search using databases, such as Medline, EBSCO, and Google Scholar, etc. to form a critical discussion of this area. Key words such as emotional intelligence, transactional analysis, nursing curriculum, and relating theoretical models were used to identify applicable documents. Four studies involving EI and TA were sampled. A combination of data collection tools, such as lecture series and intervention programs, were used to authenticate the results. Other instruments used were ego state questionnaires, empathy, and five point Likert scales. No study design or type of literature was excluded in healthcare to substantiate the application of EI and TA into the nursing curriculum.

      Results: Sixteen nurses attended a six-week psycho-education program using communication and empathy scales, and patient satisfaction surveys to improve their empathetic and communication skills. The result of the mean communication score (177.8±20) increased to (198.8±15) after training (p=0.001). The empathy score increased from 25.7±7 to 32.6±6 (p=0.001). The overall result reflects that training can improve emergency nurse’s communication and empathy skills.

      Conclusion: The data suggests there are under-researched theories with futuristic topics that have value to the nursing community. Suitable evaluation of these theories is vital to nursing education. Implementation and training for nursing students and existing nurses may help shift the culture of medical education ahead by creating a more educated and empathetic work environment.

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      Most cited references 34

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      Emotional intelligence in nursing work.

       Anne McQueen (2004)
      Emotional labour has been widely accepted in the literature as part of nursing work, however the contribution of emotional intelligence in the nursing context requires further study. This paper aims to present an analysis of the literature on emotional intelligence and emotional labour, and consider the value of emotional intelligence to nursing. A literature search was undertaken using the CINAHL and MEDLINE databases. Search terms used were 'emotions', 'intelligence', 'emotions and intelligence' and 'emotional labour'. A hand-search of relevant journals and significant references added to the data. Emotional intelligence plays an important part in forming successful human relationships. Emotional labour is important in establishing therapeutic nurse-patient relationships but carries the risk of 'burnout' if prolonged or intense. To prevent this, nurses need to adopt strategies to protect their health. The potential value of emotional intelligence in this emotional work is an issue that still needs to be explored. Analysis of the literature suggests that the modern demands of nursing draw on the skills of emotional intelligence to meet the needs of direct patient care and co-operative negotiations with the multidisciplinary team. The significance of this needs to be recognized in nurse education. The link between emotional intelligence and emotional labour is a fruitful area for further research. The potential benefits of gaining a better understanding of how these concepts interact is largely conjecture until we have more evidence. The prospect that there may be advantages to both nurses and patients is a motivating factor for future researchers.
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        The heart of the art: emotional intelligence in nurse education.

        The concept of emotional intelligence has grown in popularity over the last two decades, generating interest both at a social and a professional level. Concurrent developments in nursing relate to the recognition of the impact of self-awareness and reflexive practice on the quality of the patient experience and the drive toward evidence-based patient centred models of care. The move of nurse training into higher education heralded many changes and indeed challenges for the profession as a whole. Traditionally, nurse education has been viewed as an essentialist education, the main emphasis being on fitness for practice and the statutory competencies. However, the transfer into the academy confronts the very notion of what constitutes this fitness for practice. Many curricula now make reference in some way to the notion of an emotionally intelligent practitioner, one for whom theory, practice and research are inextricably bound up with tacit and experiential knowledge. In this paper we argue that much of what is described within curriculum documentation is little more than rhetoric when the surface is scratched. Further, we propose that some educationalists and practitioners have embraced the concept of emotional intelligence uncritically, and without fully grasping the entirety of its meaning and application. We attempt to make explicit the manner in which emotional intelligence can be more realistically and appropriately integrated into the profession and conclude by suggesting a model of transformatory learning for nurse education.
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          Emotional intelligence: Why it can matter more than IQ


            Author and article information

            [1 ]Masters in health administration, University of La Verne, La Verne, United States
            Author notes
            Correspondence: Brandi L Whitley-Hunter, University of La Verne, La Verne, United States, Tel: +1-760-9815397,
            J Adv Med Educ Prof
            J Adv Med Educ Prof
            Journal of Advances in Medical Education & Professionalism
            Shiraz University of Medical Sciences (Shiraz, Iran )
            October 2014
            : 2
            : 4
            : 138-145
            25512937 4235560 jamp-2-138
            © 2014: Journal of Advances in Medical Education & Professionalism

            This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, ( which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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