Original Research

The emotional intelligence of a group of critical-care nurses in South Africa

Amanda Towell, Elzabe Nel, Ann Müller
Health SA Gesondheid | Vol 18, No 1 | a674 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hsag.v18i1.674 | © 2013 Amanda Towell, Elzabe Nel, Ann Müller | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 09 May 2012 | Published: 20 November 2013

About the author(s)

Amanda Towell, Department of Nursing, University of Johannesburg, South Africa
Elzabe Nel, Department of Nursing, University of Johannesburg, South Africa
Ann Müller, Department of Nursing, University of Johannesburg, South Africa


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Abstract

Critical-care nurses often look after three or more critically-ill patients during a shift. The workload and emotional stress can lead to disharmony between the nurse’s body, mind and spirit. Nurses with a high emotional intelligence have less emotional exhaustion and psychosomatic symptoms; they enjoy better emotional health; gain more satisfaction from their actions (both at work and at home); and have improved relationships with colleagues at work. The question arises: what is the emotional intelligence of critical-care nurses? A quantitative survey was conducted. The target population was registered nurses working in critical-care units who attended the Critical Care Congress 2009 (N = 380). Data were collected with the use of the Trait Emotional Intelligence Short Form and analysed using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences software. The sample (n = 220) was mainly a mature, female and professionally-experienced group of registered nurses. They held a variety of job descriptions within various critical-care units. Statistics indicated that the standard deviations were small and no aberrant aspects such as demographics skewed the findings. The conclusion was made that registered nurses who are older and that have more experience in critical care appear to have a higher range of emotional intelligence.

Kritiekesorg-verpleegkundiges verpleeg dikwels drie of meer pasiënte wat kritiek siek is, tydens een skof. Die werkslading kan tot emosionele spanning ly wat ’n wanbalans tussen die liggaam, siel en gees van die verpleegkundiges laat ontstaan. Verpleekundiges met ’n hoë emosionele intelligensie ondervind minder emosionele uitbranding en psigosomatiese symptome. Hulle toon ’n beter emosionele gesondheid, ervaar meer werks- en tuisbevrediging en het beter verhoudings met hulle kollegas. The vraag wat ontstaan is ‘wat is die emosionel intelligensie van kritieksorg-verpleegkundiges?’ Die toeganglike populasie (N = 380) was geregistreerde verpleegkundiges wat tans in die kritiek sorgeenhede werksaam was en die Critical Care Congress in 2009 bygewoon het. Die data is deur die gebruikmaking van die ‘Trait Emotional Intelligence Short Form’ vraelys ingesamel. Die data is statisties met behulp van die SPSS ontleed. Die populasie (n = 220) was hoofsaaklik n groepe volwasse, vroulike en professioneel ervare verpleegkundiges. Hulle het ’n verskeidenheid van posbeskrywing in die kritieke-sorgeenhede beklee. Die statistieke het ’n minimale standaardafwyking aangetoon. Die gevolgtrekking van die studie is dat geregistreede verpleegkundiges wat ouer en meer ervaring in kritieke sorgverpleging het, ’n hoër vlak van emosionele intelligensie het.


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