The significance of the ability to read the patient’s emotions can hardly be overrated. A nurse must be able to identify the patient’s mood; the given ability helps understand the needs thereof. As a result, the quality of nursing can be improved significantly, and the services delivered will promote a faster recovery (Karimi et l., 2014). The test created by the Berkeley University, though being rather basic and comparatively simple, helps identify the possible issues that a nurse may have decoding the patient’s emotions and suggest the routes that one can take with improving their EI skills.
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Seeing that the test returned rather positive results (19 points out of 20), it can be assumed that my EI rates are quite high. In other words, I am capable of determining the mood of a patient comparatively easily. The skill of decoding the patient’s emotions is likely to be of great help to a nurse as it will allow for the development of the patient-centered care approach (Saeid et al., 2013). The latter, in its turn, can be viewed as the tool for managing each patient’s case individually based on its unique properties; as a result, the diagnosis is going to be correct, and the set of measures designed to address it are going to have a positive effect on the patient’s wellbeing (Kaur, Sambasivan, & Kumar, 2015). Therefore, the comparatively high EI rates, which the test results show, can be deemed as a rather big advantage to me as a nurse.
Hindrances in Nursing Services Provision
One must admit, though, that the skill of reading one’s emotions based on one’s facial expressions is not as simple as the quiz intends to show it. First and most obvious, emotions rarely appear as distilled and pure; instead, they are often combined. For instance, fear can be mixed with anger, whereas joy is quite compatible with excitement, etc. (Chafale & Pimpalkar, 2014). The expressions that the combination of the emotions in question may trigger are barely predictable, which makes the skill of reading them beyond unreliable.
Another problem that the test in question fails to recognize is that people display their emotions in a unique manner that may be strikingly different from the template learned with the help of the test. In other words, what people display may not coincide with their actual feelings, especially when a patient is in the state of shock (e.g., smiling despite feeling pain, etc. (Matsuda et al., 2013)). The range of emotional experiences and the expressions that patients may have in response is very diverse and, thus, needs more than the ability to recognize basic facial muscle movements.
The above-mentioned misunderstandings are likely to affect the leadership process in a rather negative manner. For instance, as a nurse, one may fail to identify the patient’s current condition and emotional needs, therefore, causing a rapid aggravation of the problem. The given observations, however, do not presuppose that EI should not be developed in nurses; quite on the contrary, they mean that a nurse must evolve as an EI leader beyond the ability to recognize basic emotions. By considering more complex and unusual paradigms in the changes of patients’ emotional state, a nurse is likely to become proficient in EI and tend to the patients’ needs in the most efficient manner possible.
The results of the quiz show that I can identify the basic emotions. While there are a few dents in my current understanding of patients’ emotions, the results show that I am on the right track. Nevertheless, there have been a few issues with identifying emotions.
As far as the sixteenth question of the quiz is concerned, distinguishing between shame and sadness turned out to be tricky as it slipped my mind that eyebrows and lips are moved differently when one is sad (inward and downward movements correspondingly). The difference between the specified emotions is quite tangible, however; according to the existing taxonomy, sadness typically manifests itself in the unique movements of the corners of the mouth and the eyes of a patient: “The expression is frequently confused with sadness. But shame doesn’t involve the muscle movements of the sad face – the eyebrows pulled in and partly up, with the lip corners moving down” (Test your emotional intelligence, 2016, p. 16).
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As far as the rest of the test questions are concerned, the answers were correct; however, the correctness of the answers may be explained by not only the intuitive understanding of emotions by the person taking it but also by the range of choices provided. For instance, the first question that the quiz offered concerned choosing between the options such as fear, embarrassment, surprise, and sadness (Test your emotional intelligence, 2016, p. 1), which have very little in common to begin with. Therefore, some of the test questions were very easy, which permitted getting a passing grade relatively easy. However, some of the questions regarding the identification of emotions were quite tricky, such as the one above regarding the emotion of shame.
The test, therefore, has shown that the development of EI is essential for a nurse and that intuition is not enough to identify the patient’s emotional experience. Therefore, the assessment results point to the need to evolve as a nurse and learn more about EI strategies. Paving the way to a patient-centered care, EI is a crucial skill that a nurse must possess.
Chafale, D., & Pimpalkar, A. (2014). Review on developing corpora for sentiment analysis using Plutchik’s wheel of emotions with fuzzy logic. International Journal of Computer Sciences and Engineering, 2(10), 14–18.
Karimi, , L., Leggat, S. G., Donohue, L., Farrell, G., & Couper, G. E. (2014). Emotional rescue: the role of emotional intelligence and emotional labour on well-being and job-stress among community nurses. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 70(1), 176–186.
Kaur, G., Sambasivan, M., & Kumar, N. (2015). Significance of spiritual (SI) and emotional intelligence (EI) on the caring behavior of nurses. Journal of Community & Public Health Nursing, 1(2), 1–3.
Matsuda, Y.-T., Fujimura, T., Katahira, K., Okada, M., Ueno, K., Cheng, K., & Okanoya, K. (2013). The implicit processing of categorical and dimensional strategies: an fMRI study of facial emotion perception. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 7(1), 1–20.
Saeid, Y., Javadi, J., Mokhatri, N. J., & Nir, N. M. (2013). On the relationship between emotional intelligence and demographic variables in nurses. Journal of Military Medicine, 15(1), 87–92.
Test your emotional intelligence. (2016). Web.