Emotional intelligence or quotient (EQ) is a trait and aptitude that enables individuals to observe, comprehend, and categorize their emotions in a better way. They have better self-awareness, empathy, self-management, and social and interpersonal skills. These traits also help them read, predict, and understand others. It’s a vital and helpful trait in professions where workers labor physically, mentally, and emotionally, such as healthcare.
Healthcare is a high-stress profession where almost every career niche requires high EQ. Nearly every working day is unpredictable when your work schedule revolves around emergencies. Thus, workers without EQ cannot cope with the ups and downs of this demanding profession. If they’re not stable in emergencies and overwhelming situations, they cannot lend a helping hand to vulnerable individuals. Hence, a better grip over their emotions helps them make impartial and objective decisions and properly guide their subordinates, dependents, and patients. EQ helps them withstand pressure and deliver quality caregiving services. They’re also better teammates, leaders, and mentors with high EQ.
The following passages enlist some healthcare careers that demand high emotional intelligence.
Psychologists study and evaluate human behavior and the mind for well-being purposes. They use counseling therapy to help and rehabilitate people with cognitive and behavioral healthcare challenges. They help people manage and regulate their emotions and sentiments to better cope with individual, kinship, and social life challenges.
Psychologists have a broad scope, and their services do not confine to healthcare facilities. They also help people rehabilitate from traumas, strengthen emotional stability, and regulate emotions for better performance in other walks of their lives. It means they have a broader scope to render psychology services. Therapists, clinicians, drug counselors, client care managers, behavioral health experts, and vocational trainers are some specialties and careers in rehab for aspiring psychologists.
But diverse career choices do not nullify that comprehension of the human mind and behavior is complex and challenging. Hence, psychologists work on their emotional fitness and intelligence to maintain composure and deliver compassionate care.
Emergency room nurse
Emergency room nurses attend to patients with urgent medical assistance and treatment. They are responsible for an immediate and thorough evaluation of the patient’s condition and injuries. And to do so, they stabilize patients, observe vitals, bandage wounds, run tests, transfuse blood, administer vitals, and provide other relieving services.
ER nurses are always engrossed in work to ensure every patient receives urgent, attentive, and quality care. They have a life-saving role in patients’ lives. But ER duties are pressing, stressful, and exhausting. Nurses do not get time to take a breath and recharge themselves, as ER is always busy and unpredictable. Their job demands undivided focus, readiness, and agility for multitasking. Since every day is overwhelming and tiring, not everyone can withstand ER challenges without emotional intelligence and stability. It means ER nurses must also possess high emotional intelligence.
Paramedic staff works at the frontline of the healthcare industry. They are always on the go to attend to emergencies, reach the scene, and dispatch unstable patients. But that’s not all. They also have to stabilize patients with CPR, defibrillation, wound dressing, vitals, and other emergency and first aid services. In short, it is a nerve-wracking and stressful job that requires high levels of emotional, mental, and physical strength and fitness.
Paramedic work is similar to battlefield soldiers who are always on high alert and on the move. Thus, it would be challenging to perform paramedic duties in emergencies and unpredictable situations without emotional strength and intelligence.
Laboratory technician is also attention and precision demanding job similar to other medical specialties. Laboratory technicians carry out diverse responsibilities, such as collecting and analyzing specimen samples and providing diagnostic reports for further assessments and treatment of a healthcare condition. Laboratory database management, sanitization, and the implementation of quality control protocols also fall under their job responsibilities. In addition, lab technicians assist doctors and physicians in consultation and operation rooms to operate medical equipment. They also collaborate with other departments to speed up diagnostic procedures.
Tons of high-priority tasks in a healthcare facility require excellence in time management, planning, organization, critical observation, research, teamwork, and coordination skills. Therefore, lab technicians also work overnight and off schedules to clear a regular backlog of hundreds of blood tests. Hence, it is among the emotionally and physically challenging jobs, and without the knack for stress management, it is hard to fulfill such pressing responsibilities.
Physiotherapy is a rehabilitative approach that does not involve medications or other invasive treatment procedures. Physiotherapists cater to both acute and chronic healthcare challenges. For instance, patients with orthopedic, neurological, and respiratory conditions, cancer, diabetes, stroke, heart attack, and surgery can benefit from physiotherapy. Physiotherapists engage patients in movement exercises to restore function and mobility of the affected organs. Patients also practice strength-building exercises to strengthen muscles, joints, and bones.
But rehabilitation via physiotherapy takes time to manifest noticeable and productive results. As a result, it is a toiling journey for patients and their physiotherapists. Extensive treatment duration, slow recovery outcomes, long working hours, and high expectations affect physiotherapists’ emotional, physical, and mental wellness. Even if physiotherapists do not perform invasive treatment procedures, their work is equally challenging as doctors, physicians, and surgeons. They can also stress out and get exhausted from patients’ experiences. Hence, their job also requires high emotional intelligence to render quality services.
Oncologists are healthcare experts specializing in cancer treatment, a chronic healthcare condition with severe symptoms. Since cancer prognosis is challenging in the early stages, many malignancies progress silently. And many advanced-stage cancer patients end up with fewer conclusive remedies. Some cancers are also notorious for remission and recurrence even after successful treatment. Given the complex nature of the illnesses, oncologists experience similar emotional and psychological turmoil as their patients.
Patients’ painful journeys and experiences are equally overwhelming for oncology experts. Their empathetic connection with patients is counteractive to their emotional, mental, and physical health. Hence, they practice coping exercises to utilize their expertise, emotional intelligence, and knowledge. Yet, many scientific studies refer to oncology as a career path with higher rates of burnout and exhaustion.
Geriatric nurses look after elderly populations. Their duties are challenging as the nursing needs of the elderly are not simple—most elderly patients battle multifaceted emotional, physical, and psychological healthcare challenges. And most of the time, healthcare professionals do not have a conclusive remedy for their health issues. Symptomatic treatment and nursing are the only options to alleviate their discomfort and suffering.
But it’s not easy to console these patients and help them acknowledge and live with their pain. That is why individuals with better emotional stability and EQ pursue a career in geriatric nursing. Geriatric nurses further receive specialized training to strengthen their emotional and cognitive flexibility.
Healthcare may be a white-collar job, but it is not a relaxed profession. Almost every healthcare niche is nerve-wracking, demanding, and stressful. Hence, emotional intelligence is an inevitable trait for every healthcare worker. Those who fail to guard and regulate emotions cannot withstand the complexities and challenges of this profession.