Emotional intelligence (EI) is the capacity to recognize one's own feelings and those of others, to motivate themselves and to manage emotions effectively. An emotional competence is a learned capacity based on emotional intelligence that contributes to effective performance at work. The clinical encounter, or the relation between nurse and patient, is perhaps unique in that the exchange and processing of emotionally laden information must often occur rapidly and between two people who may be near strangers to one another. Because of the "emotional labor" involved in many clinical relationships, it is not surprising that studies have been made to understand the correlation between nurses' emotional intelligence and clinical competence. The ability of the patient to respond illness, and even perception of oneself as healthy or sick, may similarly depend upon the nurse' emotional intelligence and competence.
There is a growing body of evidence, however, that individual behaviors significantly influence outcomes and warrant more attention. For instance, relatively simple protocols can virtually eliminate certain hospital-acquired infections. Some hospitals, though, adopt these protocols but are unsuccessful.
Research of EI and job performance shows mixed results: a positive relation has been found in some of the studies, in others there was no relation or an inconsistent one. This led researchers Cote and Miners to offer a compensatory model between EI and IQ that posits that the association between EI and job performance becomes more positive as cognitive intelligence decreases, an idea first proposed in the context of academic performance (Petrides, Frederickson & Furnham, 2004). The results of the former study supported the compensatory model: employees with low IQ get higher task performance and organizational citizenship behavior directed at the organization, the higher their EI.
The review of literature indicated a stronger gap in information about Emotional Intelligence in the Philippines specifically in the nursing practice. The nursing profession demands that the nurse, in the process of care, has to interact with the patients, the medical fraternity and the health care workers constantly. Hence, "Nurse-Patient Interaction" is the pulse of the nursing practice. This interaction is not just conversation. It is a complex process that involves nurse perception, understanding of the patient emotions and utilization of the perceptions to manage patient situations towards the goal of effective patient care. (The Journal of Nursing, American Society of Registered Nurses, November 1, 2007, ISSN 1940-6967).
Developing emotional intelligence requires that nurses unlearn old habits of thought, feeling, and action that are deeply ingrained, and grow new ones. Such a process takes motivation, effort, time, support and sustained practice. Nurses caring for different personality of patients in the hospital may encounter complex feelings that may affect the quality of care rendered to the patients being cared of. The emotional intelligence of the nurse plays an important role on how a nurse can cope with the demands of the different kinds of personality a nurse encounters every day.
This study determined the level of emotional intelligence and clinical competence among the nurses in a government hospital, so that the researcher being the trained supervisor in the said institution will be able to design a training program tailored-fit to the said respondents and to fill-in the gap in EI information.