As a result, these interactions must also be carefully managed, using the doctrine of observation and interaction. Again, special attention must be paid to their unique characteristics, as these will drive responses.
Emotional intelligence has been defined by Daniel Goleman (2003) as the ability to manage ones emotions and the emotions of others. Surgery is a very stressful point in the life of the patient and in the lives of the patients family. The role of the nurse anesthetist goes beyond merely providing anesthesia. The role can be explained as providing comfort. While part of that comfort is delivered to the patients body with the anesthesia, the mental comfort aspect is equally important. Having a patient mentally ready for the procedure also makes the procedure less risky.
The nurse anesthetist therefore plays a critical role in ensuring the success of the procedure. This vision is executed through careful use of emotional intelligence. The nurse anesthetist must be able to observe the patient and govern their interactions with the patient in line with that observation and the vision for a successful outcome.
It is also important that healthy relationships are maintained with both the anesthetists co-workers and with the patients family, in order that all possible stress that could arise is managed effectively, and with the patients best outcome in mind. The role of the nurse anesthetist as the source of calm and healing cannot be understated and it is emotional intelligence, not just technical skill that drives success in this role. I believe I bring a high level of emotional intelligence to the role, and because EI is something that is constantly evolving, I hope to continue to improve, which will make me the best nurse anesthetist possible.
Goleman, D., Boyatzis, R. & McKee, A. (2002) Primal leadership: Learning to lead with emotional intelligence. Boston: Harvard Business School Press.
Reginella, M. (1953). The anesthetist and the patient. American Journal of Nursing. Vol 53 (8) 984-986.
Wall, B. (2008). Working relationships: Using emotional intelligence to enhance your effectiveness with others. Mountain View, CA: Davies-Black Publishing.
Goleman, D. (2002). Working with emotional intelligence. Retrieved April.