Academic journal article American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education

Development and Assessment of Social and Emotional Competence through Simulated Patient Consultations

Academic journal article American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education

Development and Assessment of Social and Emotional Competence through Simulated Patient Consultations

Article excerpt

INTRODUCTION

Aristotle said that, "Those who possess the rare skill to be angry with the right person, to the right degree, at the right time, for the right purpose, and the right way are at an advantage in any domain of life." This historical statement provides the philosophical basis for the modern concept of emotional intelligence. As pharmacists establish new roles in the provision of patient-centered care and participate in interprofessional healthcare teams, the concept of emotional intelligence has become imperative for effective job performance. For example, in a white paper prepared for the American Association of College of Pharmacy 2009 Curricular Change Summit, authors stated that in the past, pharmacy education focused on developing skills needed for preparing and dispensing medications in a safe and effective way. (1) The white paper identifies 10 content or learning strategies that must be incorporated into the pharmacy curriculum, over half of which relate to social and emotional development. (1,2) Although the importance of learning emotional intelligence and incorporating it into healthcare have been discussed in the literature, there has been little research on measuring emotional intelligence and, more importantly, assessing emotional intelligence development in the pharmacy curriculum.

Emotional intelligence is generally defined as the overlap between emotion and intelligence, or more simply, the intelligent use of emotions. Emotional intelligence is the means to monitor, discriminate, and use emotional information to facilitate thought. (3,4) A popular model of emotional intelligence was advocated by Goleman's founding research and refined by Boyatzis' findings. (3,5,6) Boyatzis and Goleman view emotional intelligence as a set of related competencies, distinct from general intelligence, that can be developed, and assist in successfully resolving environmental challenges. (3,7) In layman's terms, emotional intelligence is often related to "soft" skills (eg, skills that focus on relationships between people). Although there are limitations to measuring the construct of emotional intelligence, the accumulated body of evidence indicates that emotions matter, and that those who are more apt to perceive and regulate emotions in themselves and others are likely to be at an advantage. (8-10)

Despite the potential promise of emotional intelligence, and the more specific social emotional competence construct, there is still a missing link of adapting emotional intelligence and social emotional competence within an educational framework, as social emotional competence has largely focused on management studies and is not necessarily transferable to higher education. (11,12) Therefore, a newer model designed specifically to address the developmental challenges of college students as they prepare for their subsequent careers, called social emotional development, has been used for the current study along with the companion Social Emotional Development Inventory (SED-I). Experiential learning theory posits that learning is a process that results in the transformation of experience, into a change in thoughts, feelings, or behaviors. (13)

The social emotional development model integrates social emotional competencies into 4 distinct, but interrelated factors: (1) self-awareness, the knowledge and understanding of one's own emotions and talents, (2) consideration of others, the regard for the person and situation before thinking and acting, (3) connection to others, the ease and effort in developing rapport and closeness with others and (4) influence orientation, the propensity to seek leadership opportunities and move others toward change. (11) As an integrative model, social emotional development provides a theoretical framework for understanding student behavior and planning potential interventions by focusing on student competencies and increasing students' capacity to recognize multiple emotional cues, implement diverse behavioral responses, and expand the range of possible social outcomes. …

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