Academic journal article Journal of Adult Education

The Effect of Emotional Intelligence on Student Success

Academic journal article Journal of Adult Education

The Effect of Emotional Intelligence on Student Success

Article excerpt


Emotional intelligence (EI) is the ability to recognize, assess, and control one's emotions, as well as the emotions of others, and even groups. It also allows people to handle added pressures, as they often experience in higher education. Occasionally clinicians report a small number of senior veterinary medicine students lack the ability to assess human clients and their animal patients. The purpose of this review was to examine EI as a possible tool to predict, identify, and improve student performance and student success in the clinical environment. Research was conducted that supported the ability of EI as a tool to predict student success in relations to clients and patients. EI was shown to generally improve for students and staff when trainings and workshops were implemented. EI education may benefit most individuals, however, specific research for EI improvement concerning medical students identified as lacking compassion was deficient.

Clinicians that work with students on the veterinary hospital floor are reporting a number of senior students that lack a certain awareness for their patients. These students are at a critical point in their academic career. They will be allowed to walk during the graduation ceremony, but they will not actually be graduating. They will have to come back and repeat the rotations that they have not passed. This is their last opportunity; if they do not improve their abilities they will not earn a degree, and will not have the option of repeating the curriculum. Certainly after four years in a professional program instructors do not want their students to fail.

Shapiro (2011) notes that medical doctors tend to mistrust emotions and intellectualize them in order to remain objective. Thus some turn emotional constructs like suffering, compassion, and sensitivity into a set of cognitive and behavioral skills, which can help them to remain distant. If there is a significant amount of distance in a student, to the level that a student could potentially do more harm than good for a patient, perhaps medicine is the wrong profession. However, would it not be better if that student could be identified at an earlier point in their education, giving them more time to address the problem, and increasing the chance of that student's success?

By studying emotional intelligence and its relationship to student performance I intend to determine its ability as an accurate identifier, predictor, and tool to improve student success in the clinical environment. Students are in this program for four years and the hope would be to identify poor performers early. If student success can be better assessed in the first or second year of their academic career it will provide an opportunity for early intervention for the students who need it. The program would be able to support the students who need it with resources such as mentors and a long term plan to build their emotional intelligence, helping to avoid potentially graduating a student that does not connect to their patients.

Learning from Human Medicine

One or more veterinary programs utilize curriculum from, and are looking to collaborate further with local human medical schools. This partnership is a logic option for many reasons. Both veterinary medical students and human medical students have similar academic demands, including stress, content and workload. Furthermore, veterinary students have the necessity of discussing euthanasia with their clients, which may add to their stress level. They also have to be familiar with the complexities of multiple animals. For the reasons that the veterinary medical student and human medical student experiences are so similar, with the veterinary experience potentially being more stressful, it is fair to look at the results of human medicine student studies and apply them to the veterinary medicine student (Adams & Kurtz, 2006; Hafen, Reisbig, White, & Rush, 2006). …

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