Emotional intelligence and developing professional competency: a student perspective

Dickinson, Hannah and Bell, Janice ORCID logo ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9032-6562 (2014) Emotional intelligence and developing professional competency: a student perspective. In: College of Occupational Therapists 38th Annual Conference and Exhibition, 3-5 June 2014, Brighton, UK.

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Official URL: https://journals.sagepub.com/toc/bjod/77/8_suppl


Background: Health and social care professionals have faced increased public and professional scrutiny surrounding standards of practice in relation to professional competency (Health and Care Professionals Council 2011, Department of Health 2013). However, there is limited research into the contribution of emotional intelligence (EI) with regards to occupational therapy education and the development of students’ core occupational therapy skills. This qualitative research study aimed to explore the perceived value given to EI abilities in the development of students’ professional competence.

Methods: A purposeful sampling technique was used to recruit students from an occupational therapy Master’s programme. The within method triangulation approach (Lambert and Loiselle 2008) was employed to conduct an initial focus group to elicit themes from general discussion on EI and professional competency. The emergent themes guided questions for 6 in‑depth semi structured interviews. The results were thematically analysed (Green 2005). Ethical approval was granted by the University.

Results: The preliminary findings, which are part of a larger study, suggested several benefits of EI abilities for student occupational therapists, related to the development of professional competency. These included: therapeutic use of self, self-leadership and self-management skills. The explicit role of practical training opportunities, in particular, listening and interviewing skills, were highlighted as potential areas to support the development of professional competency.

Implications for occupational therapy: Preliminary findings indicated that students generally valued EI abilities as a factor towards the development of professional competency. Emergent themes related to the benefits of EI may support the development of additional training needs for students’ personal and professional development.

Department of Health (2013) Patients First and Foremost: The Initial Government Response to the Report of The Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust Public Inquiry. London: DH.
Green J (2005) Analysing Qualitative Data. In: J. Green, J. Brown (eds.) Principles of Social Research. Maidenhead: Open University Press, 75–89.
Health Professions Council (2011) Professionalism in Healthcare Professionals. [Online] Available at: http://www.hpcuk.org/assets/documents/10003771Professionalisminhealthcareprofessionals.pdf Accessed on 12.9.2013.
Lambert S.D. & Loiselle C.G (2008) ‘Combining Individual Interviews and Focus Groups to Enhance Data Richness’, Journal of Advanced Nursing, 62 (2), 228–237.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Journal / Publication Title: British Journal of Occupational Therapy
Publisher: College of Occupational Therapists
ISSN: 1477-6006
Departments: Academic Departments > Health, Psychology & Social Studies (HPSS) > Rehabilitation
Additional Information: Hannah Dickinson is currently a 2nd year student on the MSc Occupational Therapy (Accelerated) Programme at the University of Cumbria in Carlisle. Janice Bell currently works as the Programme Lead for the MSc Occupational Therapy (Accelerated) Programme at the University of Cumbria in Carlisle. Session 53.2.
Depositing User: Anna Lupton
Date Deposited: 10 May 2019 13:31
Last Modified: 12 Jan 2024 12:46
URI: https://insight.cumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/4759


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