What are the potential outcomes of integrating emotionally competent behaviours into the care of psychiatric patients?


M. D. Doas, 868 Country Club Drive, Pittsburgh, PA 15228, USA, E-mail: mdoas@chatham.edu


Accessible summary

  • • Psychiatric nurses regularly encounter stressful clinical situations.
  • • Today's challenging behavioural/psychiatric healthcare environments may impede a nurse's ability to demonstrate emotionally competent behaviours.
  • • Emotional competence refers to one's ability to effectively express or release inner feelings. It also implies mutual respect for others and the ability to effectively communicate and participate in productive interpersonal interactions.
  • • Emotionally competent nurses effectively deal with their emotions in stressful situations without suppressing others or their emotions.


This descriptive study explored the concept of emotional competence in inpatient psychiatric nurse's daily interactions. Psychiatric registered nurses were asked to identify interactions of emotional competence they experienced on the nursing unit. Content analysis revealed deficits in self-awareness, mood management and managing relationships.