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  • Libby Laguta, CHID, EDAC

Emotional Intelligence in Senior Healthcare

Yesterday evening, I attended an ACHE event entitled "The Principles and Characteristics of Emotional Intelligence in Healthcare." I enjoyed the panelists and the moderator's examples regarding heightened awareness of emotional intelligence in a healthcare setting. Sadly, not all hospitals have an "EQ" (emotional quotient) program in place. Why not? That strikes me as insanely odd.


I understand that IQ cannot be altered, but EQ can be improved over time.


How many times have you been in a situation at a medical office or outpatient facility and heard someone over the age of 65 checking in for an appointment? . . . . and how many times has the staff person talked down to the senior person? The staff needs to know that just because a senior cannot hear well or is confused by a form, they do not need to be shouted at or spoken to as if they are a child. It's as if we believe that IQ diminishes as we get older. It does not.


Every person deserves the dignity to express themselves and be heard. I quietly fired a doctor and replaced him because he disregarded what I asked and glossed over my questions without really addressing my concerns. I cancelled my next appointment and never went back. I have a new physician now. The first time I met my new physician, I explained that I need communication and answers. He is

not intimidated. He takes time with me and applauds my homework and my level of detail.


It's only a matter of time before I fall into the category of being labeled as "senior." I will state my case every time the person on the other side of the (healthcare) desk does not exhibit empathy or authenticity toward me, but other people may not be so bold. It's up to the institution of healthcare to make the effort to educate their employees. What is your emotional quotient and are you improving it?

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