IQ or EQ: Which Matters Most for Healthcare Professionals?

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Many perceive that a white-collar healthcare profession is all about perks and privileges. But status remains at the bay when you struggle to fulfill the responsibilities of an all-time demanding work. It is an unpredictable and toiling profession. The safety and satisfaction of patients require more than medical knowledge and proficiency. For this purpose, healthcare workers endeavor for a comprehensive skillset to surmount challenges and offer compassionate care. They utilize intelligence quotient (IQ) and emotional quotient (EQ), among other soft and hard skills, to manage complex situations.

Professionals with better IQ are also good at problem-solving, strategic thinking, and adaptability. They are better at weighing several alternatives when proceeding with therapeutic procedures. Likewise, EQ is also an essential trait of healthcare workers. EQ helps them identify, comprehend, and regulate sentiments while endeavoring through varied circumstances. It also facilitates professionals to bond with fellow workers and patients and build healthy relationships. In short, both traits have equivocal importance to survive in a challenging and unpredictable medical profession.

The following sections explore why IQ and EQ are crucial for healthcare workers.

  1. Resolving differences of opinion with effective communication

Working in a healthcare facility does not always follow the same routine and work schedule. Countless patients visit hospitals with different conditions and expectations. And all of them only anticipate premium and undivided care. As a result, healthcare workers are constantly in an emergency, weighing every other case with urgent demands. They also entertain attendants while attending to patients with attentive care. And when everyone wants undivided attention, situations are not always pleasant.

Disagreements and clashes are common when healthcare workers cannot entertain everyone in parallel. That’s why emotional intelligence training is part of their education and advanced professional training, especially in online programs. For instance, online MSN-FNP programs train nursing professionals to respond to disagreements with a calm disposition. They learn to provide patient-centric care regardless of the circumstances, workload, or clashes with various participants.

  1. Minimize burnout and guard personal well-being

Working in a healthcare facility is toiling for the healthcare workers; they work under constant pressure and stress. And endeavoring in a warlike workplace shatters their emotional, physical, and psychological resilience. Ultimately, they end up in adverse situations while attending to emergencies. Thus, workers’ emotional and physical well-being is inherent to comprehensive healthcare policies. Workers also communicate their concerns and workplace challenges with employers and advocate for relaxation.

They also prioritize further training to enhance their skills and proficiency and learn work management strategies. For instance, EQ and IQ skills training helps them manage workload without experiencing burnout. Professionals with better IQ and EQ are more likely to guard themselves against burnout and work-related stress. They know how to separate work and life and spare time for healing. Otherwise, mentally and physically unfit workers cannot entertain their patients diligently.

  1. Maintain a healthy work relationship

The medical field is not a solo battlefield where you endeavor for standalone excellence and rewards. Healthcare facilities cannot run and deliver services without a cordial relationship between workers. Teamwork and collaboration are essential to success, even in individual duties. But forming a healthy work relationship is not easy. You cannot just open up and get along with anyone, even for patients’ welfare. Sometimes, it is hard to throw away personal dispositions when the duty calls. That is where emotional and cognitive intelligence training helps healthcare workers connect with fellow workers for a common purpose.

These qualities improve their decision-making aptitude. Hence, they can comprehend that their professional obligations weigh more than their personal preference for association at work. They can also prioritize professional conduct for better and satisfactory healthcare services. As a result, a healthy work relationship also contributes to better management of individual and collective responsibilities.

  1. Manage emotional impulses and temptations

The patient always has precedence for healthcare workers. The sole purpose of their endeavors is patient comfort and satisfaction. They even ignore their comforts, grievances, and challenges while looking after patients and fulfilling their ethical and occupational responsibilities. However, the reality is not always by the book. Healthcare workers also encounter countless situations when their minds and emotions conflict.

Sometimes, mounting pressure impairs their decision-making capability. Other times, they over-empathize with adverse cases and undergo psychological and emotional turmoil. It means they are also vulnerable to impulsive triggers and temptations. In such cases, emotional and cognitive intelligence comes to their rescue. They learn to identify triggers and circumvent impulsive behavior while attending to patients. And they cater to their emotional instability when they are free from professional obligations. So, setting priorities helps them ensure personal safety without skipping commitments.

  1. Sympathize and comfort patients during their vulnerabilities

Intellectual capability and medical know-how alone cannot ensure patients achieve a healing experience, even if physicians follow therapeutic procedures by the book. Their services and commitment are meaningless if they cannot relate to their patients. So, a doctor-patient relationship is essential to walk through healthcare challenges successfully. For instance, emotional connection with patients is necessary to understand patients and offer them desired care experience.

Healthcare workers learn to comprehend and treat their patients beyond mere test subjects with emotional and cognitive intelligence capabilities. Their tactical mindset helps them explore and choose better treatment options for patients. And they make use of EQ to sympathize with patients, understand their grievances, and deliver compassionate care. Therefore, both qualities contribute to a better physician-patient relationship. That is why healthcare curriculum and training focus on emotional and cognitive intelligence.

  1. Ensure efficient supervisory role-play

Healthcare facilities cannot deliver without efficient use of their human resources. Today, hospitals are highly demanding when hiring administrative and management staff members. They know that harmony and coordination among the healthcare workforce are vital for patient-centered care. They observe both EQ and IQ traits in their supervisory and administrative staff. These traits assist in realizing the strengths and weaknesses of their healthcare members.

Supervisors learn to figure out if their fellow workers experience fatigue and exhaustion. Workers cannot make impartial decisions and delegate responsibilities without stable emotional and cognitive dispositions. And overburdening workers can only jeopardize their well-being than achieve productivity milestones. Fatigued workers are also prone to mistakes and expose patients to malpractice incidents. So, efficient supervision of healthcare workers is crucial to better resource management, quality service, patient safety, and productive outcomes.


Both EQ and IQ contribute to quality healthcare services and better resource management. These traits help healthcare stakeholders to comprehend patient expectations, design personalized services, and ensure satisfactory outcomes. And quality patient care is not possible if healthcare workers are not emotionally and psychologically stable. However, it is evident from the above discussion and the pandemic that emotional intelligence holds precedence over intelligence quotient. Nonetheless, this doesn’t negate the significance and cruciality of IQ in healthcare.