An investigation of the impact of dental hygiene clinical instructors' emotional intelligence on clinical teaching effectiveness

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Smallidge, Dianne L.
The purpose of this mixed methods study was to measure the clinical teaching effectiveness (CTE) and emotional intelligence (EI) of dental hygiene (DH) clinical instructors, and to identify any statistically significant correlations found between the CTE and EI assessment outcomes. The qualitative phase of the study was intended to increase understanding of the outcomes from the CTE and EI quantitative assessments using data collected from the quantitative phase of the study. Two online assessments, the Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test (MSCEIT) and the modified version of the Nursing Clinical Teaching Effectiveness Inventory (NCTEI), were used to measure EI and CTE. Demographic data collected from participants was also included in the statistical analysis. The qualitative phase of the study used a virtual meeting platform to collect data via one-on-one online interviews using open-ended questions to garner the participants' understanding of EI and its role in the DH clinical teaching environment. Forty-two clinical instructors completed both the MSCEIT and the modified NCTEI. The exploratory data analysis, using Spearman's ranked correlation coefficient and regression analysis, revealed strong correlations existed between MSCEIT outcomes and self-assessed CTE. The data collected from one-on-one interviews, analyzed using a thematic analysis, and comparison to quantitative data revealed a correlation existed between responses to the open-ended questions and the participants' MSCEIT scores. The study found the need for raised awareness of the link between CTE and EI in DH clinical faculty, and determined the development of EI skills in instructors may improve the learning experiences of students in DH clinical settings.