OBJECTIVES: The purpose of the study was to assess the level of job satisfaction of dental nurses in ambulatory care and to explore the impact of aspects of working atmosphere on and their association with job satisfaction.
METHODS: This cross-sectional study was based on a job satisfaction survey. Data were collected from 612 dental nurses working in 106 dental care practices. Job satisfaction was measured with the 10-item Warr-Cook-Wall job satisfaction scale. Working atmosphere was measured with five items. Linear regression analyses were performed in which each item of the job satisfaction scale was handled as dependent variables. A stepwise linear regression analysis was performed with overall job satisfaction and the five items of working atmosphere, job satisfaction, and individual characteristics.
RESULTS: The response rate was 88.3%. Dental nurses were satisfied with ‘colleagues’ and least satisfied with ‘income.’ Different aspects of job satisfaction were mostly associated with the following working atmosphere issues: ‘responsibilities within the practice team are clear,’ ‘suggestions for improvement are taken seriously,’ ‘working atmosphere in the practice team is good,’ and ‘made easier to admit own mistakes.’ Within the stepwise linear regression analysis, the aspect ‘physical working condition’ (β = 0.304) showed the highest association with overall job satisfaction. The total explained variance of the 14 associated variables was 0.722 with overall job satisfaction.
CONCLUSIONS: Working atmosphere within this discrete sample of dental care practice seemed to be an important influence on reported working condition and job satisfaction for dental nurses. Because of the high association of job satisfaction with physical working condition, the importance of paying more attention to an ergonomic working position for dental nurses to ensure optimal quality of care is highlighted.