Job satisfaction and job content in Dutch dental hygienists

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Objectives: This study compares the scope of practice of Dutch dental hygienists (DHs) educated through a 2- or 3-year curriculum ('old-style DHs') with that of hygienists educated through a new extended 4-year curriculum leading to a bachelor's degree ('new-style DHs'), with the aim to investigate whether an extended scope of practice positively affects perceived skill variety, autonomy and job satisfaction. Methods: The questionnaires were obtained from old-and new-style DHs (n = 413, response 38%; n = 219, response 59%, respectively), in which respondents had recorded their dental tasks, perceived skill variety, autonomy and job satisfaction. T-tests were used to analyse differences between old-and new-style DHs, and regression analyses were performed to assess the relation between scope of practice and skill variety, autonomy and job satisfaction. Results: New-style DHs have a more extended scope of practice compared with old-style DHs. Despite their more complex jobs, which are theoretically related to higher job satisfaction, new-style DHs perceive lower autonomy and job satisfaction (P <0.05). Skill variety is the strongest predictor for DHs' job satisfaction (beta = 0.462), followed by autonomy (beta = 0.202) and caries decisive tasks, the last affecting job satisfaction negatively (beta = -0.149). Self-employment is the strongest significant predictor for autonomy (beta = 0.272). Conclusions: The core business of DHs remains the prevention and periodontology services. New-style DHs combine these tasks with extended tasks in the caries field, which can lead to comparatively less job satisfaction, because of a lower experienced autonomy in performing these extended tasks.

Originele taal-2English
Pagina's (van-tot)155-162
Aantal pagina's8
TijdschriftInternational Journal of Dental Hygiene
Nummer van het tijdschrift3
StatusPublished - aug.-2012

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