2006 OPEN FORUM Abstracts
PREDICTORS OF RESPIRATORY THERAPISTS' JOB SATISFACTION AND INTENT TO LEAVE THE JOB AND FIELD
David C. Shelledy, PhD,
RRT, RPFT, FAARC; Donna D. Gardner,
MSHP, RRT. The University of Arkansas
for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, Arkansas and the University of Texas Health
Science Center at San Antonio, San Antonio, Texas
Background: Increased job satisfaction among respiratory therapists may be associated with improved job performance, quality of care and employee retention. We sought to determine if there were significant demographic, professional and job related variables that predicted job satisfaction (JS) and intent to leave the job or field among respiratory therapists in Texas.
Methods: A multifactor instrument which included items from the previously described Job Analysis Survey for Respiratory Care Practitioners (JAS-RCP) and the Job Descriptive Index (JDI) was pilot tested and then mailed to a random sample of licensed respiratory therapists in Texas. A second survey was mailed to all non-respondents approximately three weeks later. Following the second mailing, a random sample of 10% of the remaining non-respondents (n = 70) were surveyed by telephone to determine if there were significant differences between respondents and non-respondents. The JDI measures satisfaction with work (WS), pay (PAS), promotions (PS), supervision (SS) and coworkers (CS). The JAS-RCP collects demographic, job related and personal variables and assesses attitudes towards work and intent to leave the job (ILJ) and field (ILF). Items were added to the JAS-RCP to assess attitudes towards the profession and professionalism. Pearson product moment correlations were calculated between interval and ratio scale personal, professional and work related variables, JS, ILJ and ILF followed by stepwise multiple regression analyses to determine the ability of the independent variables to predict JS and intent to leave when used in combination.
Results: There were 280 usable surveys (28% response). There were no significant differences (p>.05) between respondents and non-respondents by age, gender, years of experience, or credential. In combination, the independent variables accounted for 70% of the variance in WS, 21% of the variance in PAS, 46% of the variance in PS, 64% of the variance in SS, 41% of the variance in CS, 44% of the variance in ILJ and 57% of the variance in ILF. The strongest predictors were: WS - professional characteristics (organization, safety), overall workload, physician respect, satisfaction with career choice, and ventilator patient work load; PAS - importance placed on education, physician respect, and professional characteristics (attention); PS - participation in decision making, hospital size and number of employees, leadership and importance of education; SS - role clarity, satisfaction with career choice, quality of the department, number of different places worked, hospital size and number of employees and basic care workload; CS - communications at work, view of the field as professional and important, leadership, and years on the job; ILJ - professional characteristics (participation), organizational stability, and view that respiratory care is respected; ILF - organizational stability, professional characteristics (participation), number of different jobs held, job independence, hospital size, and view that the RRT credential is important.
Conclusions: Improved organizational stability, department quality, physician respect, job independence, participation in decision making, communications, and role clarity were associated with increased JS and reduced ILJ and/or ILF. Appropriate workload, positive attitudes toward the profession, and improved individual professional characteristics were also associated with improved JS and reduced intent to leave. Attention to these factors may improve JS and quality of care and improve employee retention.