E. B. Ezeja et al.

International Journal of Biomedical and Health Sciences Vol. 6, No. 3, September 30, 2010 Printed in Nigeria

0794-4748/2010 $12.00 + 0.00  2010 African Studies on Population and Health http://www.asopah.org

IJBHS 2010054/6306

Assessment of job satisfaction and working conditions of Nigerian oral health workers
E. B. Ezeja1, C. C. Azodo*2, A. O. Ehizele2, O. Ehigiator3 and H. O. Oboro4
1

Department of Preventive Dentistry, University of Benin Teaching Hospital, Benin City, Nigeria. Department of Periodontics, University of Benin Teaching Hospital, Benin City, Nigeria. 3 Department of Oral Medicine & Pathology, University of Benin Teaching Hospital, Benin City, Nigeria. 4 Department of Restorative Dentistry, University of Benin Teaching Hospital, Benin City, Nigeria.
2

(Received April 15, 2010; Accepted June 1, 2010) ABSTRACT: Objective: To assess the job satisfaction and working conditions of dentist and dental auxiliaries working in Southern Nigeria. Methods: A questionnaire-based cross-sectional survey of dental professionals working in Oral healthcare centres of University Teaching hospitals in Southern Nigeria was conducted. Results: The survey response rate is 82.3%. The respondents were dentist (59.7%), dental nurse (15.3%), dental therapist (9.0 %,) dental technologist (13.2%) and dental record officers (2.8%). Seven-tenth (70.1%) of the respondents expressed satisfaction and fulfillment in their career as Oral healthcare worker. Sixty-five respondents (45.1%) would like one of their children to take up their profession. Only 32% agreed that they have the necessary facilities and equipment to perform their work successfully. Less than half (46.5%) felt that that their work area is comfortable enough for them to do their best. Only 29.2% agreed that their salary was enough to cater for their personal and family needs. Dental auxiliaries were more satisfied than dentists (p=0.004). Job satisfaction was influenced by ethnicity and geographical location (p<0.05). About two-third of the respondents (31.9%) had thought about leaving their profession in the last 12 months with two-third of them being dentists. Conclusion: Data from this study revealed that job satisfaction among Oral healthcare workers particularly the dentist should be taken seriously if marked improvement of oral healthcare delivery is desired. Keywords: Job satisfaction, Dentists, Dental auxiliaries.

Introduction
Historically, the concept of job satisfaction and the assessment of job satisfaction began first in 1911 with the research of Frank Taylor1. However, job satisfaction research among health workers started on laboratory personnel in United States of America in 19712. Since then multiple researches on various categories of health worker like physicians3, dentists4,5, nurses6, physiotherapists2,7, and primary health care workers8 in different parts of the world have been conducted. The implication of job satisfaction of health worker on patient care, patient satisfaction, improved patient outcome and overall health care delivery quality may have been the driving force9.

*To whom correspondence should be addressed: Email: clementazodo@yahoo.com Phone: +2348034051699

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dentist oral health worker. 3 (2010) Studies on conducted on dental professionals were majorly in developed countries5.1% would still chose their profession if given another opportunity. Dental auxiliaries were more satisfied than dentists (p=0.3%. Materials and Methods A questionnaire-based cross-sectional survey of dental professionals working in Oral healthcare centres of five selected University Teaching hospitals in Southern Nigeria was conducted in 2009.1%) of the respondents expressed satisfaction and fulfillment in their career as Oral healthcare worker.10. 26. Ile Ife. Studies on this subject matter remain scanty in the African continent where shortage of health manpower and high burden of the disease coexists. Lagos. Vol. Enugu. About two-third of the respondents (31. Seven-tenth (70. 18. facilities at the work place.7 widowed. The only retrievable a study on job satisfaction of Nigerian dental professional focused only on dentist and has been more than a decade old4. Sci. Age range is 19-60 with mean age 31. Results A total of 144 questionnaires were returned out a total 175 distributed questionnaire given a response rate is 82. For the purpose of analysis. Changes in the mode of governance. interpersonal relationships and co-workers. The respondents were dentist (59. Biomed.4. About three quarters (74. 42. The geographic locations of teaching hospital of the respondents were Benin City. promotion. Male: female ratio is 1:1. dental therapist (9. The mode of distribution was by a combination of hand and postal delivery. Informed consent was obtained prior to the onset of the survey. No. The questionnaire was divided into 2 sections: Section A assessed the demography of the respondents Section B: was made up of 24 questions on job satisfaction and work related conditions and issues like work conditions.3%) of the respondents had worked for less than 10 years work experience.9%) had thought about leaving their profession in the last 12 months with two-third of them being dentists (Figure 1).1. undecided and disagree.1 years. less optimal care patients' care. 144 . the survey was anonymous and participation was voluntary.9% were single. dental nurse/DSA (15.2%) and dental record officers (2. adverse patient outcomes and increased cost to the health care system will result.5. & Hlth. 19. the responses were collapsed into 3. P ≤ 0. The response in a 5 point likert scale: strongly agree. 56.6. If this is undermined. The test for significance was done using chi square. disagree and strongly disagree.) dental technologist (13.1%) would like one of their children to take up their profession and 43. Data analysis was done using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS version 15. agree. 12.Int.004).11. Ibadan 23.0).0 %.05). J. minimum wage and prevalence of oral disease may have significantly impacted on job satisfaction on oral health care workers.8±8.3%).8%). undecided. Sixty-five respondents (45.7%). salary. agree. professional training.05 was considered significant. The objective of this survey was to assess the job satisfaction and working conditions of dentist and dental auxiliaries working in Southern Nigeria. intention to leave the profession (Table 1).4. Job satisfaction was influenced by ethnicity and geographical location (p<0. nature of work. Functionality of oral health center and oral health delivery is dependent on the activities of dentist and non.4% married and 0. 6.

Agree (A). Ezeja et al. not challenging and boring 17.I am frequently stressed out at work 16. I am satisfied and fulfilled 2.E. Undecided (U).I have energy at the end of each work day to engage in my hobby 20. B.I finding much of my job repetitive. The categories of the responses are Strongly Agree (SA).I feel am adequately valued.I have opportunity everyday to do what I do best everyday at work 7.My job gives me a reasonable level of financial security 22.I will like one of my children to take up my children 4. Item(s) SA A U D SD 1.My coworkers are committed to doing quality work 13.I have good friend at work 12.I am worried about contracting infection at work 10.If am given another opportunity.I am frequently blamed when there is error with patient’s treatment 15.I have energy at the end of each work day to attend to the people I care about 19.I have the facilities and equipments I need to do my work successfully 9.My salary is able to cater for my needs and my family needs 21.I know what is expected of me at work 6. Disagree (D).I get promoted as at and when due 145 . Strongly Disagree (SD).In my career as an oral health worker.I am mentally and/or physically exhausted at the end of a day at work 18.I see myself at work as a team player 11.I have had thoughts about leaving this profession in the last one year 5.I have been sent for professional training by my employer 24. recognized and appreciated as a member of dental staff 14.I have a comfortable working area well enough for me to do my best 8.My profession gives me a relatively high status in the society 23. TABLE 1: SECTION B OF THE QUESTIONNAIRE Section B Instructions: please circle your best response on the specific question. I will still choose this same profession 3.

Int. 6.5% agreed that are coworker that are committed to doing quality work. Vol.1%) knew what is expected of them at work. J.7%) felt that they have a comfortable working well enough for me to do my best and agreed that they have the necessary facilities and equipment to perform their work successfully. recognized and appreciated as a member of dental staff. Biomed. FIGURE 1: JOB SATISFACTION AND INTENTION TO LEAVE THE PROFESSION AMONG RESPONDENTS FIGURE 2: RESPONDENTS OPINION OF THE WORKPLACE CONDITIONS 146 . 25.3%) see themselves as team player at work. 83. More than (55. A total of 69. Less than (46.3% have good friend at work. 78. Sci.4% of respondents are worried about contracting infection at work (Figure 2).6%) agreed that they have opportunity to do their best at work everyday. 71. Majority (83. 3 (2010) Majority (93.7% are frequently blamed when there is error with patient’s treatment (Figure 3). & Hlth. No.5% felt that are adequately valued.

8% got promotion as at and when due (Figure 5). Only 29.8% are frequently stressed out at work.9% reported their job as repetitive.4% have received professional training at their work place and 27.E. 60% and 54. FIGURE 4: RESPONDENTS VIEW AND IMPACT OF OCCUPATION 147 .2% agreed that their salary was enough to cater for their personal and family needs. B. FIGURE 3: RESPONDENTS OPINION OF INTERPERSONAL RELATIONSHIP AT WORKPLACE CONDITIONS 36. 31.4%. Three quarter (75.4% agreed that their job gives them a reasonable level of financial security.9% still have enough energy at the end of work to attend to the people the care for and engage in their hobbies (Figure 4). 51. Ezeja et al. Only 19. not challenging and boring.7%) agreed that their job gives them a relatively high status in the society. Exhaustion at the end of each day at work was reported 42.

may have accounted a high knowledge of job description among the respondents. Biomed. Orientation on employment which is a common practice in public sector employment.05). Majority (93. Job satisfaction was influenced by ethnicity and geographical location (p<0.9% documented among Nigerian dental practitioners about a decade ago4. staff. Workplace is assumed a second home for workers as the time spent at work accounts for one third of man’s life span. No.3% documented among doctors in a Nigerian teaching hospital3. Job satisfaction among dental practitioners is related to a number of socio-demographic factors. 32% agreed that they have the necessary facilities and equipment to perform their work successfully and 46. The differences would have been masked by differences in the methodology as the previous study was conducted in only dental practitioners throughout the country but in this present study concentrated on dentist and dental auxiliaries in public tertiary oral healthcare facilities in Southern Nigeria. and specialty training are important work environment factors for job satisfaction among South Korean dentists13. Healthy and safe work environment results in more satisfied personnel with consequent improved effectiveness and productivity. Seven-tenth (70.5% felt that that their work area is comfortable enough for them to do their best. 3 (2010) FIGURE 5: REMUNERATION. personal time. This is comparable to 75. Sci.Int. This contrasted to the findings of a research which showed that dental practitioners expressed lower levels of job satisfaction than other groups of dental professionals12. 148 . Patient relations. In this study. In this study. This is higher than 30. It is clear that the work environment has an enormous impact on all of us. Job satisfaction can be influenced the quality of the physical environment in which they work and degree of fulfillment in their work. dental auxiliaries were more satisfied than dentists (p=0. There is no ambiguity in job description in oral healthcare among dental professionals.1%) of the respondents know what is expected of me at work in this study. In this study. PROFESSIONAL TRAINING AND PROMOTION OF RESPONDENTS Discussion Job satisfaction research in the Oral healthcare facilities in Southern Nigeria is necessary because it has implication on quality of patients care and treatment9 and also because increased job satisfaction produces improved job performance.1%) of the respondents expressed satisfaction and fulfillment in their career as Oral healthcare worker. J. In this study. Dentists and many staff enjoy characteristics of work associated with high levels of satisfaction and performance.004). perception of income. 6. Vol. Variations exist in job satisfaction among dental professional. & Hlth.

4%) still have enough energy to attend to the people they care about. The resilience nature of Nigerians makes them less likely report exhaustion despite high workload.7% were frequently blamed when there is error with patient’s treatment. Only 26. Every career has the potential for producing personal satisfaction and dissatisfaction.3% are exhausted at the end of each days work. In this study. 71. 149 .3% saw themselves as myself at work as a team player. This may have a serious implication on recruitment of future oral health workers.6% agreed to having opportunity everyday to do best at work. Specific emphasis on improvement of working conditions. 25. The difficulty in getting employed in Nigerian oral healthcare due limited opportunities. In this study 55. If given another opportunity. This is lower than 94% documented among Danish general practitioners20. In this study. Limited funding of health sector as exemplified by low health budgetary and nonchalant attitude of politician to improved healthcare service delivery are the principal reasons. Threequarter of the respondents (75. In this study. This gives clue to the level of motivation among the respondents. Prestige and financial reasons are among indicated reason for choosing their career in health profession18.8% felt that they are not frequently stressed out at work and 42. It may be hinged on the fact that Nigerians are generally happy people and enjoy interaction with one another to achieve better results. 78. In developing countries. Nigeria. Value of this reasonable positive interpersonal relationship in workplace cannot be overemphasized. and reactions to it have individual variability19. In this study.5% believed that their coworkers are committed to doing quality work. stress and burnout is high due to remuneration is poor. Oral healthcare services like other healthcare services is based on committed team work and this why 83. about one-third of the respondents (31.9%) had thought about leaving their profession in the last 12 months with two-third of them being dentists. Policy makers may find thus data useful when designing plans to increase the level of job satisfaction among Nigerian dental professionals. Dentistry has long been recognized as a stressful profession16. 31. 45. In this study. A total of 51. 19.5% felt that they are adequately valued.8% have enough energy at the end of each work day to engage in my hobby. Immediate action may be need if worsening of the shortage of manpower of oral health worker is to be prevented. heavy workload and high rates of violence which culminates into low job satisfaction.1% would like one of their children to take up their profession.3% had good friend at work.17. The prevalence of undiagnosed HIV in dental clinic in Nigeria is high14 and also high level of percutaneous injuries among Nigerian dental professional15 may be the obvious explanation.7%) agreed that their profession gave them relatively high status in the society. When an individual is motivated. salaries and promotion of Nigerian oral health worker cannot be overemphasized.5% of workers expressed worry about contracting infection at work. B. Promotion in public service in Nigeria is not prompt with health sector inclusive thus it is not surprising that only 27. Careers in business and commerce degrees offer quicker routes to better earnings than career in health making it less attractive. Conclusion Job satisfaction as the barometer of the dental profession has provides insights about issues in the dental profession needing attention in Southern. recognized and appreciated by their coworker. Poor remuneration of health workers in Nigeria has long been documented and has lead to migration to other countries for greener pastors.8% of the respondents were promoted as at and when due in this study. Ezeja et al.9% of the respondents agreed that their job was repetitive. 54. Evaluation of interpersonal relationship showed that 83.5% have been sent for professional training. The inability of the salary of the respondents to cater for their needs and their family needs may be the reasonable explanation.3%) would still choose this same profession. and a lot of serious environment stressor may be the reason for the respondent to quantify the stress at work as small.2% agreed that their salary is enough to cater for their needs and their family needs. Data from this study revealed that job satisfaction among Oral healthcare workers particularly the dentist should be taken seriously if marked improvement of oral healthcare delivery is desired.E. there is tendency for him to go an extra mile at achieving results at work place. More than half (60. training. It contributes to achievement of the common goal speedily and excellently. Challenging occupation is associated with increased job satisfaction. Less than half (43. 46. not challenging and boring.4% of the respondents agreed that their job gives reasonable level of financial security and 29. Professional training improves commitment to service delivery and gives employee a sense of belonging.

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