Objectives : This study was to find out the status of job satisfaction and intent to leave the job for
dental hygienists, and those factors affecting their intent to leave, so as to prevent dental hygienists
from leaving their jobs in advance, and to strive for extending the life span of the job, contributing to
improve dental care services provided by dental hygienists.
Methods : The data were collected from 280 dental hygienists working in dental clinics or hospitals
in Busan and Gyeongnam area by using a structured and self- administered questionnaire
through mail, from February 1 to March 15, 2009, and were analyzed by using SPSS WIN 14.0 program.
First, It was the most prevalent for the dental hygienists surveyed to be between 100 to 149 thousand
won in the level of monthly as 42.3%, and to be the assistance of dental examination and treatment
for main duty as 62.5%. Leaving job was experience by 51.6% of the subjects, with work condition
as the most common reason for 32.2%.
Second, the degree of job satisfaction was 3.4 points overall in the score of 5 point Likert's scale on
the average, showing affirmative level above the average, and significantly different according to
certain characteristics such as age, education level, total years of work career, years of work career in
the current job, monthly salary level, whether to provide monthly paid leave, and the number of
patients treated per day. It also was significantly correlated with some structural factors and variables
consisting attitude and value, including equity in pay(r=0.612), job perception as dental
hygienist(r=0.573), work environment(r=0.552), self growth(r=0.531), affirmative attitude(r=0.421), and so on.
Third, the mean score of intent to leave was 2.73 overall and lower than the average, showing significant
relationship with some characteristics, such as age, marital status, education level, total
years of work career, years of work career in the current job, monthly salary level, whether to provide
monthly paid leave, and the number of patients treated per day. Intent to leave also showed the
highest correlation with job satisfaction(r=-0.708), followed by equity in pay(r=-0.482), self growth
(r=-0.453), job perception as dental hygienist(r=-0.392), work environment(r=-0.362), etc.
Forth, job satisfaction was significantly influenced by some factors including equity in pay, followed
by job perception as dental hygienist, relationship with fellow colleagues, affirmative attitude
and work environment, and so on.
Fifth, the intent to leave was significantly affected not only by job satisfaction but also by some
structural factors including equity in pay, self growth and job perception as dental hygienist.
Conclusions : The above results showed that the equity in pay was the most important factor for
the intent to leave the job as well as job satisfaction among dental hygienists, thus suggesting that
systematic measures should be provided to improve the job satisfaction to prevent economic loss
due to leaving job frequently, and to provide pertinent reward system as a profession to enhance the
motivation for accomplishment on job for dental hygienists