A Study on the Job Awareness of Dental Hygienists and Their Job Performance
Su-Hyun Sim, Yoon-Sook Hwang1
Department of Dental Hygiene, Keukdong College, 1Department of Dental Hygiene, Hanyang Women's College
key words : Job Performance, Dental Hygienist
The job of dental hygienists is specialized, and they have to be capable of performing their primary duties including prevention of oral diseases, oral prophylaxis, and oral health education. To ensure their successful job performance, dentists should have an accurate understanding of their duties and need a change of mind-set about them. And there should be written legal and concrete regulations on the coverage of their work in order to let them boost their job performance with pride and a sense of responsibility. The purpose of this study was to examine the actual roles and job performance of dental hygienists in clinical field in an attempt to discuss the substantial job performance of dental hygienists and their job enlargement. It's basically meant to help enhance the efficiency and quality of medical services. The subjects in this study were 471 dental hygienists in dental clinics, dental hospitals, university hospitals and general hospitals across the nation, on whom a survey was conducted in person from March 2 to 25, 2005. The collected data were analyzed with SPSS Win 12.0 program, and the findings of the study were as follows:
1. The major jobs they currently performed included oral health education, hospital management, simple duties, extensive dental hygiene duties and joint treatment assistance. They hoped to continue to be responsible for oral health education, preventive treatment and extensive dental hygiene duties.
2. As for their current job by age, extensive dental hygiene duties, preventive treatment, joint treatment assistance, preserving treatment, prosthetic treatment and pediatric treatment were most conducted by the dental hygienists who were at the age of 26 to less than 31, and those who were at the age of 31 and up were most responsible for hospital management and simple duties.
3. As to job awareness by workplace, their workload was statistically significantly different according to their workplace. The hospital employees took care of more work than those in clinics.
4. Concerning job awareness by age, the younger dental hygienists suffered more role conflicts and were given a less free hand in work handling. The middle-aged group's job was uncertain.
Legal regulations about the coverage of their work should be prepared in detail as a measure to stir up their responsible job performance and pride. In order to take advantage of experienced dental hygienists, their duties should be more differentiated and specialized, and their working conditions should be improved to boost their job satisfaction. That is, they should be given ample chances for promotion and serving as a middle manager and be given fair treatment according to their career. If their work is accurately clarified and specialized based on career, it will boost the efficiency of dental treatment. Dental hygienists also should direct sustained efforts into self-development in order to become a skilled and professional oral health personnel.