A Survey on Preliminary Dental Hygienists' Senses of Employment
Su-Jin Han, Sun-Mi Lee1, Mi-Hee Lim2
Department of Dental Hygiene, Gachon University of Medicine and Science, Incheon City, Yeonsu-Gu, 406-799, Korea
1Department of Dental Hygiene, Dongnam Health College 937 Jeongia-Dong, Jangan-Gu, Suwon, Gyeonggi-Do, 440-714, Korea
2Department of Dental Hygiene, Suwon Women's College 62, Suwonyeodae-gil, Omokcheon-dong, Gwonseon-gu, Suwon, Gyeonggi-do, Korea
keyword. Preliminary Dental Hygienist, occupation, employment, employment circumstance, Dental Hygienist
The purpose of this study was to conduct a survey on the senses that preliminary dental hygienists have on employment, who applied for the National Dental Hygienist Examination, so that it could provide a basic reference required for fostering good human resources specializing in oral health with a sense of mission and responsibility as professional. To meet these goals, a self-administered questionnaire survey was conducted for participants in a refresher education meeting for preliminary dental hygienists across three major regions(Seoul, Daejeon and Busan), which was held by the Korean Dental Hygienists Association(KDHA) on Jan. 15, 2006. Total 289 sheets of questionnaire were collected, and 262 sheets except invalid or incomplete ones were used for examination and analysis. As a result, this study came to the following conclusions:
First, it was found that 40.4% respondents wanted to be employed in dental clinic or hospital. Most respondents(90.1%) answered that faithfulness is most valued as prerequisite qualification for employment in hospital, and highest percentage of respondents(39.3%) wanted to earn 16 to 17 million Korean won annually. For internship opportunities, 61.9% respondents replied that they could willingly accept the internship, provided that basic pay and switchover to regular employee are all assured.
Second, as the results of survey on employment circumstances around respondents, it was found that most respondents(58.3%) were employed in dental clinic or hospital, and highest percentage of respondents(35.0%) earned 15 to 16 million Korean won.
Third, it was found that interpersonal relationships among employees had most significant effects(4.81) on selection of employment, which was followed by in-house welfare benefits 1(monthly/annual vacation, resting room, etc; 4.56). For possible influential factors on the selection of employment depending on whether employed or not, it was found that there were significant differences in pay, welfare benefit 2(seminar, orientation, refresher training opportunities, etc), post-wedding continued employment and merit system between employees and non-employees(p<0.05).
Fourth, the survey on respondents' occupational senses of dental hygienist showed that major tasks of dental hygienists were represented by oral disease prevention(92.6%), case management(71.5%), oral health education(66.3%), hospital/clinic management and dental management support (10.4%) and public oral health activities(6.7%) respectively.
For job satisfaction, it was found that almost half respondents(48.9%) showed satisfaction at their job and 32.6% felt satisfied at and proud of their job. That is, majority of respondents(81.5%) felt satisfied at their job as dental hygienist. For follow-up requirements to qualify for dental hygienists, it was found that 73.3% felt it necessary to give more investments to self-development. 62.2% respondents considered protection of membership's rights as one of future assignments that KDHA should be more committed to.
For future social awareness about dental hygienists as occupation, 69.2 % respondents expected that they would be better developed and treated as professional. And desired training courses as a part of qualification for professional dental hygienists were represented by case management (services, manners, etc; 33.3%), implant(28.9%), esthetics(correction, prosthesis, whitening; 18.9%) and so on. For an item on working years, it was noted that 75.9% respondents would keep working as dental hygienists as long as they could.