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Abstract

For years, the issue of job satisfaction has been of significance to both employees and employers. Research indicates that satisfied employees have a high probability of being productive. The issue of job satisfaction has been extensively researched and discussed in various fields. However, certain gaps remain unaddressed. Current paper aimed at determining the level of job satisfaction in private hospitals, and factors influencing job satisfaction in nursing, using the case of Tsuen Wan Adventist Hospital. Data was collected through qualitative and quantitative research methods. The study is purposed to offer a reference point and knowledge into the practices of private hospitals.

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Factors Affecting Job Satisfaction of Nursing Staffs in Private Medical Institute

Introduction

Employees are the most important people in the success or failure of an institution (Atkins, Marshall, & Javalgi 1996). The aim of private hospitals including Tsuen Wan Adventist Hospital is to offer its patients excellent health services. As a result, it should be the responsibility of the hospital’s management to ensure employee job satisfaction to enhance attainment of their mission. A major factor contributing to job satisfaction is the development of human resources (Cavanagh 1990; Irvine & Evans 1995). An organization’s human resources have to ensure that its staff is satisfied with the management, and the work they do in order to prevent employee shortage.

Most hospitals in Hong Kong suffer nursing shortages, and reducing the high nurse turnover rate continues to be a mayhem. One of the contributing factors to the nurses’ high turnover in Hong Kong is that, most nurses are leaving to look for job opportunities in other countries (Dolan 1987; Kingma 2001). It is worth noting that job satisfaction and employee retention are interrelated (Gropper & Boily 1999). It is job satisfaction that determines to an employee’s dedication to their work, and their will to remain working in an organization (Hinshaw, Smeltzer, & Atwood 1987).

Another influencing factor to job satisfaction is an unhealthy working environment. A stressful working environment demotivates the nurses leading to increased nurse turnover rate. If job satisfaction of the nursing professionals is not addressed, and the factors influencing it are not determined, nurse shortages and turnover rate will continue to be a problem.

Current research paper aims at determining the level of job satisfaction in private hospitals, and factors influencing job satisfaction in nursing. To achieve this, the researcher uses the case of Tsuen Wan Adventist Hospital. The hospital was chosen since it has also experienced nurse shortages at some point. The purpose of this study is to offer a reference point and knowledge into the practices of private hospitals.

Literature Review

According to Yaktin, Azoury, & Doumit (2003), job satisfaction is a significant concern both for employees and employers. Organizational research shows that employees who are satisfied have a high probability of being productive (McNeese-Smith 1993; Evans 2005). The issue of job satisfaction has been extensively researched and discussed in various fields.

According to scholars, there are various variables that affect job satisfaction of nursing staffs in private medical institutes (Chiok 2001). An array of findings obtained from qualitative and quantitative studies concerning factors affecting job satisfaction amongst nurses have been detailed in the literature. These sources encompass relationship with co-employees, working conditions, remuneration, work itself, job security, recognition and promotion (McNeese-Smith 1993; Ingersoll et al. 2002). According to Yaktin, Azoury, and Doumit (2003) organizational policies, leadership and management styles, as well as responsibility and control also influence job satisfaction.

Numerous studies have evidenced that job satisfaction is positively related with years of work experience (Price 2002; Yaktin, Azoury, & Doumit 2003). These scholars found out that nurses who have more experience in their job tend to stay longer in their workplaces due to high satisfaction. They are believed to be more competent, confident, and mature in offering nursing care, thus amplifying their job satisfaction. On the contrary, other studies evidenced a negative correlation between job satisfaction and years of work experience (Cao, Yu, & An 2001; Mills & Blaesing 2000). In their study of job satisfaction amongst nurses in China, Cao, Yu, and An revealed that the more experienced nurses were, the higher their level of satisfaction. These researchers argue that nurses who are experienced have high commitments and expectations from the hospital. Failure to fulfill their expectations and needs results in dissatisfaction (Spector 1985). This demonstrates negative relationship between job satisfaction and work experience.

The level of education is another factor linked with job satisfaction. Researchers have demonstrated that increased level of education amongst nurses results in increased level of job satisfaction (Blegen 1993; Yin & Yang 2002). On the other hand, some researchers have shown that educational level is negatively correlated with job satisfaction (Cavanagh 1992; Chu, Hsu, Price, & Lee 2003). That is, nurses who have a high level of education have high expectations. Cao, Yu, and An (2001) put forth that failure to fulfill their needs result in dissatisfaction.

Some scholars have affirmed that demographic factors such as age are positively linked with job satisfaction (Best & Thurston 2004; Kuokkanen, Leion-Kilpi, & Katajisto 2003). They found out that the level of satisfaction amongst nurses amplified with age. This implies that the older the nurses, the higher level of job satisfaction. Nevertheless, these results were challenged by some scholars who put forth that demographic factors are not linked with job satisfaction (Larrabee et al. 2003; Siu 2002; Smith & Hood 2005).

Leadership and management styles affect job satisfaction. This has been demonstrated by some researchers who argue that effective and proper management and leadership styles result in higher satisfaction (Ruby, LaDon, & Bryan 1997; Nakata & Saylor 1994). Such styles encompass supervisory and participative leadership and management (Moss & Rowles 1997; Wilkinson & Wagner 1993). Good relationship and interaction between employees and the managers enhance job satisfaction. Through this, employees feel incorporated in the daily running and operation of the hospital (Petterson, Arnetz, & Arnetz 1995). It also results in low turnover rate and increases productivity (McNeese-Smith 1997; Price & Mueller 1981a). In contrast, poor leadership and management styles give rise to job dissatisfaction amongst nurses.

Job satisfaction is also affected by working conditions. According to Moyle et al. (2003); Ma, Samuels and Alexander (2003), nurses who are exposed in good working conditions demonstrate higher levels of job satisfaction. A study carried out by Karl and Sutton (1998) to find out the relationship between working conditions and job satisfaction showed that good working conditions were positively correlated with job satisfaction. Nurses who were provided with proper equipments, good management and leadership, and good remuneration tend to be more satisfied as compared to working environments where these factors lack (Lacey 2003). On the other hand, poor working conditions are negatively linked with job satisfaction (Yamashita 1995; Shader et al. 2001). Yamashita evidenced this from a study he carried amongst Japanese nurses to find out the factors that affected their level of satisfaction. McCue (2004) argued that nurses who worked in poor conditions were exposed to a certain degree of stress, and this lowered their job satisfaction.

Research Methodology

Research Objective

Current research paper focuses on the following objectives:

  • To measure the level of job satisfaction among the nurses of Tsuen Wan Adventist Hospital
  • To determine the factors contributing to job satisfaction in the field of nursing
  • To determine the factors hindering job satisfaction in nursing
  • To identify effective measures for reducing nursing shortage and nurse turnover rate

Target

The researcher targets the nurses of Tsuen Wan Adventist Hospital. The targeted nursing staff will comprise of both the enrolled nurses and registered nurses. The researcher will use random sampling method to gather information from the full time registered nurses and full time enrolled nurses who have been working with Tsuen Wan Adventist Hospital for over a year, and are fluent in English.

Research Problem and Hypothesis

Shortage of nurses is a global occurrence that has continued to impact private hospitals. Nursing shortage results in nurses’ high turnover rate (Davidson et al. 1997). Replacing the lost nurses has proven to be difficult. The problem has been reported to be a result of job satisfaction and employee retention (Ho 1995). It is against this backdrop that the researcher aims at investigating the level of job satisfaction in private hospitals, and factors influencing job satisfaction in nursing.

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For the researcher to achieve the study’s objectives and explore the topic in totality, a number of research questions were developed. They include:

  1. What factors including compensatory benefits, nature of the work, resources, amount of work, job security, supervision, colleagues, recognition, as well as physical conditions influence nurses’ job satisfaction in Hong Kong?
  2. What is the number one causing factors of nurse shortages and high nurse turnover rate?
  3. How do demographic factors influence job satisfaction?
  4. Does the management style of a private hospital influence job satisfaction, and if so in what aspect?
  5. What is the relationship between job satisfaction and a private hospitals performance, especially the quality of health care?
  6. How can private hospitals ensure job satisfaction and employee retention?

Research Design

Research design entails the research methodology and procedure used in a study. For the purposes of achieving the objectives of the research study, both secondary and primary research methods including quantitative and qualitative research were used. Secondary data includes the use of existing data in scholarly articles and journals. On the other hand, primary data includes the use of questionnaires and interviews to collect the relevant information. The researcher chose to use the two research methods, because they needed in-depth information on the research topic. The researcher used questionnaires, which contained both open ended and closed ended questions for the quantitative part, and face-to-face interview with the randomly selected staff for the qualitative part. The researcher will have an advantage using the two methods of data collection. Since biases would be avoided and the data collected would be ascertained for the purposes of making an informed conclusion.

Instrument Used

Quantitative Method

The investigator developed a number of instruments that were used in the research. These included Information sheet, Demographic sheet, and Consent form. Another instrument used was the Job Satisfaction Survey-Global (JSS-G). It is designed to be employed in a range of cultural settings. In this case, JSS-G was used to appraise job satisfaction. The objective of the survey was to discover the level of satisfaction among the nursing staff in different phases of their job. The survey comprised of various facets. The facets were the factors affecting job satisfaction among nurses in Tsuen Wan Adventist Hospital.

Qualitative Method

Face to face interview was used to collect data. Open-ended questions, founded on Maslow, were utilized in this method. The aim was to investigate their opinions regarding job satisfaction. The interview procedure was audio-taped.

Procedures of Study

Quantitative Method

In order to distribute the Questionnaires, information sheets and consent forms, a distribution list was acquired from the Human Resource Department of Tsuen Wan Adventist Hospital. The list was then used to distribute these instruments. After filling the questionnaires, the respondents were to send them back to the researcher either directly or through the hospital’s porter system. To enhance this, an envelope was attached to the questionnaire.

Qualitative Method

Qualitative interviews were performed after qualitative data was collected. Random sampling was used to select nurses who took part in the face to face interview. The interviews provided first hand information regarding job satisfaction, and this is beneficial. They also offered a deeper understanding about their job satisfaction.

Statistical Treatment of Data

The quantitative data, obtained using the questionnaires, will be analyzed using SPSS 16 for Windows. The qualitative data, collected using interviews, will be written down. From this, the required information will be obtained and then analyzed.

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