Purpose. Job satisfaction is important to employee commitment and performance, particularly in a new profession. There is an early indication that Minnesota (MN) DTs are satisfied with their career choice, however, correlates associated with job satisfaction are unknown. The purpose of this study was to investigate MN dental therapists’(DTs’) job satisfaction and the associated correlates. Methods. This study used a cross-sectional survey design. Licensed DTs currently practicing in MN comprised the study sample (n=89). Hackman and Oldham’s Job Diagnostic Survey (JDS) was used to measure the levels of five core dimensions associated with job satisfaction (skill variety, task identity, task significance, autonomy, and feedback from the job itself). Additionally, job motivation was also explored using Hackman and Oldham’s calculation for a Motivating Potential Score (MPS). Results. The overall response rate was 33% (n=28). Eighty-seven percent of MN DTs surveyed are satisfied with their job. The job dimension that held the strongest correlation with job satisfaction among MN DTs was task significance (92%), followed by autonomy (85%, task identity (82%), and skill variety (80%), and feedback from the job itself (78%). Participants who work in a private dental office were more highly motivated compared to those working in other settings (95% confidence interval [CI]: 22-117 points higher). Conclusion. This study found that MN job satisfaction is high. The correlates of job satisfaction reported among Minnesota dental therapists included responsibility to autonomously complete patient treatment utilizing a variety of skills, positive professional and interpersonal relationships, perceived meaningfulness of their work, and feeling motivated for continued growth. However, suggestions for improvement include pay commensurate with skillset utilization, more feedback from stakeholders, and mentorship to encourage positive work-place relationships and sustainability for the profession.
University of Minnesota M.S. thesis. June 2020. Major: Dentistry. Advisor: Cynthia Stull. 1 computer file (PDF); viii, 96 pages.
Job Satisfaction Levels of Minnesota Dental therapists and the Associated Correlates.
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