RESEARCH – March 2007

Staff satisfaction with their job and working environment in Estonian hospitals


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During the last 10 years Estonian hospitals have initiated a number of quality-related activities, like implementation  of quality management systems and health promoting principles and risk analysis at workplaces. In addition to  patient satisfaction studies, staff satisfaction studies have become more common in hospitals.
The purpose of the study was to evaluate the level of job satisfaction among the staff of four Estonian hospitals and to compare satisfaction levels for different professions.
Methods. In 2004–2006 studies of staff satisfaction with job were conducted in four Estonian hospitals by using an anonymous questionnaire.
Results. The response rate was 58%. Two-thirds of 403 respondents were satisfied with their job. The level of job satisfaction was mostly predicted by the factors related to the working environment and management of work processes. The models of job satisfaction were  different for different professions. Satisfaction with management of work process was an important factor for physicians and nursing staff including auxiliary nurses. Also, being informed about the strategic plans and economic situation of the hospital was important for the satisfaction of the nursing staff. The most important predictor of job satisfaction for the non-medical staff was variety of tasks.
Conclusion. The staff’s job satisfaction depends on how work processes are managed. Coordination and analysis of work processes could be a predictor for higher satisfaction among hospital staff as well as for better quality of all health services.