Determinants of Job Satisfaction among Radiation Therapy Faculty

By Swafford, Larry G.; Legg, Jeffrey S. | Journal of Allied Health, Fall 2009 | Go to article overview

Determinants of Job Satisfaction among Radiation Therapy Faculty


Swafford, Larry G., Legg, Jeffrey S., Journal of Allied Health


Job satisfaction is one of the most significant predictors of employee retention in a variety of occupational settings, including health care and education. A national survey of radiation therapy educators (n = 90) has indicated that respondents are not satisfied with their jobs based on data collected using the Minnesota Satisfaction Questionnaire (MSQ). To predict the factors associated with job satisfaction or dissatisfaction, the authors used a nine-item questionnaire derived from the MSQ. Educators were grouped according to their job satisfaction scores, and multiple discriminant analysis was used to determine which factors were predictive of satisfaction among groups of educators. Statistical results indicate that ability utilization, institutional support, compensation, personnel, and job characteristics were key determinants of job satisfaction among radiation therapy educators. These results may better inform faculty and administration of important factors that can promote job satisfaction and retain faculty in radiation therapy education programs. J Allied Health 2009; 38:163-169.

JOB SATISFACTION is one of the most significant predictors of employee retention in a variety of occupational settings including health care1,2 and education.3-6 Low employee morale and dissatisfaction with one's job are correlated with increased turnover rates in organizations.7 Employee turnover is expensive; the average cost to replace an employee is estimated to be between 30 to 150% of their salary,8 due to costs incurred such as loss in productivity, costs of finding and selecting a replacement, and costs of training the new employee.9

Although some turnover is inevitable, many times it can be avoided. Organizations can employ strategies to improve employee satisfaction. A successful recruitment and retention program should take into account the needs of the workforce and other incentives to create the most enticing work environment possible. Other elements may include being responsive to employees' needs, offering benefits that appeal to current and potential employees, and promoting those benefits. Targeting those factors that enhance job satisfaction and alleviate job dissatisfaction is paramount to retain current employees and recruit employees including allied health faculty and, specifically, radiation therapy educators.10

Literature Review

Numerous studies exist regarding job satisfaction among health care providers and clinicians in allied health, medicine, and nursing. However, fewer studies have been conducted on job satisfaction of allied health educators in general and radiologic technology educators specifically. Job satisfaction among nurse anesthesia faculty, measured using the Minnesota Satisfaction Questionnaire (MSQ),11 indicated that general nurse anesthesia educators expressed a moderate degree of job satisfaction. Six job satisfaction subscales of the MSQ were ranked highest: social service, moral values, achievement, ability utilization, activity, and variety. The lowest ranked subscales associated with job satisfaction were company policies and practices, recognition, advancement, supervision, human relations, and compensation. It should be noted that the subscales ranked highest as regards to job satisfaction could be classified primarily as intrinsic variables. Conversely, the subscales associated with lower levels of job satisfaction were primary extrinsic.

Cosgrove12 investigated perceptions of the leadership skills/behaviors of occupational therapy (OT) program directors to determine if leadership impacted OT faculty job satisfaction. Based on four different survey instruments, results indicated that OT faculty were generally satisfied with their jobs. Furthermore, employee perceptions of the program director's leadership behaviors significantly and positively related to their job satisfaction.

Physical therapy (PT) faculty were surveyed to determine if individuals currently holding PT faculty positions differed from those who had recently left similar positions. …

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