- Volume 3 Issue 2
Purpose: This study sought to identify factors associated with dental hygienists' decisions to leave one dental office and commence practice in another. In addition to, the reasons dental hygienists stay in the profession were investigated. Demographic descriptors, including education level, marital status and age, and employment setting were also examined. Methods: Currently practicing dental hygienists in Korea were surveyed from March to May 2003. Data were collected through a questionnaire. The survey collected information concerning the 461 respondents' personal characteristics and reasons associated with changing positions and staying. Data were analyzed using frequency distributions, independent t-tests and chi-square analyses. All statistical analyses were conducted using the Statistical Package for Social Scientists(SPSS v.10, Chicago, Illinois). Results: The primary reasons for taking up another employment were found to be better offer, inadequate salary and personal conflict with dentist. Secondary reasons stated for changing their job revealed additional factors including inadequate salary, better offer, and lack of benefits. The primary influence in deciding to remaining in the practice of dental hygiene was self-development. Family responsibility, safe environment and professional collaboration were also important factors in deciding to remain in workforce. Conclusion: The position changes of dental hygienists are primarily influenced by better offer. Inadequate salary and conflict with dentist were also important factors in deciding to change employment positions. The findings suggest that dental hygienists who remain in the workforce are positively influenced mainly by self-development. Employers of dental hygienists should be aware of these factors in employing process. If more hygienists could remain longer in their positions, the manpower situation would be affected positively.