Organizational ergonomics – reflections and guidelines

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Organizational ergonomics – reflections and guidelines

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Title Organizational ergonomics – reflections and guidelines
Author(s) Hjalmers, Karin
Date 2010
English abstract
Abstract of oral presentation.Background: Studies on the physical and psychosocial work situation for dentists constitute the background for ongoing studies about positive, healthy and rewarding aspects in dentists’ work life, to find ways of achieving a sustainable work life. We investigate organizational differences in public and private dentistry in Sweden and Denmark. Organizational ergonomics combines elements of both the physical and the psychosocial work situation and focuses on a good work situation with high efficiency. A condition for achieving this is that the dentists feel well. My research earlier has focused on the reality and the ideals for Swedish female unpromoted general practice dentists (GPDs) (material 1), working in the Public Dental Health Service (PDHS). In Sweden, more than half of all dentists are employed in the PDHS, where the female GPDs without a managerial function constitute the largest group. These dentists had serious work-environmental problems. The difference was marked between their ideal work situation and reality. They felt a lack of influence, with the greatest difference between ideals and reality of all measured indicators. When comparing these dentists with other human service groups, including oral and maxillofacial surgeons (mostly men, material 2), we have shown that the female dentists felt worse than the others. The strongest component in the dentists’ work was “moral values and skill discretion”, which confirms Hasenfeld’s theory of Human Service Organizations. Materials: Four materials were used. 1. A questionnaire about psychosocial work environment and healthy work to all female unpromoted GPDs in a region of Sweden. Response rate 94 %. (Hjalmers K. Diss. 2006) 2. A questionnaire concerning psychosocial work environment to all personnel at oral and maxillofacial surgery clinics in Sweden. Response rate 86 %. (Pilgård G. Diss. 2009) 3. Nine semi-structured, in-depth interviews with a phenomenological approach about overall job satisfaction with GPDs from Sweden and Denmark. (Berthelsen H, Hjalmers K. 2008) 4. A questionnaire about the multidimensional concept of overall job satisfaction to 1835 GPDs, randomly sampled from the Swedish/Danish dental associations. Response rate 68 %. (Söderfeldt B, Hjalmers K, Berthelsen H, Bergström K, Ordell S. 2008) Results and Conclusions: There were several differences for dentists working in public/private/Swedish /Danish dentistry, e.g. as to the perception of overall job satisfaction, professional autonomy, and how the job affected their health. The dentists’ emphasis on moral values confirms the character of dentistry as primarily human service work and not industrial work, and should be considered when organizing dentists’ work. The overall job satisfaction emanates from the patient relation, and from the possibility to perform high quality handicraft, thus involving both moral values and skill discretion. Support from colleagues is important. About 50 % of the Swedish public, 60 % of the Swedish private and 75 % of both the public and private Danish dentists, thought they would continue working until the normal age of retirement. To achieve a sustainable, complete working life, it is really important that dentists have decision authority over their work situation and feel overall job satisfaction.
Language eng (iso)
Subject(s) Medicine
Research Subject Categories::ODONTOLOGY
Note European Society of Dental Ergonomics (ESDE). 23rd Annual Meeting, 4-5 June 2010, in Ghent, Belgium.
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