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Naira Khachatryan, Michael Bowen, Martin Cordiner, Arthur Melkonyan; The UK Optometric Workforce Survey: job satisfaction among optometrists. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2012;53(14):1418.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
In 2010 the College of Optometrists initiated a survey to investigate the optometric workforce in the UK
This was a cross sectional survey of members of the College of Optometrists, representing 77% of the optometrists registered to practice in the UK (n=11,901). Data was collected using an online and postal survey on socio-demographic characteristics, patterns of practice, training and experience, job satisfaction and future intentions of individual optometrists. Job satisfaction (JS) data was collected using a validated questionnaire developed for a survey of general practice doctors. Ten questions explored the personal, practice and job factors influencing JS. JS was measured on scale of 1 to 7, with higher scores representing higher satisfaction levels. Data was managed in SPSS and SAS. Analysis of variance was run to investigate impact of socio-economic, education and employment factors on each JS variable.
3,122 optometrists participated in the study. Respondents reported high rates of job satisfaction. For all ten variables, the mean rate of satisfaction was approximately 5. The highest rates of satisfaction were reported in the ability to choose methods of working (5.6) and amount of responsibility (5.7). Participants were less satisfied with recognition (4.7) and remuneration (4.9). A positive response to the question "Do you feel that your clinical skills are continuously being developed?" and high income levels was associated with increased job satisfaction scores for all JS variables. Optometrists with a special area of interest in optometry were more satisfied with ‘freedom to choose own methods of working’ and ‘amount of variety in their jobs’ than those with no special area of interest. The optometrists working at "Independent Practice" and "Hospital or Academic Institution" reported higher overall satisfaction than those working at "Multiple Practices". Optometrists working more hours/week (>37.5) were less satisfied with their job, on the majority of JS variables, than those working fewer hours. Optometrists of ‘any Asian’ or ‘any Black and mixed ethnicity’ were less satisfied with the amount of variety in their job and remuneration compared to those of ‘any White ethnicity’.
Job satisfaction is important for the stability, effectiveness and efficiency of the workforce. Further research is needed to investigate these results, which suggest that factors such as practice type, working hours, level of control and variety of practice as well as ethnicity play important roles in determining satisfaction.
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