J Dent Hyg Sci.  2020 Sep;20(3):163-170. 10.17135/jdhs.2020.20.3.163.

A Qualitative Study on Job Satisfaction of Dental Hygienists with Low Experience

  • 1Department of Dental Hygiene, Graduate School, Namseoul University, Cheonan 31020, Korea
  • 2Department of Dental Hygiene, Namseoul University, Cheonan 31020, Korea


Job satisfaction of dental hygienists has been discussed continuously in dental hygiene research. It has been the most representative performance variable in dental and human resource management. However, in quantitative research, most of the studies have analyzed the causal relationship with variables related to dental hygienists’ job satisfaction. The existing qualitative research contains only the studies that targeted dental hygienists with an experience of more than 10 years. The present study aimed to understand and to characterize the job satisfaction of dental hygienists with an experience of 2 to 10 years and to compare it with the qualitative research on dental hygienists with an experience of 10 or more years.
An in-depth interview of dental hygienists with 2 to 10 years of experience working in 10 dental clinics was conducted. For data analysis, Giorgi’s analysis method was used.
After analyzing the meaning of job satisfaction of dental hygienists, 180 semantic words and 19 subcategories were derived. The results of the interview were categorized into for central meanings: recognition and rewards, work experience and ability improvement, occupational characteristics, and work characteristics. Recognition and rewards included workplace recognition, patient recognition, self-effort and recognition, and the feeling of being rewarded. Work experience and ability improvement included various work experiences and factors relates to improving the work ability. Occupational characteristics included professional job, interest and persistence, job extensibility, and no burden of employment. Work characteristics included working conditions and separation of work and private life.
The development of tools to measure the level of dental hygienists’ job satisfaction after long-term service and to conduct follow-up research regarding ways and effects to improve job satisfaction is needed.


Dental hygienists; Job satisfaction; Qualitative research
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