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Christiane Kugler, Selda Akca, Ina Einhorn, Anne Rebafka, Cynthia L. Russell
(Faculty of Health, University of Witten, Witten, Germany)
Ann Transplant 2016; 21:550-557
Numerically, nurses represent the largest healthcare profession, thus setting norms for the quality and safety of direct patient care. Evidence of a global shortage of nurses in all clinical practice settings across different healthcare systems and countries has been documented. The aims of the present study were: (1) to assess work environments in a sample of German transplant nurses, and (2) to compare their statements with a US-based sample.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: In a cross-sectional study, 181 transplant nurses from 16 German transplant centers provided information on their work environments. The translated version of the Job Design (JD) and Job Satisfaction (JS) survey showed satisfactory internal consistency for the JD (0.78) and JS (0.93) subscales. German nurses’ work environments were compared with 331 transplant nurses from the US.
RESULTS: The majority of transplant nurses were female (81.8%), 55.4% were age 21–40 years, and 78.1% were employed full-time. German (versus US) transplant nurses reported their job design to be best for ‘skill varieties’ (p≤0.0002), and worst for ‘autonomy’ (p≤0.01). Job satisfaction was best with ‘opportunities for autonomy and growth’ (p≤0.0001), and ‘pay and benefits’ (p≤0.0001) was lowest. A higher professional degree (OR 1.57; p≤0.03; 95% CI 1.19–2.86), and longer time in transplant (OR 1.24; p≤0.001; 95% CI 1.11–1.38) showed a positive impact on German transplant nurses’ perceptions of ‘job satisfaction’. Nurses with time-dependent working contracts perceived more stress negatively affecting job satisfaction (OR 1.13; p≤0.009; 95% CI 1.02–12.82).
CONCLUSIONS: German specialty nurses working in the field of solid organ transplantation rate their work environments with respect to job design and job satisfaction as satisfactory. Institutions’ investment into satisfactory nurse work environments and specializing nurses might increase the quality of care, thus improving patient outcomes.