Healthcare professionals’ work engagement in Finnish university hospitals

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Abstract

Background

Concerns about the sufficiency and dedication of the healthcare workforce have arisen as the baby boomer generation is retiring and the generation Y might have different working environment demands.

Aims and objective

To describe the association between work engagement of healthcare professionals’ and its background factors at five Finnish university hospitals.

Methods

Survey data were collected from nurses, physicians and administrative staff (n = 561) at all five university hospitals in Finland. Data were collected using an electronic questionnaire that comprised the Utrecht Work Engagement Scale (9 items) and 13 questions regarding the respondents’ backgrounds. Descriptive and correlational analyses were used to examine the data.

Results

Most respondents were female (85%) and nursing staff (72%). Baby boomers (49%) were the largest generational cohort. The work engagement composite mean for the total sample was 5.0, indicating high work engagement. Significant differences in work engagement existed only among sex and age groups. The highest work engagement scores were among administrative staff.

Conclusions

Work engagement among healthcare professionals in Finnish university hospitals is high. High work engagement might be explained by suitable job resources and challenges, as well as opportunities provided by a frontline care environment. Attention should especially be paid to meeting the needs of young people entering the workforce to strengthen their dedication and absorption.

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