12-3 Integration into Work Settings and Satisfaction with Academic training
Integration into Work Settings and Satisfaction with Academic training – Results of a 5 year Alumni survey of Physical Therapy graduates
Dr Tamar Jacob, Dr Nitza Davidovitch
Background: The main target of physical therapy (PT) programs is to train professionals in the area. Therefore, physiotherapists’ integration in the clinical field and work satisfaction are valid outcomes of such a program.
Aims: To assess PT graduates’ work integration and satisfaction with their academic training, present professional position, and the profession.
Subjects: PT graduates from Ariel University Center of Samaria (2004-2009).
Methods: A cross-section analytical survey was performed. Data were collected by means of an electronic questionnaire consisting of questions regarding job characteristics, continued professional education, satisfaction from undergraduate clinical training and from the profession. The 20-item short version of the Minnesota Satisfaction Questionnaire (MSQ) was used to evaluate satisfaction from work.
Results: One hundred and five alumni participated in the survey, 97.2% are working in the field of physiotherapy. Seventy four and 83% of the participants are ‘very’ or ‘very much’ satisfied with their PT studies and with the profession respectively. Logistic regression indicated that the main predictors of work satisfaction were:
a) Satisfaction with the challenge and variations in work (β=.37);
b) Satisfaction with work conditions (β=.32) and
c) Satisfaction with PT studies (β=.20). The graduates perceived that they were best-trained in Orthopedic treatment, followed by Neurological and Respiratory treatment. About two thirds (71%) of the graduates had participated in a continuing education course and 10% are persuing a Master’s degree.
Conclusions: This survey indicates a very good integration of the Ariel physiotherapy graduates in their professional field as well as a high level of satisfaction from working in the field. The predictors of work satisfaction include professional and administrative factors. The graduates demonstrate a high level of motivation for continuing education. Most of the participants were satisfied with their undergraduate education. Surveys of other PT programs in Israel are needed for comparison.
Key words: alumni, work satisfaction, clinical training, work integration.