Dedicated but Poorly paid! Study on Health Care Assistants’ Views on their Profession

DOI: 10.3238/zfa.2014.0445-0450

german translation / full article

Corina Guethlin, Ingrid Gerlach, Vera Müller, Sylvia Schutz-Rothe, Elke Schmiedeberg, Steffi Restle, Brigitte März, Anita Marini, Sabrina Banduhn

Keywords: Health Care Assistant Medical Assistant Family Practice Family Practice Team

Background: The increased involvement of health care personnel that are not doctors is being discussed as a means of safeguarding the quality of health care. This will necessitate the greater involvement of qualified health care assistants (HCAs). Currently very few data are available on HCAs’ views on their profession.

Method: In an online survey based on a self-developed questionnaire, HCAs were asked questions about job satisfaction, training and their personal views on their profession. Recruitment took place via medical media channels.

Results: Data from 410 HCAs were analyzed, of whom 55 % (n = 225) worked in a family practice, 45 % (n = 185) in a specialist’s clinic or in a hospital and 91 % (n = 374) had completed their HCA training. Job satisfaction was middling (mean 4.4) and was lowest with regard to salary (mean 3.4). 90 % of participants had taken part in an average of 6.4 training programs over the previous three years. More than 90 % of the HCAs regarded their influence on patient loyalty and well-being as high/very high.

Conclusions: HCAs are dedicated to their profession as demonstrated by high participation rates in training and high levels of motivation to develop their abilities. Job satisfaction, on the other hand, is rather modest. Family doctors could provide HCAs with more recognition by expanding the scope of their responsibilities.

(State: 17.11.2014)

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