Job satisfaction, social support, and the work environment of critical care nurses
This descriptive correlational study investigated the relationship among job satisfaction, social support, and the work environment of critical care nurses. The instrument for the study was a four-part mailed questionnaire. The Biographical Index (BI) collected descriptive information about study participants and their work setting. The Job Satisfaction Questionnaire (JSQ) utilized a Porter-item format to measure job satisfaction according to the Expectancy Theory of Motivation. The Work Environment Scale (WES) addressed perceptions of the work environment from the socio-technical perspective. The Personal Resource Questionnaire Part 2 (PRQ) measured the characteristics of social support as they relate to Weiss' relational dimensions.
The sample for the study consisted of 237 randomly selected members of the American Association of Care Nurses who met the study criteria by indicating present employment in a critical care unit. Coefficient alphas of the three scales were JSQ, 0.80; WES, 0.81; and PRQ, 0.92. Factor analysis of the JSQ indicated the three subscales which were named Extrinsic Rewards, Intrinsic Rewards, and Achievement Rewards. The WES had four subscales which were named Personal Growth, Organizational Climate, Time Dimension, and Job Stress. The PRQ had six subscales which were Attachment Social Integration, Reciprocity, Help/Helpfulness, and Nurturance. Pearson correlation coefficients of the three scales indicated that a positive relationship exists between the three concepts. The biographical variables of age, gender, marital status, shift worked, type of unit, size of the institution, and type of hospital influenced responses to the questionnaire. Education, highest degree, and length of employment 11 had no significant influence on subjects' responses.
Implications of the investigation included the recommendation that nursing leaders exercise a democractic leadership style which fosters the attainment of intrinsic and achievement rewards. Critical care nurses should enhance extrinsic rewards through recognition of co-workers for a job well done. The organization should provide support groups for critical care nurses to moderate the problematic consequences of functioning within this demanding environment.