Quality of work-life is defined as "The desires of a staff with regard to working conditions, remuneration, and professional development, work-family role balance, safety and social interactions in the workplace and social relativity of work". QWL refers to the staff’s satisfaction with working life; it is a subjective phenomenon influenced by personal feelings and perceptions1,2. QWL is an interdisciplinary subject with roots in psychology, sociology and healthcare management. QWL is a combination of strategies and procedures associated with the workplace, that aim to support the staff's status by enhancing the work conditions. QWL has evolved since the 1960s. Initially, the concept was based on human perspectives of work aiming to create homogeneity between staff and their work environment. The idiom "Quality of Work Life" (QWL) was first introduced by Louis Davis in 19721. Most recently, Easton and Van Lar3 developed the WRQoL-2 method to assess Quality of Work Life that involved 6 subscales: Job and Career Satisfaction (JCS), Control at Work (CAW), Homework Interface (HWI), General Well-Being (GWB), Stress at Work (SAW) and Work Conditions (WCS).
QWL is a broad concept that considers staff wellbeing and views their experiences of work and the work environment as essential to their success and the achievement of the organization's objectives. Behavioral scientists agree on eight essential categories for QWL: 1) safe and secure working conditions 2) adequate pay and compensation 3) developing staff skills 4) continued growth 5) social integration with the work organization 6) work and total living space 7) constitutionalism in the work organization 8) social relevance to work-life1. QWL is a construct that has been much analyzed and confirmed to increase staff professional growth, productivity, and achievement4. QWL has numerous dimensions; work-life balance, work environment, participative management, job satisfaction, reward and recognition, proper grievances handling, welfare facilities, and organizational commitment5.
Job and Career Satisfaction:
When studying QWL, we must differentiate between career satisfaction and job satisfaction. Job satisfaction is a subjective condition; happiness that arises from the responsibility; independence and strength of the work experience. Job satisfaction relates to achievement and maintenance of such success, whereas job dissatisfaction is a significant cause for large team turnover and defection6. There is an interconnection between job satisfaction and absenteeism, turnover rate, conscientiousness, and staff commitment7. A model of job satisfaction that contains four elements: job performance, company performance, role perceptions, and job-related factors 8. There are four variables that may affect the perception of staff of quality of work-life: meaningfulness, pessimism regarding a change in the organization, job satisfaction, and self- confidence9. These four qualities of work-life variables were positively associated with staff perception of job satisfaction.
Career satisfaction is defined as the well-being of staff in the physical and external dimensions of the work, incorporating career progression and opportunities for the staff10. Staff that are able to maintain a satisfying life by reducing pressure and conflict and providing a social connection between staff and the work environment report a high level of QWL in this area.
Control at Work and Home-Work Interface
The conceptual framework of QWL can be viewed through four dimensions: work environment, work context, work life-home, and lifework design4. The work environment can be defined as the impact of societal changes on professional practice. The work context incorporates the setting of practicing work and the effect of the work environment on staff. The work-life/ home life dimension is the integration and compromise between home life and work life. The life-work design deals with the composition of the work and identifies the actual work being done. For instance, the availability of supplies, work tasks, security, education, staffing ratios, and individual success are parts of the quality of the work-life equation11.
Work Conditions and Stress
Ensuring excellent work conditions and reducing stress is critical to improving productivity and job satisfaction, and reducing turnover, robust quality of work life is a necessity to attract new staff and encourage them to remain committed. Enhancing the quality of work-life may benefit team performance; reduce absenteeism, burnout, and lower staff turnover rates. It is also used to enhance work conditions to enable staff to become more active and vital within the organization. Therefore, procedures and policies that create the experience12, 7, 9 of work should include more satisfying tasks for staff. Policies and procedures could consist of elements to promote independence, belongingness or loyalty, skill development, provide external rewards; and giving credit for achieved work. Human resources recruitment and staffing may be positively impacted by the staff's QWL. It is a means to provide attention to the needs and demands of staff with a view towards their needs at the job and their lives outside of work13. Quality of work-life can be utilized to bolster the strength of staff, reduce stress, enable them to meet performance requirements and improve experiences at work13. QWL is positively influenced by supportive visionary leadership, in setting effective management of resources and in raising collaboration levels between staff 14.
QWL for Healthcare Personnel
The factors pertaining to the broader healthcare environment affect healthcare service quality, so it is in the interests of healthcare administrators to provide the best quality work environment to their staff in order to achieve the organizations vision, mission and goals successfully14. There is a recent interest in healthcare organizations all over the world in regards of raising QWL levels to bolster the organizational performance and to result in satisfied patients12. A high level of QWL is essential for healthcare organizations to attract and retain talented and qualified healthcare personnel. High levels of QWL ensure staff are more committed, engaged, satisfied and willing to offer their best efforts. QWL is essential to healthcare organizations who manage highly technical professionals, because the high performance is the core of the success of the organizations and the impacts the satisfaction and wellbeing of patients15. Many healthcare organizations are investigating issues of retention and recruitment via accomplishing a high quality of work-life aesthetic16. Another primary dimension is the quality of attention given to the patient, which relates significantly to the quality of work-life situation for technologists and other healthcare personnel. Job satisfaction has been linked to raising the quality of service at healthcare organizations. In the health-care setting, QWL is linked to leadership, work policies, and other aspects; each of which has a contemplative impact on how staff see their place in their organizations. QWL aims to promote and sustain the satisfaction of staff to increase productivity and to accomplish an organization's objectives13. There is a growing body of research evaluating the QWL for healthcare professionals; nevertheless, no studies have dealt with QWL for MRITs in KSA. Our search on Medline, CINAHL, Web of Science and PubMed yielded no results in this regard. Therefore, we chose to review published literature focused on nurses for the similarities in the work environment of nurses and MRITs, such as work conditions, pressure, and working hours. Powerful QWL can influence the commitment and contribution of the staff in healthcare organizations.
Quality of Nursing Work Life (QNWL)
A number of studies addressed QWL in the medical sector. One aimed to identify the relationship between QWL and turnover intention in nurses working in healthcare centers in KSA16. The study used Brooks’ scale for Quality of Nursing Work Life (QNWL) as a tool; surveying 508 nurses in the Jizan region and found dissatisfaction among the respondents regarding their QWL; 203 nurses expressed an intent to leave their jobs – a potential turnover rate of 40%. The average score on the Brooks' scale for respondents was (139.45/252), a low QWL score. The same scale (QNWL) was used to evaluate QWL and nursing turnover intention for 364 nurses working in King Fahad Medical City (KFMC) and King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center (KFSH&RC)17. The results revealed a dissatisfaction in QWL among the nursing staff of both hospitals with a percentage of 54.7% and the turnover intention rate was very high 94%. Both studies reveal QWL dissatisfaction among nursing staff in KSA and high turnover intention rates. Another study aimed to measure the correlation between QWL and work engagement in KSA. The sample consisted of 207 nurses working in hospitals in the Eastern region of KSA and found a correlation between the three dimensions of job engagement: absorption, dedication and vigor18 (see Figure 1).
This study is concerned with the quality of work life for MRITs and how it affects the work environment in the healthcare organization. Identifying the level of QWL helps in determining whether the current circumstances are ideal for MRITs or if there are potential improvements that could be made in conditions where MRITs work.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technicians (MRITs) are qualified healthcare staff managing radiology imaging equipment, which doctors require to diagnose and treat patients. We have used a similar methodology as previously used to study QWL in nursing staff. MRITs and nurses work equivalent working hours, have similar work conditions and deal with similar challenges and pressures in various aspects of their work responsibilities, with an intense workload, the necessity of interaction with different specializations and facing delays throughout practice, as well as performing non-work-related duties such as supporting family. Other challenges they face center around career progression, training, financial benefits, and flexible scheduling, all issues potentially impacting their quality of work-life.
The current study assessed the quality of work-life and identified the degree and correlation with JCS among MRITs working in NGHA with a view to enhance the QWL and consequently raise the quality of healthcare services provided to patients, increasing patients' satisfaction and promoting the medical facilities in KSA.
- What is the level of QWL for MRITs?
- What is the degree of JCS for MRITs?
- Is there a correlation Between QWL and JCS for MRITs?