Department of Dental Hygiene, Kwangju Women’s University1
Objectives: This study aimed to provide basic data on ways to facilitate effective communication between patients and dental hygienists, to improve the job satisfaction of dental hygienists, and to reduce the turnover rate among dental hygienists. Therefore, a comparative analysis of the perception of dental hygienists’ emotional labor was conducted targeting patients and dental hygienists. Methods: Data were collected from August 1 to September 20, 2018, from 367 participants, including 216 dental hygienists and 151 patients residing in Gwangju, Jeonnam. Using the co-orientation model, their perception of dental hygienists’ emotional labor was analyzed through the independent t-test and paired t-test. Results: With reference to objective consistency, patients showed a higher perception of dental hygienists’ emotional labor than dental hygienists did, indicating that the former perceived the emotional labor more negatively. Regarding accuracy, there were significant differences in dental hygienists’ response to six questions, while the same was observed for 11 questions for patients. Thus, the accuracy of dental hygienists was relatively higher than that of patients. Conclusions: To help dental hygienists perform dental health prevention activities more actively, consistently, and happily, and to establish commitment and professionalism in dental hygienists to enhance national dental health. Additionally, it would be necessary to sustain continuous research interest on measures for understanding the co-oriented relationship between patients and dental hygienists, and to solve the negative elements of dental hygienists’ emotional labor.
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