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Keywords:

  • Healthcare Workers;
  • Nurses;
  • Uganda;
  • Work Life Quality;
  • Workplace Stress

Aims

To describe perceived work-related quality of life of Ugandan healthcare workers. A secondary aim was to seek participant input on ways to improve work environments.

Background

Poor patient outcomes, decreased employee motivation and decisions to leave the organization have been linked to poor work conditions. Interventions to correct healthcare worker shortage in developing countries require information about work quality of life.

Methods

Descriptive cross-sectional study conducted in health and educational settings in Uganda in July 2011. Participants completed the Biographical Information Scale demographic questionnaire and the validated 24-item Work-Related Quality of Life scale.

Results

Sample included 146 healthcare workers employed in various settings. Participants reported poorer quality of work life on the work conditions, control at work and home–work interface subscales. Participants perceived stress at work to be low and experienced higher job career satisfaction. There was a significant relationship between work-related quality of life, gender and hours worked. Participants' suggestions to improve work life ranged from simple no-cost suggestions to more complex system level interventions.

Discussion

Work-related quality of life was low in this convenience sample. Perceived stress at work was lower than expected, but may have been due to nurses' expectations of a normal work assignment. Predominantly women, the participants had significant caregiving responsibilities.

Nursing implications

Nurses must acquire a seat at the table where crucial decisions about nursing and its future are made. By advancing leadership skills, nurses can effectively advocate for organizational changes that address broad factors related to increasing job satisfaction, and retaining and attracting nurses.

Conclusion

Nurses can influence work quality of life individually and collectively by identifying workplace concerns, demanding safe work environments, fostering teamwork and enhancing professional growth.