DOCVdENT RBSUME 02256 - [A1332319] (Results of Survey of Current and Former Veterans Administration Health Care Workers]. HRD-77-94; B-133C044. ay 9, 1977, 8 pp. + 2 enclosures (2 pp.). Report to max Cleland, hdministrator of Veterans Affairs, Veterans Administration; by Gregory J. Ahart, Director, Human Resources and Development Div. Issue area: Personnel management and Compensation (300); Health Programs (1200);Health Programs: Health Providers (1202).: Contact: Human Resources and Development Div. Bud;et Function: Health: Health Care Services (551); Veterans Benefits and Services: Hospital and medical Care for Veterans (703). Congressional Relevance: House Committee on Veterans' Affairs; Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs. A survey of present and former employees in selected occupations in the Department of Medicine and Surgery of the Veterans Administration concerned causes of job satisfaction or dissatisfaction, reasons for accepting Government health care jobs, and the probability of changing jobs within a year. Questionnaires were sent to 362 forcer employees, of whom 186 responded, and to 2,527 present employees, of whoa 2,099 responded. Findings/Conclusions: Benefits and salary were the two principal reasons given by both former and present employee respondents for accepting th. job. Other major reasons included needing a job, venting to work in the Federal Service, and wanting to work in a health care career. The majority of both former and present employee respondents were satisfied with their salary and benefits. Job stability, the ability of fellow workers, and the type of patients were aspects of the work assignments with which most former and present employees were satisfied. About 30% of the present employee respondents were either undecided or anticipating a job change within the next year. The major reasons for seeking a new job were wanting more opportunities for promotion, needing a higher salary, wanting more opportunities for career development, and wanting to get more education or training. (SC) UNITED STATES GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICe i4o WASHINGTON, D.C. 205 HUMAN REUOUWCu (J 6 DIVI*ION MAY 9 1977 B-133044 The Honorable Max Cleland Administrator of Veterans Affairs Veterans Administration Dear Mr. Cleland: During our recent review of problems facing the Veterans Administration in recruiting and retaining health care workers, we sent questionnaires concerning employee satisfaction and job intentions to present and former employees in selected occupations within the Department of Medicine and Surgery (DM&S) (see enclosure I). In a report to the Congress we summarized the responses to these questionnaires 1/. We believe that a more complete presentation of the responses would be of benefit to VA and that is the purpose of this report. The results presented here are for those who answered a particular question and do not necessarily reflect the total number who responded; not all respondents answered each question and, for certain questions, respondents could give more than one answer. Only selected results are presented in this letter--those that pertain to causes of satisfaction or dissatisfaction among current and former employees, reasons for accepting first government health care job, and the probability of changing jobs within a year. RESULTS OF SURVEY OF FORMER DM&S HEALTH CARE WORKERS We sent questionnaires to 362 former DM&S health care workers and received a total of 186 responses, or 51 percent. 1/ "Recruitment and Retention of Veterans Administration Health Care Workers Are Not Major Problems," (HRD-77-57, 3/31/77). HRD-77-94 B-133044 We asked, in addition to other questions, why the respondents took their first Government health care job. As stated in our report, benefits and salary were the two principal reasons given by the respondents for accepting the job. Below is a list of reasons which the respondents believed were important factors in their decision to accept their first Government health care job. Number selecting this Percent of Reasons reason respondents Benefits 110 59 Salary 102 55 Needed a job 66 36 Wanted to work in the Federal Service 66 36 Job stability 58 31 Wanted to work in a health care career 56 30 Opportunities for career development and training 53 29 Promotion opportunities 52 28 Location or geographic area 47 25 Kind of patients 31 17 Wanted to change jobs 25 13 Influence of friend, family, relative, or acquaintance 24 13 Other reasons 22 12 Personal situation 16 9 Impressed by abilities of people working in hospital 15 8 Looks of hospital and working conditions i5 8 Opportunities for premium pay and overtime pay 13 7 Influence of recruiting people and literature 6 3 - 2- B-133044 In response to our question on how sat.sfied the respondents had been with various aspects of their job, the majority had been satisfied wit;l their salary and benefits. Below is a list of the job aspects and the percentage of respondents who indicated satisfaction. Number who Percent Aspects of work assignment responded satisfied Benefits 178 95 Salary 180 91 Job stability 177 89 Ability of fellow workers 378 88 Type of patients 177 76 Use of training 178 73 Public service 169 71 Personal situation 168 69 Civil Service system 166 66 Hospital conditions 176 65 Promotion opportunities 178 63 Work relationship with supervisors or management 178 63 Job conditions 177 63 Ability of supervisors, management and physicians 176 60 VA system 176 60 Other opportunities 164 59 Opportunities for career development and training 176 56 Other considerations 1' 7 In response to a question on emply-pes' reasons for leaving DM&S, the reasons most frequently given were various iob characteristics. Page 28 of our report to the Congress lists these reasons in detail. RESULTS OF SURVEY OF HEALTH CARE WORKERS E-PLOYED BY DM&S We sent questionnaires concerning compensation, job intentions, and other employee satisfaction matters to - 3 - B-133044 health care workers in selected occupations who were employed by the 12 VA hospitals which we visited (see enclosure II). Of the 4775 non-supervisory employees at these hospitals, we distributed uestionnaires to 2527 employees and received 2099 completed questionnaires, a response rate of 83 percent. The majority of the respondents were satisfied with the salary and benefits of their job. The following list shows the percentage of respondents who were satisfied with various aspects of their work assignment. Aspects of Number who Percent work assignment respor.ded satisfied Job stability 1975 96 Benef-.ts 2010 95 Ability of fellow workers 1981 95 Type of patients 1972 87 Personal situation 1907 86 Wor' relationship with supervisors or management 1995 85 Public service 1882 85 Job conditions 1986 82 Use of training 1986 81 Premium and Overtime pay 1951 80 Ability of supervisors, management and physicians 1982 78 Civil Service system 1929 78 VA system 1984 77 Hospital conditions 1980 77 Salary 2021 76 Other opportunities 1828 70 Opportunities for career development and training 1983 66 Promotion opportunities 1974 57 Other considerations 95 26 As shown above, most respondents to cur questionnaire were generally satisfied with the aspects of their present work assignment. - 4 - B-133044 In response to the question on why they took their first Government health care job, over 40 percent stated that salary and/or benefits were the most important reasons for accepting their job. Reasons given by the respondents are listed below. Number selecting this Percent of Reasons reasoa respondents Benefits 990 47 Salary 852 41 Wanted to work in Federal service 807 39 Job stability 768 37 Needed a job 668 32 Wanted co work in health care career 554 26 Location or geographic area 541 26 Opportunities for career development and training 466 22 Promotion opportunities 441 21 Wanted to chan;e job 406 19 Infl.uence of friend, family, relative or acquaintance 324 15 Kind of patients 235 11 Personal situation 173 8 Premium and overtime pay 155 7 Locks of hospital and working conditions 147 7 Impressed by ability oZ people working in hospital 143 7 Other reasons 103 5 Influence of recruiting people and literature 73 4 5 B-133044 The probability of changing jobs within a year was high for about 14 percent of our respondents. An additional 16 percent were undecided about changing jobs. The following reasons were given by those employees either undecided or anticipating a job change. Number selecting this Percent of Reasons reason respondents Wanted more opportunit'es for promotion 395 66 Needed higher salary .59 60 Wanted more opportunities for career development 335 56 Wanted to get more education and training 334 55 Desired a promotion to more skilled health care job 260 43 Training and experience not used well 242 40 Desired a better job 190 32 Did not respect the ability of supervisors, management, or physicians 155 26 Did not like work relation- ship with supervisor or hospital managers 143 24 Did not like working conditions 134 22 Wanted to work with different types of patients 134 22 Did not like hospital conditions 127 21 Wanted to go to a different part of the country or location 125 21 Wanted to try a different type of job career 119 20 - 6 - B-133044 Number selecting this Percent of Reasons reason respondents Did not like job situation 109 18 Needed more premium overtime pay 89 15 Wtnted more job stability 60 10 Felt it was time to move 60 10 Needed to be with family and the family moved 46 8 Needed to stay home (pregnancy, family, children, etc.) 35 6 Did not respect ability of fellow workers 35 6 Wanted to take wage board job 31 5 Did not like working for Federal Government 24 4 CONCLUSIONS Health care workers responding to our questionnaire who were employed by DM&S at the time of our review were generally satisfied with their compensation and most aspects of their assignment or career possibilities. This general satisfaction is further emphasized by the fact that about 70 percent of the respondents plan on continuing their career in DM&S. Both the former and current employees indicated salary and benefits as being the primary motivations in accepting their first Government health care job. The most frequent reasons given for leaving DM&S were various job characteristics, not salary or benefits. The computer-generated tabulation from which this detailed summary information is based is too voluminous to - 7 - B-133044 enclose in this report. We believe, however, that this information would be informative to DM&S officials. We would be willing, therefore, to share the detailed questionnaire tabulation data with VA. If you would like this information, please contact Mr. George D. Peck, Assistant Director, on 389-5281. We appreciate the assistance given us during our review. Sincerely yours, Gregy . hart Director Enclosures - 2 - 8 - ENCLOSURE I TNCLOSURE I OCCUPATIONS SELECTED FOR REVIEW Registered nurses Licented vocational practical nurses Nursing assistants Physical therapists Occupational therapists Medical technologists Radiology technicians--diagnostic Pharmacists Nuclear medicine technicians Irhalation therapy technicians ENCLOSURE II ENCLOSURE II VA HOSPITALS REVIEWED Number of beds Facilities over 500 beds: Atlanta, Georgia (note a) 550 Long Beach, California (note a) 1,591 Salt Lake City, Utah (note a) 506 West Haven, Connecticut (note a) 725 Facilities under 500 beds: Fort Harrison, Montana 160 Lake City, Florida 363 Phoenix, Arizona 299 Providence, Rhode Island (note a) 353 Psychiatric facilities: Brentwood, California (note a) 470 Brockton, Massachusetts tnote ,a) 897 Fort Lyon, Colorado 600 Murfreesboro, Tennessee 852 a/ Hospitals affiliated with medical schools.
Results of Survey of Current and Former Veterans Administration Health Care Workers
Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1977-05-09.
Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)