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Relationships between workplace well-being, job demands and resources in a sample of veterinary nurses in New Zealand

Authors: Gardner DH, Kimber S
Publication: New Zealand Veterinary Journal, Volume 64, Issue 4, pp 224-229, Jul 2016
Publisher: Taylor and Francis


AIM: To use a job demands-resources model to examine the associations among perceived job demands, job resources, family-to-work enrichment, positive team relationships, work engagement, emotional exhaustion, cynicism and intention to leave, in a sample of New Zealand veterinary nurses.

METHODS: Data were collected by means of a self-reported online survey, with the help of eight New Zealand tertiary education providers and the New Zealand Veterinary Nurses’ Association. Nine measures or variables were assessed using questions or statements with responses categorised on a linear scale. Measurement models for each of the variables in the study were assessed to establish whether the variables represented the respective item-level data. Structural equation modelling was then used to test the hypothesised interrelationships among study variables.

RESULTS: There were 253 respondents; 17.1% of individuals who classified themselves as veterinary nurses in the 2013 New Zealand census. In the final structural model job demands were associated with emotional exhaustion (standardised regression coefficient β=0.57), which was related to cynicism (β=0.52) and intention to leave (β=0.56). Job resources were negatively related to emotional exhaustion (β=−0.32). Higher work engagement was associated with lower emotional exhaustion (β=−0.29) and lower intention to leave (β=−0.30). Job resources were associated with work-to-family enrichment (β=0.69), which was related to work engagement (β=0.57); and job resources were associated with positive team relationships (β=0.79).

CONCLUSION: It is important that job resources are available to help deal with demanding work. Without resources, demanding work is associated with exhaustion, cynicism and increased intention to leave, while positive spill over between work and family life are related to higher work engagement.

KEY WORDS: Veterinary nurses, job resources, job demands, work engagement, team relationships
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