Objectives To investigate the relationship between communication and job satisfaction and their association with intention to leave and burnout among intensive care unit nurses.
Research methodology/design A multicentre questionnaire study.
Setting/participants Intensive care nurses (n = 303) from three Flemish hospitals.
Main outcome measures Communication satisfaction assessed by the Communication Satisfaction Questionnaire, intention to leave through the Turnover Intention Scale (from the Questionnaire for the Perception and Assessment of Labour) and burnout by the Maslach Burnout Inventory. Job satisfaction was measured by a visual analogue scale.
Results Average job satisfaction was 7.66 ± 1.34/10. Nurses were most satisfied about ‘Communication with supervisor’ (68.46%), and most dissatisfied about ‘Organisational perspectives’ (34.12%). Turnover intention was low among 49.5% (150/290) and high among 6.6% (20/290). Three percent (9/299) of intensive care nurses were at risk for burnout. All dimensions of communication satisfaction were moderately associated with job satisfaction, intention to leave and burnout.
Conclusion This study demonstrated high levels of communication and job satisfaction in a sample of nurses in Flanders. Intention to leave and burnout prevalence were low. To a certain extent, communication satisfaction might be associated with job satisfaction, intention to leave and burnout.
Implications for Clinical Practice
Job satisfaction can easily and quickly be measured by means of a visual analogue scale. We advise to monitor and measure it periodically among nurses, as this is associated with health outcomes of hospitalised patients.
As communication satisfaction is moderately but significantly associated with job satisfaction, intention to leave and burnout among intensive care nurses, it is worthwhile for the management of the department to invest in and to optimise their internal communication.
The communication satisfaction questionnaire provides a tool for the management to prioritise the dimensions of internal communication which are most related to job satisfaction, intention to leave and burnout among intensive care nurses or which have the most potential to improve.
Overall, there is room for improvement regarding communication satisfaction among intensive care nurses. The intensive care unit is part of a bigger organisation, the hospital, which should invest in a hospital-wide communication plan or procedure. Current internal communication processes should be improved and similar strategies can be used for the different departments.