Purpose: The purpose of this study was to examine dental hygienists' career promotional behavior and factors which influence such behavior, including the image of dental hygiene, career and job satisfaction, the market demand for dental hygienists, and the influence of professional affiliation. Relationships between demographic items and promotional behaviors also were determined.
Methods: In fall 1990, a 48-item survey was mailed to a random sample of 600 dental hygienists living in Virginia. Responses were analyzed by Pearson correlation coefficient, t-test, and analysis of variance
Results: A 61.5% response rate was obtained (N=368). The majority of respondents (79%) promote dental hygiene as a desirable career with the career and job satisfaction factor having the highest correlation (r=.69, p<.001) with dental hygienists' promotional behaviors. Of the demographic variables, years in practice, age, and years since graduation were negatively correlated with dental hygienists' promotional behaviors.
Conclusions: Dental hygiene practitioners hold the potential for promoting careers in dental hygiene as well as for promoting their profession. Dental hygienists who are satisfied with their career and job situation are more likely to promote dental hygiene as a desirable profession.