King's College London

Research portal

What do cardiac extended surgical team members in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia think about their jobs, and what would improve them? A qualitative study

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Perioperative Nursing
Accepted/In press19 Dec 2022
Published31 Jan 2023

King's Authors


Despite the long history of integrating non-medical practitioners into the extended cardiac surgical team, concerns about job design that reduce job satisfaction persist in the literature. In the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), previous research has found that these non-medical practitioners known as cardiac “surgical assistants” (SAs) express significant dissatisfaction with multiple aspects of their role. Improving job satisfaction can positively impact on the recruitment and retention of this valuable workforce who increase surgical capacity within cardiac units. This qualitative study was therefore conducted to gain an in-depth understanding of cardiac surgical assistants’ perspectives of their role and to explore how it could be redesigned to improve their job satisfaction. Through thematic analysis of 14 individual interviews, six themes were identified: the importance of the role, earned autonomy, lack of recognition, inconsistency of training, poor appraisal and feedback, unappreciated and undervalued. The data allowed a number of specific recommendations to be formulated that could be implemented at a service, organisational and professional level to enhance SA’s job satisfaction. It is important that the working conditions of surgical assistants should be further improved to address the issues which cause lower levels of motivation and a greater intention to leave their role.

View graph of relations

© 2020 King's College London | Strand | London WC2R 2LS | England | United Kingdom | Tel +44 (0)20 7836 5454