Neryla Jolly MA DOBA(T)1, 2 Julia Kelly MHSM, DOBA Sue Silveira PhD3 Mara Giribaldi BAppSc(Orth)2
1 Royal Rehab, Ryde, Australia
2 University of Technology Sydney, Graduate School of Health, Discipline of Orthoptics, Sydney, Australia
3 RIDBC Renwick Centre and Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia
Purpose: This paper presents the results of the 2017 Orthoptics Australia Workforce Survey (OWS). The results are compared and contrasted with the outcome of the previous 2012-2013 OWS.
Method: The 2017 OWS was implemented using the online tool - SurveyMonkey. All financial members of Orthoptics Australia were contacted to participate in the OWS. To achieve maximum uptake, non-OA members were also encouraged by colleagues to participate in the workforce survey, through publicity at annual conferences and via social media.
Results: Three hundred and twenty-eight orthoptists responded to the 2017 OWS. The profession continues to be female dominated (88.7%), with a young workforce (49.9% between 20-39 years), and high levels of Australian nationality (94%). Most respondents (79.9%) worked in metropolitan NSW (46.7%) or Victoria (31.1%). The main components of current orthoptic employment included public sector (24.9%) and salaried positions in the private sector (52.5%), with 89.5% working in orthoptic related clinical work. Levels of satisfaction with current hours of work were high (91.3%), with 56% indicating their intention to continue to work in an orthoptic-related field for more than the next 10 years.
Conclusion: The 2017 OWS provides a broad overview of the current orthoptic workforce and modes of practice in Australia. These comprehensive survey results can be applied to workforce development, and are available to government and health bodies for future eye health care planning.