Career Selection, Satisfaction and Aspirations Among Female Students in Five Health Professions

Lena A. Nordholm*, Mary T. Westbrook

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Questionnaires were completed by 214 female, final‐year students in occupational therapy, physiotherapy, speech pathology, medical record administration and nursing, at Cumberland College of Health Sciences. Student groups differed significantly in the factors influencing their career choices, degree of satisfaction with these choices, changes in ideas regarding professional work, likelihood of changing occupations, levels of ambition, aspects of work regarded as important, and future plans. Relative to most other groups physiotherapy students expressed greater satisfaction with career choice, fewer changes in ideas regarding professional work and less intention of changing occupations. Occupational therapy students expressed lower satisfaction, greater likelihood of changing occupations, and greater changes in ideas regarding professional work. Speech pathology students' ideas regarding professional work changed considerably but they were very satisfied with their career choice and unlikely to contemplate leaving their profession or the workforce. Medical record administration students expressed lower career choice satisfaction, were more ambitious, and had relatively distinct work values. Nurses occupied a median position on most variables. Overall, students expressed high career choice satisfaction, medium ambition, and long‐term career commitment though most hope to work part time during child rearing. 1981 Australian Psychological Society

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-76
Number of pages14
JournalAustralian Psychologist
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1981
Externally publishedYes


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