Turnover intention is a conscious desire to leave an organization displayed by a dissatisfied employee. According to Tsai et al. (2020), the inability to avert employees from quitting is one of the core issues of the 21st century due to time intervals between initial thought and the actual turnover becoming shorter than four to five decades ago. The field of providing mental health care to veterans is a challenging environment that causes many professionals to switch the area of practice or quit healthcare in general. This gap affects healthcare organizations drastically because of the increasing costs of services and reduced quality of patient care paired with poor employee morale (Eliacin et al., 2018). This gap has to be addressed as soon as possible to ensure that all stakeholders work together to achieve improved outcomes.
The history of retaining the workforce in the field of mental healthcare for veterans has been affected by several drastic events over the course of the past several decades. An incredible increase in the number of veterans coping with PTSD after the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq shows how military actions put a strain on the process of care provision. Consistent with Yanchus et al. (2017), at least 20% of troops reported traumatic brain injuries while deployed. It may be safe to say that the mental health workforce faces a high turnover rate due to the numerous complexities linked to veteran care, such as the higher occurrence of suicidal behaviors.
From the socioeconomic standpoint, mental health care for veterans is a huge contributor to respective workforce turnover because of numerous disruptions affecting the healthcare environment. For instance, the gap continues to increase due to the growing number of dissatisfied nurses who experience burnout and inadequately low wages that interfere with service delivery (Yanchus et al., 2017). The social element of workforce turnover relates to the absence of trained specialists that could replace psychologists and psychiatrists who have left recently. In turn, veterans are left with no mental health care (Landoll et al., 2018). This eventually makes veterans dependent on a therapeutic alliance where a workforce shortage could negatively affect their health outcomes in the long run.
Impact of the Gap
Employee turnover in the field of mental health care for veterans could have an impact on general employee satisfaction across the organization. Despite personal characteristics and attitudes toward patients, employees can be affected by thoughts about turnover even if they have never thought about leaving the organization before (Tsai et al., 2020). This would have a negative impact on the community because of the perceived ineffectiveness of mental health care provided for veterans. In the case where veterans do not have enough time to develop a proper therapeutic alliance with their care providers, employee job satisfaction and positive care outcomes are never going to be achieved.
The core implication of the presented gap is that mental health care for veterans can be provided differently, but improvement initiatives are often overlooked due to the high cost of pilot programs. According to Landoll et al. (2018), workforce turnover could be mediated via a reduced length of stay and personalized treatments that are focused on veterans’ wellbeing. Retention strategies have to be developed in order to deploy one-size-fits-all strategies that are going to give all the members of the workforce enough space to cope with their personal and professional issues while not interfering with patient care.
Eliacin, J., Flanagan, M., Monroe-DeVita, M., Wasmuth, S., Salyers, M. P., & Rollins, A. L. (2018). Social capital and burnout among mental healthcare providers. Journal of Mental Health, 27(5), 388-394. Web.
Landoll, R. R., Nielsen, M. K., & Waggoner, K. K. (2018). Factors affecting behavioral health provider turnover in US Air Force primary care behavioral health services. Military Psychology, 30(5), 398-403. Web.
Tsai, J., Jones, N., Klee, A., & Deegan, D. (2020). Job burnout among mental health staff at a veteran affairs psychosocial rehabilitation center. Community Mental Health Journal, 56(2), 294-297. Web.
Yanchus, N. J., Periard, D., & Osatuke, K. (2017). Further examination of predictors of turnover intention among mental health professionals. Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing, 24(1), 41-56. Web.