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Military healthcare professionals' experience of transitioning into civilian employment: a heuristic inquiry

Whybrow, Dean ORCID: and Milligan, Christine 2023. Military healthcare professionals' experience of transitioning into civilian employment: a heuristic inquiry. WORK: A Journal of Prevention, Assessment & Rehabilitation 76 (2) , pp. 663-677. 10.3233/WOR-220317

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Background: Armed forces are reinventive institutions that shape the identity of their members. Leaving the military involves an adjustment that may be turbulent at times but will need to be effectively navigated. Objective: To understand the experiences of self and other military healthcare professionals' midlife career transitions. Methods: A qualitative study using Heuristic Inquiry research methods. This included a thematic analysis of the researcher's personal experience combined with the experiences of other veterans (n=10) within a Creative Synthesis. Results: The themes identified within the study were: The tipping point for leaving; Adjustment as a veteran; Progression within a new workplace. We experienced a divergence in values away from military service leading to a tipping point for leaving that was followed by a triple whammy of uncertainty about leaving, insecurity in a new job and loss of identity that impacted mental wellbeing and needed to be overcome. Conclusions: This study has revealed new insights about being a military veteran and transitioning to civilian employment. This affects how healthcare professionals prepare for a midlife career change, retention of personnel within military forces, and how civilian employers support veterans.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Healthcare Sciences
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
U Military Science > U Military Science (General)
Publisher: IOS Press
ISSN: 1875-9270
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 9 February 2023
Date of Acceptance: 19 January 2023
Last Modified: 25 Oct 2023 14:53

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