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Assessment of Veterans Affairs Case Management Leadership
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) provides patient care, benefits, and services to Veterans of the U.S. armed forces and their families. The present research examined responses of Registered Nurses (RNs), Social Workers (SWs), and case managers to the VA All-Employee Survey (AES) in 2018 and 2019 regarding elements of leadership based on a Leader-Follower conceptual Framework (LF2). The LF2 addresses character, competence, context, and communication at the personal, interpersonal, team, and organizational psychosocial levels. A three phased study: (1) assessed questions similar to those used on the annual VA AES to determine whether the LF2 could be used to reliably categorize questions; (2) applied the LF2 to assess the items within the AES and categorized them into the leadership element indices; and (3) examined and compared the LF2 categorized responses of RNs, SWs, and case managers. Questions on the AES were focused on communication, personal, and organizational elements of leaders and followers, and do not focus on character, context, competence, interpersonal, or team elements of leaders and followers. RNs generally responded more positively than SWs on the AES; RN case managers and RN non-case managers responded similarly; and SW case managers generally responded more positively than did SW non-case managers. Most survey responses decreased in satisfaction and increased in burnout from 2018 to 2019 for all groups. These findings suggest that the AES should be reevaluated to ensure that it assesses information of interest to VA leadership. Future investigations should concentrate on why these patterns exist between RNs and SWs.
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