Understanding the meaning returning to civilian life has for National Guard and reserve healthcare providers after deployment

Date

2022-05-06

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Abstract

ABSTRACT ROBIN HERRMANN UNDERSTANDING THE MEANING RETURNING TO CIVILIAN LIFE HAS FOR

NATIONAL GUARD AND RESERVE HEALTHCARE PROVIDERS AFTER DEPLOYMENT

MAY 2022

Background: The reintegration of Reserve and National Guard service members post-deployment has been posited to be unique as compared to their Active Duty counterparts.
Purpose: The purpose of this study was to understand the meaning assigned by both National Guard and Reserve healthcare providers related to their reintegration journeys back to civilian life after deployment.
Methods: This interpretive phenomenological qualitative study utilized semi-structured interviews and generated rich descriptions of their reintegration experiences. Inclusion criteria included English speaking Reserve and National Guard healthcare providers between the ages of 28 to 68 who reintegrated back to civilian life after being deployed overseas and cared for wounded warfighters. Recruitment strategy consisted of purposive and snowball sampling. Results: Nineteen Reserve and National Guard healthcare providers participated and shared their reintegration experiences. Five themes emerged from the data analysis: Support-We All Need It, Tango Uniform-The Struggle is Real, Military and Civilian Culture-Living in Two Worlds, Metamorphosis-The Road Back Home, and Ameliorate-Lessons Learned. Conclusions: Findings from this study suggested that the reintegration of Reserve and National Guard healthcare providers was a different phenomenon as compared to their Active Duty counterparts and, consequently, may require different support strategies after returning home.

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Keywords

Reserve and guard reintegration, Healthcare provider, Post-deployment

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