508 Employee Reviews (View Most Recent)

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Great experience in serving veterans.

  • Comp & Benefits
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Senior Management
  • Culture & Values
  • Career Opportunities
Current Employee - Medical Support Assistant  in  Orlando, FL
Current Employee - Medical Support Assistant in Orlando, FL

I have been working at US Department of Veterans Affairs full-time for more than a year

Pros

Benefits are great and also the opportunity to growth within the organization.

Cons

The lack of opportunities for recent graduates.

Recommends
Positive Outlook
Approves of CEO

Other Reviews for US Department of Veterans Affairs

  1.  

    Valuable services for U.S. Veterans

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Peer Counselor  in  Pittsburgh, PA
    Current Employee - Peer Counselor in Pittsburgh, PA

    I have been working at US Department of Veterans Affairs full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Individuals that I have met and worked with are genuinely concerned about the level of care that our veterans receive.

    Cons

    Confusing and sometimes difficult employment procedures for people who are applying for a job.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Bay Pines VA: Disappointing Psychology Department

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Staff Psychologist  in  Bay Pines, FL
    Current Employee - Staff Psychologist in Bay Pines, FL

    I have been working at US Department of Veterans Affairs full-time

    Pros

    The VA has a great reputation for training among psychologists and pre-licensed psychology trainees, so having any VA experience on the CV is appealing. Some VAMCs offer great training and employment opportunities with leaders in the field. The VA is responsible for much of the research steering the field of psychology, so there are opportunities to have a direct impact on policy reforms and creating new "standards of care". The patient care, as with any VA, is wonderful and rewarding work. The VA offers excellent pay, good benefits and a pension for psychologists. Due to the large size of this organization, re-assignment to other locations is very possible (I did this with little headache when I needed to move). The VA offers psychologists more opportunities to be involved with research. While these hours are not always built into one's schedule, opportunities are greater than in most other hospital-based systems of care. There are a number of sub-specialty departments which allow for more specialization (and in theory) expertise. These are especially true for the treatment of trauma/PTSD, neuropsychology assessment and health psychology or behavioral medicine.

    Cons

    The Bay Pines VA is fraught with problems for psychologists (and their trainees). Most psychologists in leadership positions are clearly out-of-touch (ivory tower syndrome) and lack clinical as well as professional interpersonal skills. They frequently "hire within", offering staff psychologist jobs to former interns and postdoctoral trainees. Normally this might be a strength! But at Bay Pines (where many supervising psychologists are not particularly skilled in their specialty areas or capable in supervision), this hiring procedure results in the assignment of clinicians to positions they are obviously not competent to handle. This also results in a pervasive sense of insecurity among the psychology dept and a rigid hierarchical system. Other staff psychologists tended to display arrogance and were often unkind, especially in regards to training students and displaying genuine empathy toward patients.
    Clinical services offered tend to be narrow. This is especially notable in the PTSD programs (as are the interpersonal problems). I felt uncomfortable most days when I worked here due to the tensions between psychologists and across the psychology and psychiatry depts. It is clear that, at Bay Pines, psychologists are not respected, are deferential to psychiatrists and rarely possess professional communication skills which might change these dynamics.
    While some of the other psychologists talked with me about these issues, many seemed afraid to discuss them openly with peers. Thus, the work (and training) environment is fairly unhealthy and invalidating.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    1) Require more training and expertise before hiring for sub-specialty positions; 2) Bring an outside agency in to work on team-building and communication-do this on an ongoing basis; 3) Address the interpersonal problems within the psych dept, especially within the PTSD programs; 4) Monitor psychologists involved in supervision of trainees and provide training to your newer psychologists (try asking them to spontaneously present clinical recommendations for patients and assess the level of sophistication of their responses- also consider a more standardized supervision approach until the deficits are corrected); 5) Consult with other VA psychology depts to create a plan to address the weak identity of psychology and to move toward a more collaborative effort between psychologists and psychiatrists.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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