Local hospital offering big bonuses to get health care workers to sign on

ATLANTA — Piedmont Healthcare system is now actively recruiting respiratory therapists and nurses. These two professions have played a critical role in treating coronavirus patients.

Piedmont is offering bonuses up to $30,000 to qualified nurses and up to $18,000 for qualified respiratory therapists.

“The need is huge, and we need people who have the skills and have the ability to take care of people,” said Rick Rodriguez, director of respiratory therapy at Piedmont Healthcare.

The hope is that the large bonuses will bring the most qualified candidates to the health care group.

“We are not handing this stuff out like Christmas gifts. We’ve got to make sure they’re qualified, they fit the role and the dollars themselves are tied to a relocation aspect as well,” said William Ryan, executive director of talent acquisition at Piedmont Healthcare.

The shortage of workers to fill vital roles in health care is a direct result of the pandemic.

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“It caused a huge gap within our organization and, probably, several other healthcare organizations for med surge, emergency department nurses and ICU,” Ryan said.

The aging population and the current pandemic are only increasing the need for health care professionals pretty much everywhere.

“This need isn’t going to go away, so we have to think about fulfilling those resources,” Ryan said.