MHM employees working with COVID patients offered monetary incentives

Published 2:23 pm Thursday, August 19, 2021

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

The world has changed drastically since COVID came around, with some states and towns adopting lotteries and cash incentives to try and persuade people to take the COVID vaccine, while New York City adopted a full-on vaccine passport system this week. Memorial Hospital and Manor has adopted their own reward system, although it is not for people to receive a vaccine; rather, it is an incentive for staff working directly with COVID patients.

Currently, the COVID incentive is offered to ER staff, medical-surgical staff, ICU staff, respiratory therapy and lab phlebotomists who work directly with COVID patients. Of those eligible to receive the incentive, there are two tiers: “It’s $100, for the licensed, which is your respiratory therapists, RNs, LPNs… Then, the CNAs, ward clerks, the ER techs, they get $50 per shift,” chief nursing officer Lori Eubanks told the Post-Searchlight.

According to her, the amount was determined based on “whoever is working directly with those COVID patients… day-in and day-out.”

Email newsletter signup

The incentive plan only started at the beginning on this month, so those participating will finally be receiving their benefits with this week’s paycheck, but Eubanks says the feedback has already been positive. “They thanked us for doing it,” she said. “I’ve heard the same from respiratory,” Lee Harris told the Post-Searchlight. “I know they’ve been slammed, but they’re very appreciative. Even though they’re working hard, working these shifts, they were appreciative we were looking out for them.” According to the hospital, staff have been so over-worked, they have had to request additional staff from the state; the incentives are only for Memorial Hospital staff. Eubanks said the hospital will continue the incentive plan for two more pay periods, roughly a month, and then evaluate it. “We’re just trying to recognize our employees for the hard work they’re doing, taking care of the patients,” she said.