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Hospitals Face Pressure to Pay Market Competitive Salaries

Hospitals Face Pressure to Pay Market Competitive Salaries
Written by Publishing Team

Small health care organizations struggle with hiring and retention efforts, as many workers push their demands for more wages and better benefits.

(Editor’s note: This article is the first in a series on the health care labor market from a CFO’s perspective.)

Healthcare workers have been the first line of defense in the battle against COVID-19. Doctors, nurses, and other caregivers spend very long hours with little rest and little relief in sight. The result is that some health care workers leave the field entirely, while many others take jobs in competing health care centers that are willing to pay more or offer better benefits.

This trend is not limited to healthcare – it is happening in many industries. But competitive job markets place significant pressures on small hospitals and health care providers, who typically lack the resources to win the bidding war for job candidates.

It is clear that competitive market pay for healthcare workers varies from region to region. It can be made especially challenging in a region where larger hospitals are known for their high levels of care, and excel in recruitment and retention as a result.

This is the dilemma faced by Pembroke Hospital, an acute behavioral healthcare facility in Pembroke, Massachusetts, which has just begun a new pay structure for RNs and Mental Health Aides (MHA) to remain competitive in one of the world’s leading areas of healthcare.

Competitive payment in an area known for the finest hospitals and healthcare

as Boston is a major health care centerIt seems to be a good thing for all the health care providers in the area. But this is not the case when it comes to recruitment and retention strategies. Either way, size and reputation matter a lot, and leading healthcare organizations are vying for the best in the crop.

He explains: “Healthcare employment is challenging in Massachusetts.” Erin McGarry Sullivan, CFO in 120 beds Pembroke Hospital. “We have the best hospitals and services in the world, and it takes a lot of hard work, care and competent people to continue this tradition. Every hospital is looking for these people, and they are in great demand.”

To make matters worse, as the pandemic progressed, the number of job candidates available fell as some health care workers left the field, and the pipeline to produce new workers slowed. All the while, new healthcare facilities are opening, especially those from Boston-based hospitals, keeping demand high.

“Recruitment is very competitive,” McGarry Sullivan emphasizes. “We are currently looking for 60 MHAs and 21 RNs. MHA is an entry-level position, no prior experience required. It is great work for a Psychologist working on a Masters degree. Two weeks training is offered, along with a certification in CPR and Handle with care. A new employee will work on shadow shifts in units with senior staff.”

“RNs are wanted with some experience,” McGarry Sullivan explains. “Psychiatric nursing is unique, and we need special nurses to take care of it [for] Understanding patients with mental illness. We hire all year round and offer paid internships. The rental period is long, and from acceptance to work on the network takes about one month. ”

Adjust compensation strategies at a time of great challenges

Because of the supply and demand gap for skilled healthcare workers, Pembroke Hospital has found it necessary to reform its pay structure during the pandemic. Steps to renew a bonus program can include monitoring what competitors are paying, following up on local and industry salary surveys, surveying employees, and paying close attention to what job advertisements have to offer in the marketplace.

“We’ve just started a new pay structure for RNs and MHAs,” says McGarry Sullivan. “Paying start for the MHA is $19 per hour, with no experience and no college degree; or $20 per hour if you have a degree, but no experience. We offer full benefits for employees, with a tuition reimbursement allowance of $5,200 per year and $200 American Student Loan Forgiveness per month. Our base hourly rate for RNs is $34 an hour, and it goes up with years of experience.”

With the recent salary adjustments, McGarry Sullivan says the hospital now feels “we’re preparing the market, especially here on the South Shore.” [of Massachusetts] for the MHA position. It is now a salaried job that can turn into a lifelong career with investments in education.”

But fair market compensation is only one piece of the puzzle. Successful recruitment and retention efforts require that the health care organization address every aspect of the worker’s personal and professional development needs, McGarry Sullivan emphasizes.

Her advice: “Pay people a fair, living wage. Give them training and mentoring. Encourage progress through education. Offer continuing education on site. Have managers in units, talk to employees. Support them emotionally and physically. Keep dialogue open. We have town halls every few weeks.” To keep the lines of communication open.

Offers of fair pay and health benefits tell the worker they are appreciated

A healthy list of competitive benefits and pay offers goes a long way toward making a new worker or employee feel valued, which is crucial in these challenging times.

“Employees are the people who live their lives, and need to make a living,” says McGarry Sullivan. “I recommend using this guide as a baseline for setting prices.” McGarry-Sullivan cites the following resource in

When assessing what a competitive salary is in the marketplace, McGarry Sullivan says it’s important to consider not only the dollar salary that comes out with each salary, but also the hospital’s financial burden if you miss a major factor.

“People are not commodities,” McGarry Sullivan says. “They can’t be swapped in or out like tools.” “When you find a good person, don’t lose them. The cost of attrition is staggering. So, when someone asks for a salary increase, think about the tangible and intangible assets of that individual. Think about losing that person, and how it will affect their co-workers. Estimate the cost of training. and experience wasted. You will usually find that the amount required pales in comparison to the loss of such a good employee.”

Finally, McGarry Sullivan says it’s also important to think in terms of the value the health care worker adds to the role.

“Just because levels of employee education and training may not be on par with those of others on your team, remember what your business is. We treat patients. The people in this building who have the most contact with our patients are our nurses and mental health partners they create 95% of the value that we create,” says McGarry Sullivan. we present. Never forget that and treat them with admiration and respect – always.”


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