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PMC offers $10,000 bonus to respiratory therapy students

JOHNSON COUNTY, Ky. (WSAZ) – Pikeville Medical Center is working with the Big Sandy Community and Technical College (BSCTC) to provide a financial boost to respiratory therapy students.

“This is a highly sought after position for Pikeville Medical Center and for all hospitals nationwide. COVID has really put the importance of respiratory therapists into perspective,” said Christian Hagy of Pikeville Medical Center.

PMC offers a Respiratory Therapist Training Agreement, which includes a one-time payment of $10,000 to students enrolled in the program who agree to work for PMC for three years after graduating and receiving their license. They will also be guaranteed employment with PMC.

“We wanted to take that stress out of the students and give them an opportunity to focus on school and focus on providing patient care, and we wanted them to come out on top,” Hagy said. “It’s their money. They can do whatever they want with it. They can pay off student loans, they can pay for a car, they can pay their rent for a year, they can do whatever they want.

The bonus is to increase the number of licensed respiratory therapists and keep students in the area.

“This opportunity provided by Pikeville made many of our young people who arrived for the first time want to leave, change their minds and realize that they could be therapists at home and have opportunities here that they thought could -be impossible,” said program director Missy Skeens. “It’s going to get them started in a place where they can be comfortable and they can actually start having income to build a life instead of having income to pay off loans.”

BSCTS offers a two-year respiratory care program that trains students to care for adults and infants with respiratory conditions.

Three sophomores, Hannah Mayhorn, Sarah Vanover and Laikin Thompson, have already signed the deal with PMC.

“It will definitely help me with school. I could pay off pretty much all of my loans without having to work yet, so that’s great for me. I don’t have to go into so much debt,” said Mayhorn.

Mayhorn and Thompson have already started working at PMC as students and will move into a full-time role after graduation this spring.

“It’s a feeling of calm, it’s like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders,” Mayhorn said.

Vanover was going to leave the area after school, but the financial impact keeps her in the area.

“I was set on leaving and getting out of here but then we did clinic in Pikeville and the people are great there and I learned a lot so I felt like it was best to start there” , she said.

So far, six BSCTC students have signed the Respiratory Therapist Training Agreement.

PMC also offers this bonus to students enrolled in the program at Southeast Community and Technical College in Whitesburg.

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