Kim: CNA Hero

How have things changed at your place of work since COVID-19? “As a personal care aide (PCA) caring for elderly/frail/disabled in their own homes during COVID-19, my case load has tripled. I have not been provided any PPE at all.  My clients are all prohibited from having visitors, are unable to go out, and many of them are not getting the care they need to remain at home because so many PCAs have quit. None of the aides involved with Massachusetts PCA Program are equipped to handle a health care pandemic on this caliber, and as much as the Massachusetts Governor has stepped up, if I am not continuously blowing up phones, networking and nagging the powers that be, I would not have any PPE at all.”  

What sort of things do you hope will change where you work as a result of the pandemic? “I hope that this pandemic brings CNAs closer in the workplace, more open to working as a team, and when it all finally subsides, the public sees us for what we do and appreciates us more than it has up until now.”

Is your employer giving you higher or hazard pay? “My ‘hazard pay’ was $1.40 more an hour in my PCA position. Today, I was called by two separate facilities, both offering me a position on a COVID-19 unit, and at this hour (6:45 p.m.) they are out-bidding each other on what they are willing to pay me. So, yes, wages are rising and Gov. Baker has put a 10% wage increase for healthcare workers in long-term care and another 15% if it’s a COVID-19 unit.”

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