April: CNA Hero

Q: What is something you would like people to know about being a CNA right now?

“With everything going on, it’s hard to remain positive, but it’s something that we need to set aside for our residents. For most of them we are the only contact they have. I also have a fear of getting the people I care for sick so we work with our PPE on at all times (I wear a medical mask, cloth mask over that, a face shield, and a long sleeve jacket). It gets to be very uncomfortable and inconvenient, but we must protect the people we care for.”

This new series features certified nursing assistants, or CNAs, who work mainly in nursing homes, assisted living, home care, and hospice. Among other things, a CNA’s job is to care for elders in these environments by helping them with activities of daily living, such as bathing, dressing, eating, brushing teeth, and more. CNAs are unable to socially (or physically) distance from the elders they care for, and in so doing put their lives on the line everyday. What’s more, CNAs make only about $12 per hour on average; they cannot afford to stock up on groceries. This series features their stories and images–doing their jobs, offering insights, telling stories, coping, and caring, in the time of COVID-19.

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