Q: What would you like people to know about being a CNA right now?
Gerelene: “Right now being a CNA, it’s scary! The unknown of being in contact with COVID and the possibility of catching it or taking it home to our family, and even being a carrier and giving it to the grammies and grampies we care for is heart breaking. I work the isolation floor at my job, and I know it’s a risk that I take everyday, but I love what I do and I wouldn’t second guess doing it. I hear a lot of aides complaining and planning on striking because they don’t get hazard pay. I don’t get hazard pay, but if we walk out and strike who’s going to care for our people? Right now more than ever is when the residents need us! I get that it’s scary, but if we don’t fight this fight with or for them who will?”
This new series features certified nursing assistants, or CNAs, who work mainly in nursing homes, assisted living, home care, hospitals, 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.