What is it like to be a CNA right now?
Amanda: “Everyday things are changing: policies, safety measures, caseloads, and even our teams. We have to be able to manage these changes while still giving 100% all of the time. Adaptability and flexibility have become a must as things are changing so quickly. We need to be able to adjust how we perform our jobs. Because we don’t know when this will end, it adds an extra level of stress to the equation. We have had to change many things about how we care for our patients. We can’t hug a patient or family member right now to show our care and concern. Our faces are hidden behind a mask and other PPE, which hides our smiles and so we must exude warmth and compassion by letting our eyes and actions speak for us instead. Everything is stressful and scary, so we must practice ways to care for ourselves in the midst of all this, so that we can continue giving the best care possible to those who need us most. We are all trying to be very supportive of each other while we all navigate this time of uncertainty. CNAs are some of the most hardworking and resilient people there are, so I am confident that we are the best suited to care for these people. I am equally confident that we will come out the other side of this having learned many important lessons, stronger than ever.”
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.