A recent report came out on the hourly wages, injuries suffered, and poverty of CNAs. CNAs are certified nurse assistants.  They are typically unlicensed health care providers with little education and training.  They provide 80-90% percent of the care and treatment given to residents in a nursing home, if not more.  It is rare an actual RN examines or assesses residents. 

This report summarizes conditions for CNA’s.   More than 50% received at least one work-related injury last year, and roughly 16% don’t have health insurance, mostly because of cost. More than 33% of CNA’s are receiving some form of public assistance, such as food stamps or rental subsidies. Their median wage is $10.04 an hour.  They provide 8 out of every 10 hours of resident care.   Forty-two percent of uninsured CNAs cite not participating in their employer-sponsored insurance plan because they could not afford the plan. Years of experience do not translate into higher wages; CNAs with 10 or more years of experience averaged just $2/hr more than aides who started working in the field less than 1 year ago.

The nursing home industry exploits these workers and then they wonder why their turnover rate is so high and retention is so low?  Corporations who own these nursing home chains need to understand that they should train, pay, and provide health care to these front line workers.  Provide incentives to become LPNs and RNs.  Offer better benefits or paid vacation time.

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