The Underdog in the Home Healthcare Field
I have been in the health care field for the last seven years. Even thought I have an administrative position now, my experience as a caregiver before and even now gives me a different outlook on things. Being a caregiver whether it be as a family member or professional caregiving is not an easy task. This normally entails quick thinking to respond to emergency situations, compassion, multi tasking ability, physical capabilities, patience, patience and more patience. Patience with your patient, their family, other health care professionals and your fellow caregivers. Caregivers/CNA’s are the ones responsible into providing patients with their personal needs. They provide assistance with shower, dressing, grooming, feeding, entertain them when they need someone to cheer them up. monitor their well being and a lot more things that occur on a daily basis. In short they get the dirty job done.
When I was studying to become a CNA myself, one of my classmates wondered what was the difference between a CNA and LVN. Both profession are allowed to collect vital signs, provide bedside care, mouth care,and monitoring patient condition. In some states LVNs are even allowed to prepare IV under the supervision of a Registered Nurse. It does seem like their job description is the same with a few exceptions. Also, LVN needs more training and learning in school before getting their license.
Licensed Vocational Nurses are paid more than Certified Nursing Assistants, LVNs can get as much as $25.00 per hour to start, some companies pay even more. CNAs are paid $10.00 to start depending on the kind of facility they are working at. They are on the same pay scale as caregivers in a home care setting. The hospitals pay more for nursing assistants but it is tougher to get the job there.
In a nursing home you won’t see a Licensed Vocational Nurse doing bedside care. They give the patients their medications and more charting. The CNAs are more exposed direct patient contact than the nurses, oh and also bodily fluids. If a family member wants to get an update on how their love ones are doing they ask the nurses and then the nurses ask the CNAs. Whether it be a home setting, hospital, assisted living of nursing facilities, these people do the most work and paid the least. I have always believed that not everybody can be a caregiver, it takes a special person to do this kind of job. You are giving your patient what they lost with age. You as the caregiver give them back their arms when they cannot reach for something you get it for them, if they want to sit on a chair you make make sure they get there safe, if they cannot see, you are their eyes if they are alone you give them company, if they are sad you make them smile.
Being a care provider is a special task, it is just too bad that the satisfaction that caregiving brings is not enough to support a caregivers family. I think that it is time to get these people a little bit more consideration. They are essential to our countries health care system.