Who is taking care of your loved one in a Virginia Nursing Home?

Well – other than the 20 minutes a month a physician will see them for Medicare/ Medicaid certifications, and the few minutes a day an RN will review their chart, they are being primarily cared for by CNAS – Certified Nursing Assistants.

Now let me begin by saying, I know some excellent CNAs… but are they trained to care for someone with complex medical needs? To notice changes in behavior or condition that reflects a more serious problem? To perform wound care or notice changes in wounds, skin condition, etc?

According to the April 2009 issue of The Gerontologist , the median hourly wage for a CNA is $10.04; almost two-thirds of CNAs lived on an annual family income of less than $30,000; 16 percent had no health insurance and more than half were injured on the job at least once during the previous year.

Is it right that these first line care givers are busting their rears to take care of 30 residents, for $10 an hour, with no health insurance, and are struggling financially at home?

Is it right that many have no more training than a GED and a six week CNA course sponsored by the nursing home?

Should we pay them more? YES.
Hire more of them? YES.
Make sure they have health insurance so they don’t come to work sick? YES.
Either require more RN or MD direct care? YES.

Just a thought – would happy employees make for better care? What about more employees?

Lauren Ellerman
Lauren Ellerman

In 2011, Lauren Ellerman was named "Young Lawyer of the Year" by the Roanoke Bar Association for her work in the community. To speak with Lauren about your personal injury case, contact her at lellerman@frithlawfirm.com.