Certified Nursing Assistants make for a very important part of the medical staff. These assistants are expected to provide ongoing care to patients and help them with their basic needs. These needs include bathing, feeding and hygiene. In addition to this, the CNA may also be called by the nurse under whose supervision she/he works to perform other tasks that the higher staff cannot attend to. The nurse may for instance ask the CNA to help her setting medical equipment or preparing patients for surgery or x-ray.
The nursing assistant field is one of the most dynamic domains. However, many people choose to become nursing assistants for reasons other than the pay. They may opt for this job because it puts them in a position where they can be of assistance to people who really need their help. Since the CNA position is considered an entry level to the medical niche, the CNA salary is very low compared to other staff such as the nurse.
The certified nursing assistant salary is about $24,383 in the United States. This means you will get $2000 per month on average. This is only an estimate and it can differ depending on your location and experience. It is pretty obvious that the salary is above minimum wage. However, employees in this domain tend to secure health insurance and retirement plans.
If we compare the salary of a nursing assistant to that of a licensed practical nurse, we will find a huge difference. An LPN earns around $43,333. However, we should keep in mind that in order to hold a position as an LPN, one needs to undergo more training than is needed for becoming a CNA. However, the huge gap between the two positions in terms of income is one of the reasons why some CNAs do not feel very good about their salary. Having a higher payout can greatly encourage them to provide higher quality services.
Many healthcare facilities and centers are aware of the fact that nursing assistants are not very well paid. These facilities try to make up for this by offering raises to those CNAs that perform well. They also give raises in accordance with the amount of time put on the job. There are plenty of job openings for CNA’s on the market and this reason is enough to force these facilities to treat their nursing assistants well; else they may lose them to other centers. The nursing assistant is a vital part of the nursing team.
The low income of nursing assistants is one of the reasons why some people decide to skip that stage altogether and study for higher degrees. However, getting a job as a CNA may very well be of help to those people who need an income while studying for their medical degree. You can work as a CNA while at the same time work at your degree. This will help you get the most from your training as you already have a medical profession.
The payscale difference can sometimes lead to some issues arising between the nursing aides and the nursing staff. Since the nursing staff have a degree, they may feel like they do not have to perform particular tasks and assign them to nursing assistants instead. Some nurses however may just be too busy to tackle those tasks. On the other hand, the CNAs may feel resentful because they are assigned too many chores and not paid nearly as well as the nursing staff. In cases like these, the administration should interfere and help both parties understand that they complement each other. There also needs to be some balance between the amount of work each party have to handle.
The pay difference is one of the main reasons why many nursing assistants make their mind to get a degree and obtain a certification as a licensed practice nurse, a registered nurse or any other specific area in the medical profession.
It is clear for both the administrators of medical facilitis and the government that when there is a shortage in the medical staff, the patients are the ones who will suffer the most. If the staff are too few to cover all the needs of their patients, these patients may have to go through a lot of trouble. Some nursing homes, for instance, bathe their patients every other day due to lack of staff.
It has become very clear for people who work in the medical field that the nursing assistant salary needs to get higher. This will work as an incentive to these assistants and push them to give even higher quality service to the patients. In addition, the attitude towards CNAs need also to change. Some CNAs feel like they are undervalued by other staff and not given their worth. These negative attitudes can greatly affect the potential of a CNA and demotivate them.
Further Reading: The Advantages of Being a CNA Nurse