It wasn’t for the paycheck that I chose to try health care as a nursing assistant. The pay is almost nothing. When I was growing up, nobody suggested to me that I become an LNA. Helping people who cannot help themselves is not something to be taken lightly. That’s why I do it.
My view from the trenches of health care is different from many of my teammates. It is unusual for a nursing assistant to have a college degree. Still more unusual to have a nursing assistant pursuing graduate studies, although many are continuing their education to be registered nurses or licensed practical nurses. Others will remain career aides.
Having a loved one in a hospital or transitional care facility even temporarily is hard on a family. I know this from first-hand experience as the wife of a cancer survivor. I have seen families come together to will their loved one back to health, or mend fences when faced with terminal illness or death. The LNA is not the care team member who holds the most responsibility. But often, this person knows the patient more personally than the nurses or doctors. It is for comfort that families and patients appreciate the nursing assistant.