National Nursing Assistants’ Week Begins
June 9 marks the start of the 39th annual National Nursing Assistants’ Week, a yearly celebration of the direct-care workers who provide crucial hands-on care in nursing facilities across the country.
The week kicks off with Career Nursing Assistants’ Day, which acknowledges the contributions of people who have worked as nursing assistants for five years or more. The National Network of Career Nursing Assistants, which promotes both the National Nursing Assistants’ Day and Week, refers to these workers as “Wisdom Keepers.”
“I Choose Respect,” the theme of this year’s Nursing Assistants’ Week, reflects the challenges nursing assistants face doing difficult jobs for little reward.
Raise the Floor, a PHI report on the nursing assistant workforce published earlier this year, argues that these workers are entitled to greater respect in the form of better job quality. After all, the report argues, nursing assistant jobs are “some of the toughest jobs imaginable.”
PHI quotes Alice, a CNA who blogs for CNAEdge.com, on this subject: “We deal with loss regularly, short staffing, unreasonable workloads, inconsistent supervisors, and earn very little money.”
“But it is equally true that this job will teach you about life, people, who you are, and who you want to be if you are open to it,” she adds. “It has taught me to adapt, rally, recover, accept loss, and is a consistent reminder of how grateful I am for my life.”
— by Matthew Ozga