CNA's (certified nurse's assistants) are quite literally the backbone of the nursing community. Yes, everyone in the medical field has an important role, but, without CNA's, most places would probably burn up in flames.
We have a tough job- there's no denying that. We're known as the "ass wipers" who get hit, kicked, bitten, spit on, called names, etc. We're underpaid, understaffed, and put in some of the worst working conditions, especially in long term care.
Don't get me wrong- I'm not saying fast food workers don't have a tough job, but why is it that some fast food workers can make $15/hr while some of us don't even make $10/hr?
Fast food places will hire anyone. Sometimes, you have to at least have your high school diploma or a GED. CNA's have to go through a course in order to get certified, a course that we have to pay for AND that lasts weeks. We have to buy our books, pay fees for the state test, get our uniforms, go to clinicals, pass the state test, etc.
A CNA job isn't for everyone. You have to have a LOT of compassion for your job. You have to not get easily grossed out. You have to WANT to help people. It takes a special person to do this job. We get paid practically nothing for our hard work and dedication to our residents. It is a mentally and physically demanding job. You experience all kinds of different things in a CNA job, especially in long term care. You watch people die and there's nothing you can do about it. You watch people be in pain and, again, there's nothing you can do about it. You watch residents who don't understand why they're there and couldn't even tell you how old they are. You watch them ask for their family members and all you can do is tell them you haven't seen them. We feed the people who can no longer feed themselves. We shower and bathe the people who cannot do it themselves anymore. We clean up incontinence. We clean up vomit, blood, spit, snot, pretty much any bodily fluid you can think of.
And, no, this isn't me talking down to people who work in fast food. A job is a job and we have to have one to survive, so if that's the only job you are ABLE to get, then so be it, however, a cashier at McDonald's or a cook at Burger King does not deserve $15/hour for an entry-level job that requires NO certification.
I deserve and WE deserve more than $10/hr for everything we have to go through and some CNA's don't even make that. We didn't become CNA's because the pay was great- we did it because we wanted to help people to the best of our abilities.
And the argument of "If you don't like your pay as a CNA, quit and become a fast food worker". Ok, if we all quit our jobs as CNA's, who would take our place? Who would take care of your grandmother who was dementia? Who would take care of the woman with M.S who can't get out of bed on her own? What about the man who's on hospice and can die at any given time?
CNA's work so much harder and we have a far more serious and important job than someone who is cooking burgers or putting an order into a computer.
Economics aside, everyone deserves to make a livable wage where we aren't living paycheck to paycheck and wondering where our next meal is going to come from, but the minute a fast food cook is making more than a CNA is where the world has gone wrong. Sure, raise fast food worker's minimum wage to $15/hr, but I hope to see CNA's minimum wage go to $20/hr.