TABLE 5-5 Median Hourly Wages for Direct-Care Occupations by Setting, 2006

 

Nurse Aides

Home Health Aides

Personal- and Home-Care Aides

All settings

$10.67

$9.34

$8.54

Community care facilities for older persons

$10.07

$8.87

NA

Services for older or disabled persons

NA

$9.26

$9.18

Home health care

NA

$9.14

$7.19

Nursing care facilities

$10.37

$9.76

NA

NOTE: NA = not available.

SOURCE: BLS, 2008c,d.

Angeles, for instance, found that about 45 percent of them were uninsured (Cousineau, 2000). And health insurance is not the only benefit that direct-care workers are less likely to receive. For example, approximately three-fourths of nurse aides in nursing homes and home health settings have no pension benefits (GAO, 2001b).

Non-Financial Factors

While concerns about poor wages and lack of benefits are significant, non-financial job characteristics also play a major role in the job satisfaction of direct-care workers (Bowers et al., 2003). Factors that influence job satisfaction include professional growth opportunities, adequate training, rewards for performance, and manageable workloads (Castle et al., 2007; Parsons et al., 2003). Direct-care workers often report that they do not receive enough respect for their knowledge and skills, that they have little discretion or input into care planning (despite being responsible for most of the patient care hours), and that they sense a lack of trust by manage-

TABLE 5-6 Health Insurance Coverage of Female Workers and Direct-Care Workers, 2005 (percentage)

Type of Coverage

All Female Workers

All Female Direct-Care Workers

Female Hospital Aides

Female Nursing-Home Aides

Female Home Health Aides

All private

78

60

84

63

49

Employer-based

51

38

63

44

23

Public

12

22

10

19

29

None

16

25

13

24

30

NOTE: Percentages are based on weighted data for female workers aged 19 years and older. Columns may sum to more than 100 percent because some workers are covered by more than one type of health insurance.

SOURCE: Smith and Baughman, 2007.



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