I've been a c.n.a. for over 17 yrs. & I still feel I don't really get the respect I deserve--from friends, family or the public. Most c.n.a.s are students-so just doing it for school-or as a stepping stone. This is my career. But it isn't seen as one. "Why didn't you go on to be a nurse?"--or my fav.-"I'm not doing this the rest of my life-I'm going to better MYself". We hear the obligatory 'c.n.a.s are the backbone of this place'--& then get nasty memos to sign whenever some incident happens & we all get lumped together. I work on a dementia hallway in a nursing home & make the same pay as the dietary staff. (No offense to them--but they do not get hit, kicked, sworn at....) I love my work, but to be honest, I am strongly considering doing something else. Normal burn-out is tough enough, but always feeling undervalued-or insignificant-is even worse.