From Whence Does Their Help Come? The Religious "Nones" as Caregivers during the COVID-19 Pandemic

“In this pandemic, it is the religious “nones,” not the nuns, who have stood in the gap as certified nursing assistants caring for the most vulnerable in our community, “from whence does their help come”? ”

Team Members/Contributors

Matthew Bersagel Braley Viterbo University Contact Me

About this project grant for researchers

This project seeks to understand the place of religio-spiritual beliefs, concepts, and practices in college-age CNAs working in nursing care facilities during the COVID-19 pandemic. During the intense periods of facility lockdowns, college-age CNAs found themselves not only with additional physical work demands but also with shifting demands on the role they play in fulfilling pscyho-social and religio-spiritual needs of their residents. The broadening and intensification of their professional caregiving roles took place as these young adults were also navigating in their personal lives the unprecedented practical, social, and existential challenges of pandemic living. These challenges were amplified for many of these CNAs by significant disruptions to their primary social support network as campuses shifted to online learning. As a result of these factors, their experiences may offer important insights into the form and content of this generation’s questions about meaning, purpose, faith, responsibility, vocation, and values. How do they make meaning? What concepts, beliefs, and practices do they draw on to make sense of and respond to this moment? How do their frameworks of meaning shape their encounters with vulnerable residents at the end of life who may have been formed by different frameworks of meaning?