“The COVID-19 pandemic is shining the spotlight on inequalities throughout our society, particularly in healthcare systems, where we are now seeing real-life implications for loved ones in nursing homes, who are such a vulnerable population,” Smith said in a press release.
Among the findings were that nurses with children and Black nurses were more likely to hold second jobs than white nurses. There were also racial disparities among direct care workers, with white workers being more likely to have second jobs than Asian, American Indian and Alaskan Native workers. When work hours were excluded from the analysis, Black direct care workers were found to be less likely to have a second job.
Female and married nurses were less likely to obtain a second job and working lower hours was most strongly associated with nurses holding a second job.
Smith and her colleagues said federal and state-level initiatives could help correct the issue of low wages by boosting salaries through bonuses that are higher than unemployment benefits.
They concluded that doing so could reduce the need for essential health care workers to get second jobs and decrease exposure and transmission of COVID-19.