HealthDay News — Long-term care workers in nursing homes commonly hold multiple jobs, which may contribute to the spread of COVID-19 in nursing homes, according to a study published online in Medical Care Research and Review.

Reagan A. Baughman, PhD, from the University of New Hampshire in Durham, and colleagues used data from the Current Population Survey (2010 to 2019) to document the rate of nursing and long-term care workers who hold second jobs.

The researchers found that on average, 6.41% of personal care and nursing aides and 6.23% of licensed practical nurses and registered nurses held second jobs. These rates are 35% and 32% higher than those of other workers, respectively. The probability of holding a second job for personal care and nursing aides was associated with both wages and hours in the primary job. For registered nurses and licensed practical nurses, fewer hours were more strongly correlated with a second job. Moving across health settings from first to second jobs was common. Fifteen percent of second jobs for personal care and nursing aides were in other “essential” occupations.

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“Federal and state-level initiatives aimed at raising wages through bonuses that are higher than unemployment benefits could potentially help decrease the likelihood that these essential care workers must take on a second job and help reduce exposure for COVID-19 transmission,” a coauthor said in a statement.

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