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Nurses, caregivers and therapists who want side jobs are in demand

Medical center workers
Part-time and temporary jobs are available for nurses and nursing assistants, as well as for people who give nonmedical care.
(Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

The COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on the medical field, pushing hospitals to their limits, fueling a mental health crisis and creating serious new risks for nursing homes. It has also created a boom in health-related side hustles for medical professionals and for caregivers who have time, skill and patience.

Nursing jobs

Nurses who have the time and temperament to take additional shifts can find part-time work through ConnectRN. The site matches medical facilities needing part-time help with registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, geriatric nursing assistants, state-tested nursing assistants and certified nursing assistants.

Nursing assistants earn between $15 and $18 per hour; nurses earn between $30 and $45, depending on their credentials. The site charges a 20% connection fee, but that’s paid by the medical facilities, not deducted from the freelancer’s wages.

Trusted Health also connects nurses with healthcare facilities that need contract workers. Generally, the site enlists nurses for three-month stints in cities where demand has exceeded the supply of health professionals; thus, signing up generally means you’re willing to travel. That said, the pay is agreed upon upfront and is usually generous. Glassdoor estimates that registered nurses earn between $8,000 and $10,000 per month with this site.

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Caregiver jobs

With COVID-19 spreading through nursing homes nationwide, families have become more cautious about sending relatives to such facilities when there’s a reasonable alternative. That has created opportunity for individuals who are willing to provide elder care services, both skilled and unskilled, to patients in their own homes.

Hundreds of local caregiving agencies advertise on job-search sites such as Indeed. Because these opportunities are local, the best way to find them on Indeed is to use the search bar, filling in the appropriate job description and your city and state. Promised pay for caregiving jobs generally ranges from $14 to $25 per hour.

A number of national websites encourage caregivers to publish profiles to connect with clients who need nonmedical care. These include CareLinx, GoNannies, Sittercity, ElderCare.com and Care.com.

Of these, Carelinx is SideHusl.com’s top pick for workers, for two main reasons. First, workers set their own rates, which enables them to adjust for cost of living and experience. Second, the site legally sets up caregivers as employees of the client; this qualifies these otherwise self-employed workers for a passel of employee benefits, including workers’ compensation. The only cost for caregivers to sign up at this site is a $20 fee for a background check.

Caregivers and families can also connect through free neighborhood sites such as Nextdoor.

Counseling and therapy jobs

The therapist’s couch has been largely replaced by video calls and text messages during these long, lonely, pandemic-scarred months.

For therapists who don’t have an official online presence, a number of sites promise to help you market and manage your practice.

Some, such as ECounseling.com, simply advertise your services for a flat annual fee. BetterHelp, meanwhile, provides full-service management, from finding clients and managing the technology to billing for your time. The downside: The site takes pricing control out of your hands. And while therapists are generally happy with the site’s technology and billing support, they almost universally complain about the pay.

Kristof is the editor of SideHusl.com, an independent site that reviews hundreds of money-making opportunities in the gig economy.


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