SINGAPORE: A nursing degree holder who only started working six months ago took to an online forum on Tuesday (April 16) to share how exhausted he feels, saying, “I’m severely drained and I just want to consider whatever options I have.”

“I just started working six months ago and it feels like it’s been years,” he wrote.

“I’m severely drained and I just want to consider whatever options I have. I’m not experienced enough given that I’m a fresh graduate so being an educator is definitely not an option. Please help me. Please.”

According to the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences, nurse burnout is a real thing. Stressors like long working hours, the pressure of having to make decisions quickly, and the uncertainty of patient outcomes put nurses up against a lot.

All these factors can lead not only to mental and physical exhaustion but also to emotional exhaustion. 

A handful of people responded to the nurse’s post, encouraging him to try sales. “Pharmaceutical sales,” said one. “Good money.”

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“Back in 2017, I used to have a colleague who had an NUS nursing degree and then didn’t want to do nursing upon graduation,” said another.

“I was in branch banking sales. Currently, branch sales are still very much in demand if you don’t mind a sales environment.

The salary is also quite competitive… of course, sales is not for everyone but I think it beats nursing where pay is lower but it saps the soul out of you.”

“Clinical coding,” a third mentioned. “If you are fine with a desk-bound job, office hours, and 5 days of work per week. Medical sales and care coordinator.”

A few others suggested trying out home-based care. “Perhaps consider home-based care?” said one. “There’s been an uptick in those services. A relative was a nurse for three to four years before he left and became a pilot.”

Still, another suggested, “Short part-time house calls. My nursing friend went to different houses just to look after the elderly part-time like (at night).

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These patients usually have a helper around but they do need someone with expertise to check the drip etc. Once everything is in order for the night, she just turns on the iPad and watches some shows.”

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