Young Hygienist Snapshot: Michelle Coutu [INTERNATIONAL EDITION!]

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With degrees in Chemistry and Occupational and Environmental Hygiene, Michelle is a Safety Health and Environmental Specialist based in Maryland, USA.

Michelle co-authored a paper in the Annals of Occupational Hygiene on Toluene exposure during spray painting, and lucky for us, Brooke Best bumped into her at this year’s AIHce and can bring us this snapshot so we can learn more! Here is 5-mins with Michelle:

Best location I have worked: Hawaii

The best thing about my job is: Meeting people. I really enjoy talking to people, learning about what they do, and how they do it.

Career Highlight: Traveling to different places to support military personnel. I was a US military contractor for two years and was able to see parts of the world and the United States that I wouldn’t have visited on my own. I was also able to help people who are so dedicated to their mission of assisting others that they often neglect their own occupational health needs.

If you want to be an Occupational Hygienist, you’d better get used to: People thinking that you are a doctor, engineer, and research scientist all rolled into one.

People normally think my job involves: This is a tie between OSHA enforcement and/or teeth cleaning!

The best thing I’ve been asked to do was: Conduct noise surveys on military aircraft; specifically helicopters UH60 (Blackhawks), and CH47 (Chinooks).

The worst thing I’ve been asked to do was: Do data entry as my primary job duty for weeks at a time.

Confession: I don’t know everything. I try, but there is still a lot I need to look up.

Influences: My colleagues and mentors are my biggest influences. They push me to do better, so that I can better help others.

Noise Survey of CH47

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