From Hospitals to Homecare to Sanofi: My Nursing Journey
By Melanie Stutts, Occupational Health Nurse, Chattanooga, TN
As an Occupational Health Nurse at Sanofi, I’m touching so much and so many. While directly I’m not developing and manufacturing our life-saving medications and vaccines, I’m still caring for “patients” – in this case, my colleagues, who work such physically demanding jobs within our manufacturing and distribution sites. Whether it’s responding to emergencies, injuries, and other on-site incidents or return-to-work evaluations and managing COVID-19 and other illnesses, keeping our employees healthy means keeping patients healthy all over the world.
Prior to joining the Sanofi family, I spent nearly 14 years as a nurse, mainly in the ER and later home health. I was exhausted and burnt out. The past few years I spent as a travel nurse, working 13-hour days, throughout the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. As a nurse in the healthcare system, I was working most holidays, many weekends, and it was a challenge to even take a day off. Needless to say, I was tired, and had little time, energy or interest to pursue anything else outside of work.
Working at Sanofi though has really opened up my eyes (and calendar) when it comes to work-life balance and taking the time to focus on not just my job, but things outside of work in my personal life – roller derby, kick boxing, making homemade beer, and of course, spending time (usually camping) with my husband and our two dogs. It’s that “One Sanofi” feel, the overall culture, that I’m quick to brag about to family, friends and anyone who will listen. Overall, the freedom, flexibility, and promotion of work-life balance I have experienced since joining the team makes me feel like my time both at and outside of work are valued equally.
While the effects of health and wellness, and workplace safety initiatives are not as immediately visible and measurable as they were treating patents in the hospital, I remind myself frequently of the broader impact on health and quality of life we all have simply by being a part of the Sanofi team.