Respirator Fit Testing
Appropriate respiratory protection must be worn by students and employees potentially exposed to infectious airborne diseases and other hazardous airborne materials. Employees will not be assigned to tasks requiring the use of respirators until the employee is determined to be physically capable of performing the work and using the equipment.
Fit testing is conducted on an annual basis. All potential respirator users must complete a Respirator Medical Evaluation Questionnaire and submit the confidential document to UHS through their supervisor/manager. A nurse practitioner or physician at UHS will determine if the employee is physically able to wear a mask based on information provided.
After the questionnaire is evaluated, a Respirator Testing Evaluation Form is returned to the supervisor. The employee is then tested in his/her department by a trained fit mask tester.
Information for Testers
- Please advise employees to print their name legibly on all documents.
- Date of birth is a required identifier.
- Testing should be completed within 60 days of UHS approval.
- The medical questionnaire will remain in the employee’s UHS chart. The testing form should be returned to UHS for filing after the fit test is performed (you should make a copy for your records).
- Pregnancy is not a contraindication for fit testing.
- Employees with issues regarding fit mask testing are invited to come to UHS in person to discuss their concerns.
- Employees who cannot use an N-95 respirator must be trained by their supervisor in the use of a powered air purifying respirator (PAPR).
Powered Air Purifying Respirator (PAPR)
Personnel who cannot be fitted for N-95 respirators (due to facial hair, medical problems, improper fit, etc.) must have access to Powered Air Purifying Respirator (PAPR) hoods to provide care for patients in respiratory isolation.
PAPR carts for use on the inpatient units may be ordered from Supply Chain Management at 215-955-6337. Each cart has a supply of hoods which are reusable and given to the employee. At a cost of approximately $20 per hood, we do not recommend discarding them after each use. Employees should mark the hood with their name and keep it for future use.
Fit testing is not required to use a PAPR hood; however, the correct size should be provided. The hoods come in two sizes:
- Regular (21 - 23 inches) for hat size 61/2-73/8
- Large (22 - 25 inches) for hat size 7-8