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 OHN approval.
- The medical questionnaire will remain in the employee’s OHN chart. The testing form should be returned to OHN 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 OHN 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.) may not enter a room in respiratory isolation unless they have access to Powered Air Purifying Respirator (PAPR). Training in the use of the PAPR is required.
PAPR for use on the inpatient units may be ordered from Supply Chain Logistics. The PAPR will arrive on a cart with the needed supplies. Each cart has a supply of hoods and wipes to sanitize the hood and PAPR after use. Hoods may not be shared among healthcare workers, but may be reused by the same person. OHN recommends marking the hood with the employee’s name after sanitizing the hood.
PAPR training is provided by OHN during the pre-employment examination and through the train the trainer program of the Respiratory Fit Testing program. Questions regarding the use of a PAPR may be answered by the OHN clinical staff.