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Annual N95 Respirator Fit Testing

by Medical Staff Office on April 1, 2014

Fit testing clinics will occur Friday, April 4th through Thursday, April 17th in order to facilitate access to testing, which takes about 15 minutes to complete. Find the schedule here.

OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) requires healthcare workers to be fit tested ANNUALLY for N95 respirators used in Airborne Isolation /negative pressure rooms. Fit testing includes selection of the correct size of N95 respirator and learning how to achieve the proper seal for your protection. You are only allowed to wear the N95 respirator brand/size that you have been fit tested to wear.

Be advised that fit testing is required if you/ your staff:

  1. Work in the Emergency Department, or are physically seeing patients within the Emergency Department.
  2. Enter into patient rooms with a patient in Airborne isolation (negative pressure room). Negative pressure rooms are found throughout the hospital: patient rooms, ED, PACU, Dialysis and Endoscopy. This applies to anyone wearing a N95 respirator for patient care, regardless of location.

Fit testing applies to Medical Staff members with privileges, nurses, PCTs and other technicians, rehabilitation personnel, respiratory therapists, phlebotomists, Environmental Services personnel and many others. All Emergency department medical staff, intensivists, hospitalists, pulmonologists, infectious disease physicians, thoracic surgeons, and/or any medical staff member meeting the description above is expected to be fit tested during these clinics.

Fit testing is an annual requirement. Those already fit tested in calendar year 2014 do not have to be re- tested. Those unable to fit into a N95 respirator properly during last year’s session (e.g., extensive facial hair, lack of fit, etc.) will still need to be re-evaluated this year. Please do not chew gum, eat, drink (except water) for at least 20 minutes before testing; this may alter the results of the test.

Your participation in fit testing is required for OSHA compliance and is for the personal safety of you and your staff. Please make sure fit testing is complete by April 17, 2014.

Questions? Contact Anne Van Waes, Director, Quality and Regulatory Affairs, avanwaes@AAHS.org.

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