It is no secret that annually fit-testing an army of residents and fellows at large teaching hospitals is a huge undertaking. The hassle of setting-up the environment and administering the test often downplays its true importance.
Paula Kaufmann, CIH, along with Emilcott’s respirator fit testing team worked with the infectious disease and EHS groups at a regional teaching hospital during the facility’s annual fit test campaign. Kaufmann states, “As a Certified Industrial Hygienist, my challenge is to convey the why, how and when of respirator use (according to OSHA Respirator Standard training and fit testing requirements) to anyone on my watch – even when my target audience consists of impatient, high-achieving and time-pressed medical professionals. In an odd role reversal, I’m doing the life saving … using occupational health and safety standards to protect their bodies as they do their jobs.”
However, even the well- planned and appropriately staffed Emilcott team faced several days, sometimes weeks, of fit-testing to accommodate the schedules of rounds, staff, patients and Human Resources. Looking for a time-saving solution, Emilcott turned to TSI’s Qfit™ Respirator Fit Tester - the only OSHA (29CFR1910.134) compliant automated pump driven nebulizer for BITREX® and Saccharin to qualitatively fit test the integrity of respirators.
“Emilcott’s fit testing team became considerably more efficient this year by switching to the TSI Qfit to generate the test atmospheres,” Kaufmann said. “One touch of a button on these pump-driven nebulizers produces the equivalent of 5 bulb nebulizer compressions and uses quick, pop-on cartridges containing the challenge solutions. The easy and consistent delivery system of the nebulizers enabled us to focus our attention on the respirator user and the respirator fit. In our estimation, more than 1,000 staffers, new and seasoned, passed through our fit testing process in a matter of days!”
To learn more about Emilcott’s fit-testing campaign, please read their full story on the EHSWire.