How does a respirator fit test work?

Updated | Posted

Hi I just got a job in the hospital as a CNA and today I went for my physical exam and they let me do the respirator fit test, my tester gave me a piece of card as a certification of completion and with 3M 1860 on it.. She said I'll use it whenever I enter the TB patient's room..

Can anybody explained me how it works and any further info?

This is my 1st time working in the hospital....thanks! 🙂

yousoldtheworld

Has 5 years experience.

That's just the size/type of mask that fits you...they should have each size available and you just need to make sure to choose the one that fits you properly to be protected.

\ said:
That's just the size/type of mask that fits you...they should have each size available and you just need to make sure to choose the one that fits you properly to be protected.

Hi,oh OK so thats just basically a special mask intended to use for t.b patient?thankz

If there are infection precautions on a patient, and they have a certain type of mask outside of their room, you use that. If the cart has more than one type of mask, and you don't know what the patient's condition is or what the infection precautions specifically are, it's best to ask their attending nurse. Make sure it's secure on your face, there's usually a bendy part about the nose.

Straight No Chaser, LPN

Specializes in Sub-Acute. Has 5 years experience.

A respirator mask is totally different than a regular mask. It is for airborne isolation which includes things like tb and measles or chickenpox. Not your average everyday ppe for droplet precautions.

Wearing a properly fitted respirator improves the likelihood that airborne bacteria, viruses, etc. are adequately filtered from the air before you breathe them in when you encounter a patient with something like TB. They provide more protection than a surgical mask. Here's a video I've shared in the past on how to wear one:

Here's an OSHA fact sheet on selecting surgical masks vs. respirators: Respiratory Infection Control: Respirators Versus Surgical Masks

I had to do the N95 mask fit test. They filter some kind of vapor through it to see how much is getting in and out to determine your fit. I am very tiny, so it took awhile to find a mask small enough for me. I found breathing the vapor was also very hard on my lungs, but then again I am prone to bronchitis.

\ said:
If there are infection precautions on a patient, and they have a certain type of mask outside of their room, you use that. If the cart has more than one type of mask, and you don't know what the patient's condition is or what the infection precautions specifically are, it's best to ask their attending nurse. Make sure it's secure on your face, there's usually a bendy part about the nose.

Hi thanks for the info, further question that means I can use any size and type of respirator?I thought I can only use the 3M it doesn't matter whatever the patients case(bacterial,viral) since thats the one that it perfectly fits on me, and yes the 3M has sumthing on the nose part to pinch it so it seals.thanks

Thank u all for all the infos,btw one more question how long can I use the respirator,days?weeks?or just throw away after each use?thank u!:)

You should only wear the respirator make, model, and SIZE that you were fit tested in. This rule applies no matter what hazard is present. If, for example, I am fit tested in a 3M VFlex 9215S (Small), I need ot make sure that anytime I enter a work area that requires the use of a tight-fitting respirator (no matter the hazard) that I am wearing that specific make, model and size of tight-fitting respirator, not just any 3M, and not just any 9215, but the Small version of that mask, and that mask only.

Tight-fitting respirators, also called filtering facepieces or N95 masks, that are disposable (as most are) are designed for one-time use only. Even after fit testing the respirator should be dispoased of, as the fit test is considered the one-time use.

\ said:
You should only wear the respirator make, model, and SIZE that you were fit tested in. This rule applies no matter what hazard is present. If, for example, I am fit tested in a 3M VFlex 9215S (Small), I need ot make sure that anytime I enter a work area that requires the use of a tight-fitting respirator (no matter the hazard) that I am wearing that specific make, model and size of tight-fitting respirator, not just any 3M, and not just any 9215, but the Small version of that mask, and that mask only.

Tight-fitting respirators, also called filtering facepieces or N95 masks, that are disposable (as most are) are designed for one-time use only. Even after fit testing the respirator should be dispoased of, as the fit test is considered the one-time use.

Oh OK thats what I thought just the mask that I fit tested,.mine is 3M 1860 small..thankz