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N95 Respirator Fitting/Mask FIT Testing

(Patients with Respiratory Pathogens)

In-patient clinical sites require all health professional students (T.H. Chan School of Medicine and Tan Chingfen Graduate School of Nursing) to follow CDC respiratory infection control recommendations. The CDC recommends healthcare workers to be fit tested for a NIOSH- approved N-95 respirator or a powered air purifying respirator (PAPR) in order to provide protection from certain airborne pathogens such as H1N1 or Tuberculosis.

The mask fit process begins early in the first year of school for the Tan Chingfen Graduate School of Nursing and T.H. Chan School of Medicine students. Students are first required to be medically cleared by Student Health Services (SHS) and then fitted by Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) for either N-95 respirator mask or a PAPR prior to entering any clinical site. 

Students will be sent an e-mail containing a mask fit clearance form to be completed and sent back to SHS for review. Once cleared, the student will be instructed to call Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) to arrange an appointment for a mask fitting. 

Students not medically cleared to be fitted for the N-95 mask will need to be trained for the PAPR which is also arranged through EHS. Reasons for wearing a PAPR instead of a N-95 mask include certain medical conditions such as poorly controlled asthma or extensive facial hair. It is the professional responsibility of each student to complete the mask fit requirement. Any student who does not complete this requirement will not be allowed to participate in clinical rotations and the dean of students of the corresponding school will be notified for further action as per the Medical Clearance Policy.

The above requirement and mask fit clearance form can be found on the Student Health website

Applicability: All enrolled students

Date Revised:  March 9, 2014

This content is current to the 2021-2022 Student Handbook.