man and woman in health uniforms standing behind a desk with information about respiratory protection equipment.

MNC Respiratory Protection Program Manager Linda Brookes with CCN Fit Test Assessor Michael Ryan attending the pop-up desk at Coffs Harbour Health Campus in support of staff.

Ensuring Safety: Fit testing of respiratory protection equipment

Feb 07, 2024

The Respiratory Protection Program (RPP) team recently organised its first pop-up desks for 2024, which took place in the foyers of Coffs Harbour Health Campus and Port Macquarie Base Hospital on 1 February.

These events served as invaluable platforms for the team to engage with staff, address concerns, and reinforce the importance of fit testing in safeguarding against respiratory hazards.

Fit testing, a critical component of respiratory protection, is a proactive measure aimed at ensuring that masks worn by healthcare workers provide the necessary seal and protection against airborne contaminants.

During the pop-up desks, the RPP team seized the opportunity to engage directly with hospital staff, fostering open dialogue regarding fit testing compliance. Staff members had the chance to discuss their fit testing status, discuss the specific masks they had been fitted to, and seek clarification on pertinent issues such as facial hair regulations.

Moreover, the team went above and beyond by offering ‘on the spot’ fit tests to a select group of fortunate staff members. This hands-on approach not only underscored the team’s commitment to promoting safety but also provided immediate reassurance to individuals regarding the efficacy of their respiratory protection equipment.

The initiative served as a reminder of the collective responsibility shared by healthcare institutions and their employees in upholding stringent safety standards. By actively participating in fit testing initiatives, staff members contribute to the overall resilience of the healthcare environment, thereby mitigating potential risks and ensuring optimal patient care.

Furthermore, these outreach efforts underscored the dynamic nature of the Respiratory Protection Program, which remains dedicated to adapting and evolving in response to emerging challenges and best practices. Through ongoing education, training, and engagement, the RPP team endeavours to empower staff with the knowledge and resources needed to navigate the complexities of respiratory protection effectively.

Online bookings can be made via the RPP Intranet page or by emailing the team on mnclhd-rpp-fittesting@health.nsw.gov.au.

HMN Fit Test Assessor Jane Leach’s pop-up desk at Port Macquarie Base Hospital.

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