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Thursday, July 3, 2014

Reaching Towards a Healthier, Safer Workplace:NIOSH looks at healthcare worker familiarity with recommended respiratory protection practices

Today's post was shared by Safe Healthy Workers and comes from

Every day healthcare workers (HCWs) make decisions about the best way to protect themselves. What would you do if you entered the room of a new patient and noticed symptoms such as fever and a mucus-producing cough? As a HCW, you must then ask yourself, “What type of disease does the patient have? What sort of precautions should I take to protect myself because the patient may have an infectious disease?” While it is your employer’s responsibility to provide policies, programs, training, and guidance on respirator use, it is the health care workers who implement these procedures.  Do you know when to use respiratory protection? If so, do you understand what type of protection to choose and how to use it properly?

NIOSH Research – the REACH II Study

Researchers at NIOSH conducted a study to determine HCW familiarity with recommended respiratory protection practices[i], [ii] including the selection of respiratory protective devices. NIOSH collaborated with several state health departments and universities for the Respirator Use Evaluation in Acute Care Hospitals (REACH II) study.  REACH II involved 98 hospitals in six states, and surveyed over 1,500 HCWs, Hospital and Unit Managers.  Research staff observed respirator donning (i.e., putting on) and doffing (i.e., taking off) demonstrations by more than 300 HCWs. To determine HCWs’ knowledge about which respiratory protection to use, both HCWs and managers were given six scenarios...
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