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634 Respiratory protection training for healthcare workers
  1. MG Ryan1,
  2. L Pompeii2
  1. 1President, American Association of Occupational Health Nurses (AAOHN), Chicago, Illinois, USA
  2. 2Associate Professor, University of Texas School of Public Health, Houston, Texas, USA


Introduction This presentation will provide an overview of the development of the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) funded Respiratory Protection training courses for Health Care Workers and Occupational and Environmental Health Nurses (OHNs). Topical content and access information details will be provided.

Methods After the Institute of Medicine identified the knowledge gaps among OHNs pertaining to respiratory protection for workers, AAOHN collaborated with NIOSH, the American Board of Occupational Health Nurses, the American Nurses Association, and the Association of Occupational Health Professionals to form an advisory board of respiratory protection experts. The advisory board guided development of the respiratory protection training courses led by university researchers which aimed to increase the knowledge of Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s Respiratory Protection Standard, the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Airborne Precautions, and the use of the N95 respirator in healthcare.

Result Four training courses were developed that are free and offer continuing education credit at

  • OHN: Respiratory Protection Education and Resources –a ten–module resource to train OHNs as a Respiratory Protection Administrator;

  • Respiratory Protection for Healthcare Workers – contains two modules pertaining to frontline healthcare worker respiratory protection focusing on the CDC’s airborne precautions including N95 use;

  • Respiratory Protection for Ancillary Healthcare Workers (e.g., housekeepers) – a proposed 10 min module (anticipated release Fall 2017); and

  • Case Study of Respiratory Protection in Healthcare – an interactive respiratory protection training for healthcare OHNs (anticipated release Fall 2017).

Conclusion AAOHN with NIOSH formed an advisory board of respiratory protection experts and developed an acclaimed national and international online respiratory protection training that meets the needs of OHNs, frontline healthcare workers, and ancillary healthcare workers. As of June 2017, over 330 individuals have completed the Respiratory Protection training.

  • Occupational and Environmental Health Nurses
  • airborne precautions
  • N95 respirator use

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