N-95 Respiratory Protection Program
The ISU N-95 Respiratory protection plan was created and implemented in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic in order to provide training and PPE to students during their clinical rotations while also alleviating medical facilities from having to provide the process to students. EHS continues to provide this support to aid faculty, staff, and students to protect their respiratory health while performing their duties in a clinical setting.
The process requires three major steps which include:
- Medical Evaluation
- Fit Testing
What is an N95?
An N-95 is a particulate-filtering facepiece respirator that meets the U.S. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) N95 classification of air filtration. An N95 filters at least 95% of small sized airborne particles down to 0.3 microns. N signifies that it is not resistant to oil. The N-95 type is the most common particulate-filtering facepiece respirator.
Is a KN95 the same thing?
They are similar but not the same. Both masks are rated to capture 95% of particles down to 0.3 microns. The key difference comes from the N95s breathability due to pressure drop requirements and NIOSH approval within clinical settings.
If you are in need of KN95s for your classroom they are currently available to order through Bengal Depot.
How do I get N-95 fit tested?
If you are a student please contact your clinical coordinator, program director, or instructor.
Clinic coordinators, program directors, or instructors requiring N-95 fit testing services for employees or students should contact EHS for assistance.
- Verify the need for N-95 respirators.
- Provide an access code for the Moodle training and medical evaluation
- Schedule N-95 fit-testing for employees or students.
What if I am a non-medical employee?
Please contact our Health and Safety Technician in order to receive a hazard assessment based on the Respiratory Protection Program to best determine the type of respirator you need for your duties. EHS will follow up with instructions on how to best proceed within the Respiratory Protection Program.
Where is the Medical Questionnaire?
You will find the medical questionnaire as a final downloadable and printable document through the Moodle N95 training. This questionnaire once completed should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org which is the Student Health secure email.
How long does it take for my medical clearance to process?
Depending on the influx of submissions to student health it can take up to 4 - 5 days for a medical questionnaire to process. If there are any questions or concerns about a pending medical questionnaire please contact your coordinator or EHS at 208-282-2310.
What can I expect during a fit test?
EHS is currently using a qualitative method of fit testing which involves the participant being briefly hooded and introduced to a strongly flavored solution being either bitrex or saccharin. The test itself will take a minimum of 10 minutes. Once completed with a fitting N95 the participant will receive a fit test card documenting the date of the test and the model of the N95 used for future reference or to provide to clinic/coordinator. Participant may also receive a count of N95s from EHS dependent on what was coordinated by the department and necessity.
For more information on the solutions used please refer to the SDS below.
If there are any questions or concerns please contact EHS 208-282-2310
Can I keep my facial hair?
A clean shaven face is required by OSHA for individuals wearing (or being fitted for) a tight fitting respirator. This includes an N-95 and any other filtering face piece respirator. The purpose of the requirement is to protect the individual wearing the respirator.
NIOSH and the CDC have worked together to compile the infographic below illustrating which facial hairstyles will and will not work with a respirator. EHS utilizes this guidance when performing respirator fit tests. This CDC Facial Hair Guide is available for printing and sharing.