Respirator Fit Testing

UTMB STUDENT HEALTH MEDICAL CLEARANCE & FIT TEST PROCEDURES FOR N95 MASK, PAPR & HALF MASK

***REMINDER: Fit testing and medical clearance is an annual requirement. ***

Respirators are pieces of personal protective equipment that provide respiratory protection against airborne contaminants.  Respirators will either filter the ambient air (for example, N-95, PAPR, or half-mask air purifying respirators) or they will provide clean breathing air for the student (for example, SCBA and air-line respirators).  

depiction of n95 mask

Every person's face is different, and respirators are NOT one size fits all.  A respirator that does not fit provides no protection and can actually be more dangerous than not wearing a respirator.  To make sure your respirator fits correctly to provide you with adequate protection, all students wearing a respirator must be fit tested on an annual basis.  Fit testing is a service provided by the Radiation & Occupational Safety Program.

Because a respirator is being placed on a person's face and can make breathing more difficult, UTMB must make sure that students are healthy enough to wear a respirator.  Medical conditions such as severe asthma, COPD, and emphysema can make the wearing of a respirator unsafe for an student.  Before any student can be fit tested and wear a respirator, they must first be medically evaluated by a licensed healthcare professional.  Respirator medical evaluations of UTMB Students is a service provided by the Student Health Clinic.

Scheduling a Fit Test

  1. All students can access the new medical questionnaire via this link: https://utmb.us/6ga 
  2. Both student and EHS will receive an email as soon as they are cleared for fit testing.
  3. The email will contain a link to schedule the fit testing appointment.
  4. Student should not schedule a fit testing appointment until they are cleared by Student Health.
  5. All students with any medical condition will need further evaluation by a medical provider & will receive a call from one of the SHC providers. Please ensure you answer the call immediately in order to be cleared in a timely manner. 
  6. If your school has made a special arrangement with EHS for a set of dates for the fit testing do not schedule your own individual fit testing appointment but follow your school arrangement.
  7. The students that are not cleared will also receive an email and instructions on other options.
  8. Download the respirator questionnaire form for other types of respirators (half-face or full-face respirators) here. Updated Respiratory Questionnaire 2022

Please note the following important information:

INDIVIDUAL FIT TESTING: Individual fit tests are scheduled Monday through Friday 8 AM-4 PM. Individual fit tests on the Galveston Campus are conducted in Waverly Smith Pavilion, 6th floor (outside Neonatology offices 6.104) by scheduled appointment.

Although we will try to accommodate urgent fit test requests, we request at least three days’ notice for scheduling fit tests. Same-day fit test requests are not guaranteed.  

SCHOOL/CLASS FIT TESTING: Departmental fit tests can be scheduled (10 employee minimum) by having your department contact submit our Departmental Fit Test Request Form

Note: Students must be clean shaven wherever the respirator will seal against their face in order to be fit tested and to wear a tight-fitting respirator!  Anyone with visible stubble or a beard/mustache where the respirator will seal against the skin will not be fit tested.  This CDC/NIOSH Blog post provides a good illustration of acceptable and unacceptable facial hair.

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Lee Hage Jamail Student Center
301 University Blvd - 3rd Floor
Galveston, TX 77555-1369

Phone: 409-747-9508
Fax: 409-747-9330
Email:  SHCemail@utmb.edu

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After Hours Care:

After hours, weekends, and holidays, you may call the Access Center at 409-772-2222 or 800-917-8906. Telephone triage is provided by the Hotline and physician backup consultation is available.

Emergencies:
Please go directly to the nearest emergency room. Students are responsible for all charges related to emergency care.