Influenza Prevention Factsheets:
Information about Mandatory Flu Vaccine Programs (PDF) | SEIU, October 29, 2010
Infection Control to Prevent the Spread of Influenza in Healthcare Settings (PDF) | Nurse Alliance of SEIU Healthcare, October 29, 2010
Seasonal Flu Response Plan Checklist (PDF) | Nurse Alliance of SEIU Healthcare, October 29, 2010
Letter to SEIU Members with Recommendations for Influenza Prevention (PDF) | From President Mary Kay Henry, SEIU Healthcare Chair L. Toni Lewis, MD and Nurse Alliance Chair of SEIU Dian Palmer, RN, November 16, 2010
Respiratory Infection Control: Respirators vs. Surgical Masks
General Procedures for Properly Putting on and Taking Off a Disposable Respirator, Center for Disease Control (CDC), 2009.
Respiratory Protection for Healthcare Workers in the Workplace Against Novel H1N1 Influenza A (PDF Report Brief) | Institute of Medicine (IOM), September 2009
Surveys of Healthcare Workers’ Experience:
California Nurses Report on H1N1 (PDF) | Nurse Alliance of SEIU Healthcare, May 18, 2009.
Healthcare Workers In Peril: Preparing To Protect Worker Health And Safety During Pandemic Influenza (PDF)
A Union Survey Report, April 16, 2009 | SEIU, AFL-CIO, AFSCME, AFT, CWA, UAN, UFCW
In an effort to assess the extent of employer efforts in planning adequate safety and health measures for healthcare workers, a group of unions developed a “pandemic flu preparedness survey” to assess the level of preparedness on a facility basis. For key survey results and recommendations to address the problems uncovered by the survey, see the full report here.
Professional Organization Guidance:
Seasonal Influenza Prevention in Health Care Workers (PDF) | American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (ACOEM), 2006.
Respiratory protection for healthcare workers in the workplace against novel H1N1 influenza A: A letter report. | Institute of Medicine (IOM), September 1, 2009.
Preparing for an Influenza Pandemic: Personal Protective Equipment for Healthcare Workers | Institute of Medicine (IOM). September 18, 2007
Respirators are the only personal protective equipment designed to protect against airborne exposures. Surgical or procedure masks will not protect against airborne flu exposure.
This video from the Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC) features former SEIU members in Massachusetts.
Influenza Respirator Selection and Fit Testing Overview for Healthcare Workers
Your employer must select a properly designed and approved respirator for you to wear to properly protect you. This clip shows the basics of selecting a proper respirator and the gives an introduction to the important 20 minute fit testing procedure to insure the respirator fits properly. For more on respirator selection, fit testing and other related topics, go to the U.S. OSHA website.
Putting on Influenza PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) for Healthcare Workers
Healthcare workers must be provided with the proper PPE, including respirators ( not surgical masks) to protect them from airborne, droplet and contact transmission of the flu virus. For more on respirator selection, fit testing and PPE, go to the U.S. OSHA website.
Taking Off Influenza PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) for Healthcare Workers
This video provides good procedures for healthcare workers for removing their contaminated influenza PPE. Proper removal is important to prevent becoming infected from the contaminated PPE.
Influenza Respirator Fit Testing: Qualitative Method
This video shows the importance of respirator fit testing for healthcare workers who will be exposed to seasonal) flu. It demonstrates the qualitative fit testing protocol, one of several OSHA approved methods that employers must use. A proper fit test following OSHA’s procedures takes at least 15 minutes per person and must be done annually. Without passing a fit test, a respirator will not provide the expected protection and the wearer will be at an increased risk of becoming ill from the flu. You are fit tested to a specific model and size respirator which your employer then must provide you when needed while working.
Influenza Respirator Fit Testing: Portacount Quantitative Method
This video shows the importance of respirator fit testing for healthcare workers who will be exposed to seasonal flu. It demonstrates the quantitative fit testing protocol, (using the TSI Portacount machine) one of several OSHA approved methods that employers must use. A proper fit test following OSHA’s procedures takes at least 15 minutes per person and must be done annually. Without passing a fit test, a respirator will not provide the expected protection and the wearer will be at an increased risk of becoming ill from the flu. You are fit tested to a specific model and size respirator which your employer then must provide you when needed while working.
Respiratory Hygiene 1948 British National Health Service
From the 1948 British National Health Service (NHS) Public Information Film, Coughs and Sneezes, this clip shows how to reduce the spread of disease from sneezing and coughing. Today, this is known as respiratory hygiene or cough etiquette and is an important way to reduce the spread of diseases such as the flu.
* These video clips are from a 2008 Australian Government Department of Health and Aging DVD “Pandemic Influenza Preparedness, Safe Use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE),” downloadable from their website. While from Australia, they do show procedures in compliance with current OSHA regulations and guidance.
» More information on how healthcare professionals can develop respirator fit testing programs to ensure that respirators provide adequate protection on SEIU.org here.
More Links to Helpful Resources:
» CDC Flu website: Infection Control in Health Care Facilities
» NIOSH website on Seasonal Influenza (Flu) in the Workplace
Healthcare-Related FAQs About Respirators
- Is a surgical mask an N95 respirator?
- What is a surgical N95 respirator?
- Can the products with an exhalation valve be used in healthcare?
- Do N95 respirators come in different sizes?
- How do I know what size I need?
- Do N95 respirators come in different styles?
- Why do some N95 respirators have an exhalation valve on the front?
- Does moisture build up in respirators?
- What are the differences among these products?
- How long can you wear the same N95 respirator?
- Can it be used from Operating Room (OR) case to OR case or from patient to patient?
- Is cross contamination a concern if I wear the same N95 from patient room to patient room?
- Can I take a N95 respirator off in between patients or Operating Room cases?
- How should I store my N95 in between patient encounters, in a healthcare setting
- Can I infect myself from the droplets that accumulate on the outside of the respirator?
- Do I need special training to wear an N95 or do I put it on and wear it like a surgical mask?
- Can we use an N95 that has not been cleared by the FDA in a patient setting?
- What does it mean if a respirator is approved by NIOSH and cleared by the FDA?
For specific questions, please contact Mark Catlin, Director of SEIU Health and Safety: 202-730-7290 or firstname.lastname@example.org