Mask Fit Testing
As a requirement for your Clinical Preparedness Permit, you are required to provide proof that you have been mask fit tested. The Mask Fit Test is a taste test therefore you must not eat, drink (except water), chew gum or smoke 30 minutes prior to your Mask Fit Test. To ensure your choice of appointments, book now through our online scheduling service.
What is Mask Fit Testing?
Mask Fit Testing helps determine which N95 respirator (mask) fits the Health Care Provider. It is important that you have a proper fit mask to prevent any airborne particles from entering.
The Ministry of Health has developed directives based on recommendations of Health Canada, the Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization. These directives state that Health Care Providers should wear an N95 approved respirator (mask) when respiratory protection is required such as when exposed to airborne diseases in the clinical setting.
What happens during the Mask Fit Test?
The Mask Fit Test is a taste test, you must not eat, drink (except water), chew gum or smoke 30 minutes prior to your test. Individuals with heavy facial hair such as a beard are recommended to be clean-shaven in order to determine a proper seal with the N95 mask. Students with long hair, please tie your hair up in a ponytail or bun.
A Registered Nurse or Registered Practical Nurse will review a medical questionnaire and consent form with you to determine whether any health conditions exist that could affect your ability to wear a respirator. You will be required to sign this form.
The nurse will then commence a Qualitative Mask Fit Test. A clear, see-through breathable hood will be placed over your head. The nurse will then spray a bitter-tasting aerosol solution (Bitrex) inside the hood. You will then be asked to stick out your tongue until you taste the bitter aerosol. Most people detect the bitter taste after just one spray.
Once it has been determined that you can taste the bitter solution, the hood will then be removed. The nurse will fit you with an appropriate N95 mask. You will be shown how to don and dispose of the mask properly. While you are wearing the N95 mask, the hood will be placed over your head again. The nurse will spray the bitter-tasting solution inside the hood while directing you through various movements. If you do not taste the bitter aerosol during these movements this will confirm a properly fitting mask. The hood then mask will be removed and the test will be complete. Should you taste the bitter aerosol at any time throughout the test, the hood will be removed and another N95 mask will be fitted until a proper Mask Fit Test is achieved.
Once the Mask Fit Test is completed you will receive a wallet-sized card stating that you have been Mask Fit Tested successfully. The mask fit card is valid for two years.
Does Concise Health Solutions offer Mask Fit testing in retirement and long term care homes, or medical clinics?
Yes! We will arrange a block of time that is convenient for your workflow and that will cause as little disruption to your normal business activities as possible. Each Mask Fit Test will take approximately 10 minutes. Employees will need to complete a short medical questionnaire and consent forms prior to testing. We will bring all of the necessary equipment and supplies along with a variety of N95 masks. All we require from you is a private room with tables, chairs, wastebasket and ideally, a sink.
Employees will receive instructions on how to don and dispose of their mask as well as their Mask Fit Certification card that will be valid for up to two years.
If requested, the employer will receive a list of all employees tested and which N95 mask they require.