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Spirometry in the occupational setting - reply.
Redlich-CA; Tarlo-SM; Hankinson-JL; Townsend-MC; Eschenbacher-WL; Von Essen-SG; Sigsgaard-T; Weissman-DN
Am J Respir Crit Care Med 2014 Aug; 190(3):353-354
We appreciate Mr. Ruppel and Mr. Motram's interest in the recent American Thoracic Society (ATS) document on spirometry in the occupational setting (1) and their understanding of the importance of technician training and feedback in improving the quality of spirometry testing. They also advocate for credentialing based on educational background and specialty examinations, as is offered by the National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC), which provides credentialing examinations for respiratory therapy professionals. Although such credentialing can ensure a certain knowledge base and educational background, it can also exclude individuals capable of performing excellent spirometry from serving as technicians, creating substantial obstacles to providing spirometry in a diverse range of settings. The literature reviewed in this ATS document demonstrates that with appropriate focused practical training, individuals from different backgrounds can successfully perform high-quality spirometry. Formal initial and refresher training should provide a practical foundation of knowledge about spirometry and should also include hands-on instruction in performing the tests. Ongoing review of spirometry tests performed by technicians to identify problems affecting test quality, and timely feedback to correct those problems, is also essential to improve the quality of spirometry testing, as Mr. Ruppel and Mr. Motram also note. This general approach to training spirometry technicians has been shown to provide high-quality spirometry in many countries. We thank the NBRC and others throughout the world for their efforts to train technicians and improve the quality of spirometry testing.
Pulmonary-function-tests; Spirometry; Diagnostic-tests; Testing-equipment; Technical-personnel; Training; Quality-control; Education; Performance-capability; Task-performance
Carrie A. Redlich, M.D., M.P.H., Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut
Issue of Publication
Healthcare and Social Assistance
American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine
CT; GA; PA; OH; NE; WV
Page last reviewed: May 5, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division