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Healthcare Respiratory Protection Resources



NIOSH Documents

Hospital Respiratory Protection Program Toolkit
This toolkit was developed to assist hospitals in developing and implementing effective respiratory protection programs, with an emphasis on preventing the transmission of aerosol transmissible diseases (ATDs) to healthcare personnel.

Healthcare personnel are paid and unpaid persons who provide patient care in a healthcare setting or support the delivery of healthcare by providing clerical, dietary, housekeeping, engineering, security, or maintenance services. Healthcare personnel may potentially be exposed to ATD pathogens. Aerosols are particles or droplets suspended in air. ATDs are diseases transmitted when infectious agents, which are suspended or present in particles or droplets, contact the mucous membranes or are inhaled.

Implementing Hospital Respiratory Protection Programs: Strategies from the Field
Protecting workers from exposure to all types of respiratory hazards is an important issue for hospitals and other healthcare organizations. In order to address this often overlooked danger, The Joint Commission and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory (NPPTL) have collaborated to develop a new educational monograph designed to assist hospitals in implementing their respiratory protection programs (RPPs).

Preparedness through Daily Practice: The Myths of Respiratory Protection in Healthcare
Evidence from surveillance studies indicates gaps in hospitals’ respiratory protection programmatic operations and healthcare workers’ (HCWs) marginal compliance with respiratory protection recommended practices. Improper use of respiratory protective devices (RPDs) may expose HCWs to infectious respiratory illnesses. In this document, NIOSH addresses common myths related to respiratory protection and provides information to reinforce respiratory protection program administrator responsibilities and HCW knowledge concerning the proper use of these devices so that they can be prepared for the next public health emergency and best protect themselves in daily practice.


Infographic - Respirator Use and Infection Control in Healthcare

Respirator Use and Infection Control in Healthcare (2015)
Infographic on important reminders concerning respirator use within hospital respiratory protection programs.
PDF [1,036 KB], Image [339 KB]

Infographic - Key Resources of a Respiratory Protection Program

Key Resources of a Respiratory Protection Program (2015)
Infographic listing the nine key requirements of a respiratory protection program.
English: PDF [1.059 KB], Image [833 KB]
Spanish: PDF [324 KB], Imagen [1,592 KB]

Training Opportunities

AAOHN Healthcare Workers’ Respiratory Protection Training

AAOHN Respiratory Protection Education & Resources Webkit


Year of the Nurse
The World Health Organization has designated 2020 the Year of the Nurse and the Midwife. Nurses play a critical role in our healthcare system and in the lives of the  patients they care for.

Reaching Towards a Healthier, Safer Workplace: NIOSH looks at healthcare worker familiarity with recommended respiratory protection practices
Researchers at NIOSH conducted a study to determine HCW familiarity with recommended respiratory protection practices including the selection of respiratory protective devices.

Other Important Links

Respirator Trusted-Source Information
This page includes the most current list of NIOSH-approved N95 respirators and surgical N95 respirators.