Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Fun while getting fitted

Fit testing is required at BIDMC and other hospitals to help insure that health care workers who could be exposed to airborne infection have the correct mask to use and thereby minimize the risk of exposure. The testing involves a series of exercises while being exposed to a "bitter" or "sweet" tasting spray of solution. If the mask is fitted correctly you should not taste the solution that is sprayed into the yellow hood.

Each department has a designated person who does the testing. Nurse Judi Hirshfield-Bartek, shown here, makes this important task more fun by adding a few exercises like jumping jacks and silly things that make people laugh. Also, since some people find the test a bit claustrophobic, the games distract them and help them get through more easily.

4 comments:

Farmer Bob said...

That yellow hood looks like a fisherman's yellow rain hat made especially for SpongeBob Squarepants (or Gumby, for the older TV cartoon fans). I commend Nurse Judi Hirshfield-Bartek for injecting fun into the mundane. Fun is life-extending.

Susan said...

You're kidding. This is the most claustrophobic experience I've ever endured. In fact, it's a useless exercise because no one is going to wear the appropriate mask because it's impossible to communicate let alone, endure for more than 10 minutes. This is another case of Rules and Regulations gone wild.

Carl said...

I wish you would have included the short story about the rainbow that you have to read while testing the mask.

Paul Levy said...

It's in the embedded link from OSHA, but here it is, also:

Rainbow Passage

When the sunlight strikes raindrops in the air, they act like a prism and form a rainbow. The rainbow is a division of white light into many beautiful colors. These take the shape of a long round arch, with its path high above, and its two ends apparently beyond the horizon. There is, according to legend, a boiling pot of gold at one end. People look, but no one ever finds it. When a man looks for something beyond reach, his friends say he is looking for the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.