3.26: N95 Respirator Mask Fit Requirements for Medical Students

All medical students participating in clinical activities are required to be fit tested for a N95 respirator mask on an annual basis. N95 filtering face-piece respirators are air-purifying respirators certified by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) that protect against airborne contaminants (i.e., dusts, fumes, microbial agents such as tuberculosis bacteria & flu virus). Fit testing is the process used to determine the appropriate N95 respirator mask (type and size) to ensure consistent and proper mask use.

As a medical student participating in clinical activities, you may be required to wear a N95 respirator mask for tasks such as entering isolation rooms and other activities involving close contact with potentially infected persons. All students are responsible for maintaining compliance with the annual fit testing requirement and must self-report the results of their fit test by completing the N95 Respirator Fit Testing Self Attestation Form (using your SUNet ID login).

Stanford Occupational Health Services (OHS), located in Stanford Hospital, oversees the mask fit testing process. Per OHS policy and Cal/OSHA guidelines, users must first be medically cleared to determine if they are physically fit to wear a respirator.

In response to the COVID crisis, Stanford Hospital has approved the use of industrial grade N95s in conjunction with an approved face shield. Medical students who are fit tested for an industrial grade mask must adhere to this policy.


Instructions for completing the requirement:

  1. Sign-up (using your Stanford SUNet ID login) for a mask fit testing session. Clerkship students must receive approval from the clerkship director before stepping away to complete this requriement. 
  2. Print and complete both the N95 Respirator Medical Evaluation Questionnaire and the OHS Annual Fit Testing Form and bring them to your session at Stanford Hospital, 300 Pasteur Palo Alto, CA, Ground Floor, Room H0124.
  3. Students must be clean-shaven (no mustaches, beards or stubble) to be fit tested.
  4. At the end of your session:
    1. For your own records, take a picture of the completed OHS Annual Fit Testing Form before leaving.
    2. OHS will affix a sticker indicating your fit test date/mask type to the back of your Stanford hospital badge.
    3. Ask to keep the N95 mask used during your successful mask fit test.
  5. IMPORTANT REQUIRED FINAL STEP: Complete the N95 Respirator Fit Testing Self Attestation Form (using your SUNet ID login).

Students requesting an exemption to the clean-shaven guidelines will need to sign the N95 Respirator Fit Testing Waiver & CAPR Notification and complete a separate Healthsream Training Module for a Controlled Air Purifying Respirator (CAPR), which consists of a battery powered HEPA filter which blows purified air into a loose-fitting hood worn over the head. CAPR users require annual training and must also complete the N95 Respirator Fit Testing Self Attestation Form (using your SUNet ID login). CAPR hooded supplied air-systems may not be readily available when N95 mask protection is required. 

updated September 24, 2021