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 (SUNet ID required).

Stanford Occupational Health Services (OHS), located in Stanford Hospital, 300 Pasteur Palo Alto, CA, Ground Floor, Room H0124, 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. Clerkship students must receive clerkship director approval before stepping away for fit testing.
  2. Print and complete the N95 Respirator Medical Evaluation Questionnaire.
  3. Print and complete the OHS Annual Fit Testing Form.
  4. Bring both completed forms to OHS (Stanford Hospital, 300 Pasteur Palo Alto, CA, Ground Floor, Room H0124) during regular business hours: (Monday: 7am-2pm; Tuesday: 7am-3:30pm; Wednesday: 7am-2pm; Thursday: 7am-3:30pm; Friday: 7am-1pm; closed on weekends and holidays). Fit testing is provided as a courtesy to medical students on a first-come, first-served basis. Hospital employees do take priority, therefore, you may be asked to return at a later date depending on OHS' workload.
  5. Students must be clean-shaven (no mustaches, beards or stubble) to be fit tested.
  6. At the end of your session:
    1. For your own records, take a picture of the completed OHS Annual Fit Testing Form before leaving.
      1. OHS will place a sticker on your Stanford hospital badge indicating your fit test date/mask type.
  7. REQUIRED FINAL STEP: Complete the N95 Respirator Fit Testing Self Attestation Form (SUNet ID required).

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 (SUNet ID required). CAPR hooded supplied air-systems may not be readily available when N95 mask protection is required. 

updated August 2022