Effective Date: 
Sat, 10/01/2005
Tue, 06/22/2021
Tue, 06/22/2021

Respirators are provided by the UCSC Student Health Center so that employees have a safe and healthful work environment. The respirators are used during patient visits when respiratory disease with possible airway particulate transmission is suspected. The UCSC Student Health Center has two types of particulate respirators: Powered Air Purifying Respirator (PAPR) and N-95 masks. PAPRs are used by staff unable to have a secure fit with an N-95 mask (due to facial hair or other reason).
Appropriately fitted respirators must be worn throughout the patient visit and must be removed upon leaving the contaminated area.
Upon hire and annually, qualitative respiratory mask fit testing is provided for patient care staff. The fit testing is accomplished according to current manufacturer's testing protocol (see attachment for example). Fit testing documentation is maintained by SHS.

Respirators used at the UCSC Student Health Center are not self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) and therefore cannot be used as protection against gases or vapors nor in an oxygen-deficient area.


PAPR – Powered Air Purifying Respirator
The PAPRs consist of a 3 part belted device (housing, battery and filter) plus a hose and a hood.
Note: There are two hood sizes.
The battery is charged regularly and flow checked weekly (using conical valve where applicable) by the Clinical Director or designee.
To use:

  • Attach battery and test that system is working and that air-flow is sufficient
  • If there are no problems, don the battery pack by putting on the belt and adjusting to size
  • Attach the hose to the battery pack
  • Don the hood (with attached hose)
  • Turn on the device

The device should work for 8 hours.
Individuals should wipe down the inside and outside of the hood, and the outside of the hose and housing when finished.


  • N-95 masks must be tight fitting and will not be used with beards or other facial hair or any other condition that prevents direct contact between the face and the edge of the respirator
  • Don a mask (note: we carry universal masks, but some masks are sized – be sure to choose the mask that seems to fit your face the best)
  • Take in a sharp breath to feel the seal verifying that the mask is fitting correctly.

N-95’s are stored throughout the health center.  PAPRs are kept in Room 2101 (2nd Floor next to front elevator).


  • 3M Respirator Training/ Qualitative Fit Testing Protocol
Key Points: 
  • Respirators are used when there is suspicion of airway particulate disease transmission
  • Respirators are fit tested annually
  • These respirators cannot be used in an oxygen-deficient area