Occupational health nurses (OHNs) are front-line advocates for preventing illness and injury and protecting health in a variety of workplace settings, including the areas of agriculture, construction, health care, manufacturing, and public safety. OHNs need education and training in respiratory protection in order to ensure both their safety and the safety of America's workers. At the request of the National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) examined existing respiratory protection curricula and made recommendations to improve education and training in respiratory protection for OHNs. The IOM finds that current respiratory protection education receives varying amounts of dedicated time and resources and is taught using a variety of approaches. Several recommendations are made to improve the respiratory protection education and training of OHNs.
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