Recruitment Strategies and a Case Study Of Respiratory Protection in Illinois Hospitals
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Respiratory protection is a crucial way workplaces prevent employees from being exposed to hazardous concentrations of biological and chemical airborne contaminants. In hospitals, healthcare workers use respiratory protection to protect themselves from exposure to infectious disease agents. This is not just recommended, but required by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) general duty clause which requires all employers to provide a workplace free from recognized hazards to their employees. All employers who require respiratory protection must adhere to the OSHA respiratory protection standard (29 CFR 1910.134). In order to investigate how acute care hospitals implement and utilize their respiratory protection programs six states across the United States conducted surveys asking hospital management and healthcare workers questions regarding their respiratory protection program. This paper specifically looks at hospital recruitment strategies and a case study, which will be the template used to analyze all the respiratory protection programs in Illinois and Minnesota. Two phases of recruitment were employed. During the first phase a random sample was employed sorting the hospitals on four criteria (size, location, teaching status, and ownership). Hospitals were randomly selected and three departments in each hospital were called asking them to participate. This strategy resulted in zero hospitals being recruited and so phase two of recruitment was initiated. During phase two, personal networks, mass emailing, and professional organizations were contacted in order to achieve a convenient sample. This method resulted in 10 hospitals being recruited as of August 3, 2011. This strategy resulted in large urban hospitals being oversampled and not generalizable to small hospitals, but since most isolation cases are seen by large hospitals, the oversampling seemed acceptable. Once data was collected a case study looking at how to best use the information to evaluate hospital respiratory protection programs was conducted. The method to analyze hospital respiratory protection procedures was done in two steps. The first step evaluates the written respiratory protection program and compares it to the OSHA standard. The second step compares the survey responses to the written program, which allowed us to gauge the effectiveness of their written program’s implementation.
Occupational Safety and Health Administration