NIOSH-Approved Spirometry Training
A 2-1/2 Day Spirometry Certification Course, followed in Pittsburgh by a CAOHC-Approved Hearing Conservation Workshop
"Mary has a wonderful and unique interaction with students. Her subject knowledge is huge. Her energy level keeps students involved and alert. She can communicate with MD's, PhD's, Nurses, Techs, and Aides equally. I believe she does not send students from her course that cannot perform, teach, and collect high quality spirometry." - NIOSH Audit, June 7-9, 2010
As of March 27, 2013, OSHA recommends completion of a NIOSH-approved course as best practice for all occupational spirometry technicians. This best practice recommendation is in addition to OSHA-mandated training for technicians testing workers under certain exposure-specific standards. See OSHA's Guidance on Spirometry Testing in Occupational Health Programs: Best Practices for Healthcare Professionals for details.
Certificates of successful completion of a NIOSH-approved spirometry course remain active for 5 years from the course date. Certification can be extended in 5 year increments by completing a NIOSH Approved Spirometry Refresher course before the current certificate expires. NIOSH also instituted a 7 month grace period to give technicians ample time to renew their NIOSH course certificates. E.g., if a current course certificate was dated April 1, 2008, the technician would have up to 5 years and 7 months to complete a NIOSH-Approved Spirometry Refresher Course, i.e., until November 1, 2013.
NIOSH-approved Spirometry Course is designed for healthcare professionals who conduct spirometric pulmonary function tests and/or interpret test results in industrial and clinical settings. It is one of very few NIOSH-approved courses that are approved for continuing medical education credits for physicians, nurses, and respiratory therapists.
This comprehensive NIOSH spirometry course is appropriate for those with no spirometry background as well as for experienced spirometry users. Though the course assumes no prior spirometry experience or knowledge of respiratory physiology, experienced spirometry users always increase their understanding of spirometry and its results by participating in the course. The goal of this course is to teach not only what the recommendations and requirements are for conducting tests and interpreting results, but also why the recommendations and requirements were made.
Using lectures, discussion, and practice sessions, the course presents basic pulmonary pathophysiology, instrumentation requirements, performance of the spirometry test (stressing active coaching), recognition of testing errors and spirometer malfunctions, supervised use of the spirometer, measurement of the spirogram, and interpretation of results.
OSHA standards and 2013 guidance on Spirometry Testing in Occupational Health Programs: Best Practices for Healthcare Professionals, the 2005 American Thoracic Society (ATS) Spirometry Official Statements, and the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (ACOEM) Statement on Spirometry in the Occupational Health Setting - 2011 Update are reviewed.
In the classes, Dr. Townsend draws on her extensive experience and in-depth knowledge of various spirometers, acquired through on-going consulting with a variety of clients. As she helps clients solve their spirometry problems and identify optimal spirometer configurations, Dr. Townsend obtains new information to share with her students, enabling them to work more effectively with their own equipment and to optimize their spirometry testing skills.
Over half of the class time is devoted to supervised student practice of the techniques that are presented. Individual attention is ensured by maintaining the student/instructor ratio at 6:1 or better. All lectures are given by Dr. Mary Townsend; all practice session assistants are NIOSH-approved and have extensive spirometry experience. The course is co-provided by UPMC Work Partners.
Class size is restricted to 24 or fewer students, to maximize student-faculty interaction and to keep the atmosphere informal and conducive to learning. Topics and presentation styles are varied to keep students interested and involved. Breaks are frequent to help students concentrate and remain focussed.
Practical and written examinations are given on the last half-day of the course, and a certificate is awarded if performance is satisfactory. NIOSH-Approved Course certificates remain active for 5 years.
This continuing nursing education activity was approved by the American Association of Occupational Health Nurses
(AAOHN), an accredited approver by the American Nurses Credentialing Center's Commission on Accreditation, for 19.5 contact hours.
Pittsburgh Course LocationHoliday Inn Express Hotel & Suites, Pittsburgh - Airport
Pittsburgh, PA - "spirometry/audiometry" room block rate is $94/night.
Making room reservations:
Pittsburgh 2013 Dates
March 18 - 20, 2013 *
Nov. 18 - 20, 2013 *
*Immediately followed by a CAOHC-Approved Hearing Conservation Workshop, taught by Dr. Roger Angelelli of Audiometric Baseline Consulting. Call (412) 831-0430 for complete workshop information and to register for the course.
Baltimore Course LocationTaught collaboratively with Johns Hopkins University, this class is held at the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing in Baltimore, MD.
Baltimore 2013 Dates
February 13-15, 2013*
*Follows a Respirator Fit-Testing Workshop, a one day hands-on course covering qualitative and quantitative fit-testing.
Plymouth (Sheboygan area), WI Course LocationTaught collaboratively with Aurora Occupational Health, this class is held at:
Aurora Patient Services Market Offices - Sheboygan Regional Office
2636 Eastern Avenue
Plymouth, WI 53073
Plymouth (Sheboygan area) 2013 Dates
June 19-21, 2013
Customized on-site courses are also available, and a minimum number of participants is usually recommended. Please call for more information: (412) 343-9946.