NIOSH-Approved Spirometry Refresher
Since 2013, OSHA has recommended that all spirometry technicians complete a NIOSH-approved course before conducting tests in the occupational setting. This best practice recommendation is in addition to OSHA-mandated training for technicians testing workers in compliance with 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.
To register for the Refresher Course, students must provide a copy of their most recent NIOSH-Approved Spirometry Course certificate to establish eligibility for the Refresher course.Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the American College of Environmental and Occupational Medicine (ACOEM), the American Association of Occupational Health Nurses (AAOHN), and the American Thoracic Society (ATS) all recommend periodic training that reviews spirometry technique and updates technicians on changes in the field of pulmonary function testing and pertinent regulations. This NIOSH-Approved Refresher Course is designed to provide that review for health professionals who conduct and/or interpret spirometry tests in industrial and clinical settings.
The course briefly reviews the pathophysiology of obstructive and restrictive impairments and emphasizes correct performance of spirometry and the effects of technical errors and spirometer malfunctions on test results and interpretations of repsiratory impairment. Students practice recognizing testing errors, using problem graphs from quality control samples. The goal of the course is not only to review what the recommendations and requirements are for conducting tests and interpreting results, but also why the recommendations and requirements were made.
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.
OSHA's standards and the 2013 Guidance on Spirometry Testing in Occupational Health Programs: Best Practices for Healthcare Professionals, the 2005 ATS/ERS Spirometry Official Statements, and the ACOEM Statement on Spirometry in the Occupational Health Setting - 2011 Update are reviewed. Current recommendations are presented for spirometer calibration checks and for interpretation of results as normal or indicating obstructive or restrictive impairment.
NIOSH recommends that each student submit a sample of graphs to be critiqued for technical quality prior to the course.
Class size is limited to maximize student-faculty interaction and to keep the atmosphere informal and conducive to learning. Topics are varied to keep students interested and involved. Breaks are frequent to help students concentrate and remain focussed.
All lectures are given by Dr. Mary Townsend; all practice session assistants are experienced in spirometry. The course is co-provided by UPMC Work Partners.
A certificate extending NIOSH certification by 5 years is awarded upon completion of the course.
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 7.5 contact hours.
Baltimore Course LocationTaught collaboratively with Johns Hopkins University, this class is held at the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing in Baltimore, MD.
Baltimore 2015 Dates
March 9, 2015
Pittsburgh Course LocationHoliday Inn Express Hotel & Suites, Pittsburgh - Airport
5311 Campbells Run Road
Pittsburgh, PA 15205
"Spirometry/audiometry" room block rate is $104/night. For room reservations, call 412-788-8400.
Pittsburgh 2015 Date
Spring date to be determined.
Fond du Lac, WI Course LocationTaught collaboratively with Aurora Occupational Health, this class is held at:
Aurora Health Center
210 Wisconsin American Drive
Fond du Lac, WI 54937
Fond du Lac 2015 Date
June 16, 2015
Columbus, OH Course LocationTaught collaboratively with Ohio Association of Occupational Health Nurses Conference, this class is held at:
East Wing Community Center (in the Delaware County Board of Developmental Disabilities facility)
151 East Orange Road
Lewis Center, OH 43035
Columbus 2015 Date
Fall, 2015 date to be determined.
Class size is limited, so please register early to assure availability. You may pay by check or using VISA, MasterCard, or American Express credit cards. Students are enrolled in the order in which payment and registration are received. Confirmation will be sent upon receipt of the tuition payment. Tuition is fully refunded if you cancel five or more weeks before the course date. A $30 service charge is deducted if you cancel 3-5 weeks before the course date. Since expenses are fixed, no refunds are issued if you cancel less than 3 weeks before the course date. However, you may always send an alternate in your place or, if we find a replacement for your registered class date, you may transfer to a later course.
Customized on-site courses are also available, and a minimum number of participants is usually recommended. Please call for more information: (412) 343-9946.