Here at Enviro Safety Products, we understand how overwhelming it can be to choose the best form of respiratory protection as a healthcare worker. While you may be used to wearing a surgical mask or an N95, you may not be aware of the advantages of other PPE options on the market. The 3M PAPR is one of the top powered air purifying respirator options available to healthcare workers, and today we’re going to share with you the benefits of using this within your healthcare setting.
What is the difference between Reusable Respirators and Powered Air Purifying Respirators?
Reusable Respirators are often called half-face respirators and are used throughout a wide variety of industries. They can be used with your stethoscope in a healthcare workplace, and there are multiple different filter options. They are longer lasting than other options such as N95s if treated with care and maintained well. However, they will need to be fit tested, which is a big disadvantage for healthcare workers and employers who don’t have the time to conduct this test annually.
A PAPR, such as the 3M PAPR, is an air-purifying respirator that forces purified air into the hooded facepiece. The Assigned Protection Factor, or APF, that a PAPR can provide is up to 1000, which means it provides excellent protection to healthcare workers. It’s believed that when used properly with a HEPA filter that 99.7% of particulates will be filtered out, making this an ideal option for healthcare workers. Unlike Reusable Respirators, these devices allow users with a limited amount of facial hair to wear them, as long as they are clean shaven where the device needs to fit to the face.
Benefits of Using a 3M PAPR in a Healthcare Setting
There are many benefits to choosing a 3M PAPR in a healthcare setting. For both employers and employees, the elimination of the requirement of a fit test is fantastic news. This applies if used with facepieces, hoods or helmets and saves time and money each year having to take part in an annual fit test. The comfort level of the 3M PAPR is generally reported to be higher than other comparable options thanks to the feeling of cool and clean air which blows over your face. You don’t have to worry about feeling overheated or claustrophobic while wearing this device, as you’ll receive a constant flow of air.
A 3M PAPR device will provide you with a high-quality piece of PPE, as this battery-powered device will filter the air surrounding you with a HEPA filter. The protective hood will provide full protection for your head and face, and the design makes it suitable for those who have struggled with facial hair and getting other mask options to fit. The 3M PAPR allows you to wear multiple types of PPE in one device, instead of having to use multiple pieces of PPE which may be ill-fitting when worn together.
Your health and safety is the top priority
The 3M PAPR puts your health and safety at the top of its list of priorities, and if your employer has provided you with the option of wearing one of these devices, rest assured you are being offered one of the top pieces of PPE on the market. The key components of PAPRs work together to allow you to work safely and efficiently, with the filter being the key component. You’ll want to ensure your filter is changed regularly, as contamination of fluids can reduce your protection and cause damage to the filter. Once you’ve received your 3M PAPR, ensure you take care of it by cleaning the air blower and breathing tube regularly to reduce the chance of contamination.
Clear communication with patients and colleagues
If you take pride in your job, the last thing you want is a piece of PPE which gets in the way of your daily tasks while protecting you. While your health and safety should always be of top importance, it’s difficult to wear PPE daily if it reduces your communication and compassion towards patients. With the 3M PAPR, you’ll enjoy good communication with other people, thanks to the clear face cover which allows your patients to still see your facial expressions and emotions. This is vital in the healthcare industry, and as a healthcare worker, you are bound to know the positive effects compassion and communication can have on a patient. Therefore, you’ll be able to work to your highest standards while protecting yourself.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does the 3M PAPR have a good battery life?
With the development of technology over the past years, the battery life is further increased on the 3M PAPR. The device now offers a longer battery life and faster charging, making it the ideal PPE option for healthcare settings where long shifts and working days are the norm. For ease of use, you’ll find a battery status and filter load indicator, which are easy to view and will keep you updated when on the go. Many PAPR systems now use rechargeable lithium-ion batteries, which last longer and charge quicker than other battery options.
What type of filter should be used with the 3M PAPR?
Depending on your working environment and the potential hazards associated with your job role, you can choose from a range of filters which are approved by NIOSH. These filters can be used to protect you from a wide range of conditions, including hazardous drugs and cleaning materials. The great things about PAPRs is that they can be customized to fit your needs in your healthcare setting.
The 3M PAPR is the perfect addition to your PPE and is a versatile piece of equipment that can be used in a wide variety of settings. As a healthcare worker, the 3M PAPR helps you to take control of your health and respiratory protection options while at work. It’s a comfortable and reliable device that you will enjoy wearing as part of your uniform, knowing you are protected from the risks associated with working in the healthcare industry.