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I was rather surprised to be asked to shave off 2 days of beard
growth in order to undergo a respirator fit test as part of my induction
as a neurology and psychiatry resident (at New York University Medical
Center) in 2003.
Since then, I have returned to the NHS without a 'whiff' of fit testing
until a recent locum shift in intensive care (Royal Surrey County
Hospital) where the swine flu pandemic has prompted the institution of fit
As in many things, the NHS seems to lag behind in terms of the duty of
care it has toward its employees.