Who knew I moved to the TB capital of the world?

Would you be freaked out if you saw me like this? haha, probably! Today we were all fit tested for respirators, which must be worn in the rooms of certain patients. But don’t worry, this isn’t what we really look like. It gets better. I haven’t shown you the hood yet!

And there you go everyone – me in my complete respirator outfit, ready to see you now for a nutritional assessment. I didn’t realize the whole process that you have to go through to be fit tested – they spray this saccharin solution into your mask, and if you can taste it, then obviously the respirator isn’t fitted properly, since it’s not filtering everything out correctly. These are N95 respirators, meaning they filter out 95% of all the junk in the air. So imagine, a classroom of 16 interns wearing these scary KKK / ET looking outfits, with a woman walking around spraying a sugar-water solution in our faces, and telling us to move our heads up and down, side to side, breathe deeply, breathe normally, read this poem out loud, count to 20 out loud, etc. Several of us got claustrophobic, hot, and a little dizzy; I can only imagine how fun it would be to visit a patient like this. And the more kiddos in the children’s hospital, I think I would be scared to death if the healthcare team waltzed into my room looking like this! That scene from ET still freaks me out where all the people are in isolation, zipped up in suits and masks. Poor patients…

So anyway, after we finished our fittings, someone remarked “Well, we’ll probably never have to wear these anyway…” but the woman in charge of the respirator fittings said “Oh no, Vanderbilt is practically the TB capital of the world, you’d be surprised!”.

I don’t remember seeing that fact on the application anywhere… little did I know. :)

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