OK. New to this. But to sum things up...
I just graduated nursing school in August. My TB test was coming up on being due, so I got it renewed then. It was probably positive. It itched like crazy, swelled up, and in a panic, I iced it like crazy before going in. (Stupid, I know, no lectures - but keep in mind that I hadn't shown a single symptom of any illness in almost 3 years at this point and had a long history of negative tests.)
They originally read it as positive, but I knew I was in a sticky situation, being a new grad. My family is so poor, on the verge of losing everything, and the only way we kept our lights on through school was with my small student loan installments. I knew any delay in employment could mean losing everything, and I started crying. So they kept calling new people over, who read it smaller and smaller, until it was declared negative. Yup. The pity pass.
So it STILL took me this long to find a new job. We are bordering on having to pull my daughter out of her preschool, and our rent has been late for the last 2 months. AND I NEED ANOTHER PPD TEST. I start on the 5th. I have my test Wednesday, read on Friday.
Now, I KNOW I'm healthy - not so much as a sniffle in almost 3 years. Not even a head-cold. Really. So I know a cxr would be negative, absolutely. My question is this - while I can probably secure an x-ray before the 5th, no problem, can they force me to wait months until I'm well established on the prophylactic antibiotics as well? And if the position isn't open then? Can they halt my employment for this? NO ONE at this major corporation can give me a straight answer. And there's been radio silence from my instructors. I know plenty of nurses who converted during their career, and I'm not worried anymore. I could give a CRAP if I croak 20 years from now - as long as my daughter has food tomorrow, you know?
What are the legalities involved? Can they withhold employment? I can't sleep over this...
Nov 21, '11
by Esme12, ASN, BSN, RN Senior Moderator
Quote from paperbagdove245
Thank you. Like I said before, between Friday and the 5th, a chest x-ray is totally doable. Probably not fun, because I don't have a pcp right now. I'm not on speaking terms with my last one. 3 months of repeated attacks (up to 8 hours at a time) of acute pancreatitis with the insistence that I was completely "fine", begging for more testing, then hanging up on me when I asked for a referral for a GI doc? Yeah... She can bite me.
Hopefully, I can get it done through employee health. But all the same, I just wanted to make sure they won't wait months for me to take the abx in ADDITION to a neg chest x-ray. Considering that I was exposed WHILE in nursing school would just be the icing on the cake of a myriad of issues I hold with the school and the corporation that runs it in general. It would be extraordinarily difficult not to be bitter if it meant I couldn't even be employed...
THANK YOU! Maybe I can sleep now...
If your test was truly positive 3 years ago.....shame on you for not following up...... I find it unusual that the school did not require a negative TB test for admission to school. Whether or not you are sick does not mean that you aren't contageous and a carrier. Many people are positive converters with never having true "exposure" and just require a chest x-ray. Legally, if you have a communicable disease you can be removed from employment.
YOu should seek the advice of a doctor....Good Luck on your new job.
Last edit by Esme12 on Nov 21, '11