Health Dept Issue - page 2

Hi all! I have been a school nurse for 2 years. Today, I received an email stating that the health dept is sending an agent and their supervisor who needs to meet with me, the principal, the lead... Read More

  1. by   ohiobobcat
    Quote from ruby_jane
    BWHAHAH!!! Breathing deeply in the comfort of one's sanitary locked office....
    Only if it's a negative pressure office, which I'm sure ALL of our offices are negative pressure rooms, right guys?

    Add me to the curious bunch, and hopefully you can tell us what this is all about once you know!!
  2. by   Amethya
    Maybe they just want to discuss something concerning that should be just you and the people in charge before deciding the next step on what to do.
  3. by   scuba nurse
    OMG, I am dying to know what it is now! They could have said "it is about XYZ, but PLEASE DO NOT SAY anything until we talk".

    Good luck! Keep us posted!
  4. by   UrbanHSRN
    OK, here is the update. It was about TB. Wow, all that secrecy for TB? I mean, thanks for letting me worry all night about pretty much nothing. We went over the case and plan of action. That's all I can say about it, but definitely not something that needed all that 'cloak and dagger' approach, as one of the commenters stated.

    Thanks for your help and support!
  5. by   ruby_jane
    YAY! Active or latent?

    When I was the PHN we couldn't send faxes unless someone at the other end was waiting because TB "was just like HIV and you can't release that information." But we were faxing doctors' offices.

    I think that a previous poster was correct: they want all the ducks in a row in case this goes public.
  6. by   TriciaJ
    Quote from maryblock
    OK, here is the update. It was about TB. Wow, all that secrecy for TB? I mean, thanks for letting me worry all night about pretty much nothing. We went over the case and plan of action. That's all I can say about it, but definitely not something that needed all that 'cloak and dagger' approach, as one of the commenters stated.

    Thanks for your help and support!
    Don't be too sure you didn't need the cloak-and-dagger. When I worked in the jail, one positive TB skin test tended to trigger a flurry of hysteria from all the other inmates in the block.

    At a more recent place of employment, an outbreak situation certainly caused a lot of concern. Organized efforts had to be made to allay these concerns and stave off a lot of additional nuttiness.

    The Health Dept. has probably been around this block before.
    Last edit by TriciaJ on Jan 11 : Reason: Rewording
  7. by   MrNurse(x2)
    Quote from ohiobobcat
    Only if it's a negative pressure office, which I'm sure ALL of our offices are negative pressure rooms, right guys?
    That sucks!
  8. by   UrbanHSRN
    Active.
  9. by   ruby_jane
    ZOUNDS! Welp, that's why the cloak and dagger. Hang in there!
  10. by   Apple-Core
    Quote from maryblock
    OK, here is the update. It was about TB. Wow, all that secrecy for TB? I mean, thanks for letting me worry all night about pretty much nothing. We went over the case and plan of action. That's all I can say about it, but definitely not something that needed all that 'cloak and dagger' approach, as one of the commenters stated.

    Thanks for your help and support!
    Would it be worth reaching out to someone in the H&S Dept. to discuss their approach and how it impacted you and/or the staff?
  11. by   Jedrnurse
    Quote from ABRN2012
    I was our county TB nurse for a little while so yes this sounds very shady. But maybe your state does things differently. If it is a TB exposure they can tell you that but of course cant violate HIPPA by telling you who has active TB. I do not think they would be bringing all these people in for just STDs either. What is weird is the not wanting to give an email address. I would have loved if someone wanted my contact info for a meeting. I always left my card with them and I always stated what my business was up front. Earlier this year a local high school nearby had an outbreak of mumps and it was kept hush as much as possible but that was to not cause panic of the parents. The school was fully informed. You can always contact your health dept district/regional office and ask what is going on.
    Part of me would want everybody and their pet ferret to know about something like a mumps outbreak. There are too many people who have the luxury of being anti-vaxxers mostly due to herd immunity and the efficacy of our vaccines. It's not always a bad thing for folks to realize that these diseases exist, and that, yeah, kids can get sick from them. (That being said, people do freak out, and it is a challenge to a district's public health education abilities...)
  12. by   psychbrain
    I am the DIS RN for our local health department, and I investigate all communicable diseases for 3 counties. We recently had a TB case (active) and had to do a HUGE investigation. Before and during the investigation, family members and friends of the one with possible TB were told by the patient about the possibility of having TB, and they all flocked to different health departments demanding to be tested. It created a horrible mess, as there is protocol when conducting a TB investigation, and who needs to be tested is determined by the contact they've had with the patient, the length of time they were exposed, the size of the house of building where the exposure took place, etc. We always tell everyone who is tested that they need to not breathe (no pun intended!) a word of it to anyone and let us do our investigating. It can create havoc with local media, as well, if word gets out. I can understand why they kept it under wraps until they met with you. We've done the same thing.

    Edited to add: TB doesn't spread immediately once you've been in contact. It can take 2 months or longer to convert from latent to active, or it may never convert to active. And even if you've had close contact repeatedly, you may never have a +QFT, and you may never contract TB. One other thing, approximately 1/3 of the population has latent TB, and will test positive with a QFT, from someone with active TB that they might have had contact with as a child but never had a conversion to active TB.
  13. by   WineRN
    Quote from psychbrain
    I am the DIS RN for our local health department, and I investigate all communicable diseases for 3 counties. We recently had a TB case (active) and had to do a HUGE investigation. Before and during the investigation, family members and friends of the one with possible TB were told by the patient about the possibility of having TB, and they all flocked to different health departments demanding to be tested. It created a horrible mess, as there is protocol when conducting a TB investigation, and who needs to be tested is determined by the contact they've had with the patient, the length of time they were exposed, the size of the house of building where the exposure took place, etc. We always tell everyone who is tested that they need to not breathe (no pun intended!) a word of it to anyone and let us do our investigating. It can create havoc with local media, as well, if word gets out. I can understand why they kept it under wraps until they met with you. We've done the same thing.

    Edited to add: TB doesn't spread immediately once you've been in contact. It can take 2 months or longer to convert from latent to active, or it may never convert to active. And even if you've had close contact repeatedly, you may never have a +QFT, and you may never contract TB. One other thing, approximately 1/3 of the population has latent TB, and will test positive with a QFT, from someone with active TB that they might have had contact with as a child but never had a conversion to active TB.
    Thanks for this insight! I didn't realize latent TB was so prevalent

close