Can I read TB test result that was given in Dr's office?


Hi I'm a new grad working for home health for about 6 months now.

Today my patient's daughter called me and ask if I can come read his TB skin test result that he got at Dr's office yesterday and Dr told her it's ok for hh nurse to read it.

I know how to read the result but I've never done it before and I'm also not the one who gave the shot.

So I asked my agency if I can do that and they said no problem but they never had that happened before either so they didn't have right form for me to write the result...

I asked dr's office about this and they said it's ok and told me what kind of thing I should write down for my result and fax it to them.

But now I'm not so sure anymore because it's my first time and I don't want to read it wrong and lose my license...

Now I'm not sure what to do...should I tell my Pt to have it read at MD office again or should I still go read it tomorrow?


124 Posts

Has 26 years experience.

If you're not sure... I'd say don't do it. Or you may become more confident if you read the agency policy and procedure about it, but again, when in doubt....I wouldn't do it...


113 Posts

hello, if there is no doctors or nurses help,and no regulation violate, maybe you can do.

JustBeachyNurse, LPN

1 Article; 13,952 Posts

Specializes in Complex pedi to LTC/SA & now a manager. Has 13 years experience.

You need to follow your nurse practice act & company P&P. If you erroneously read the result you will be held responsible for any negative outcome (whether you misread the test as positve or negative). In my area only those who are qualifed (and being a nurse is not sufficient to be qualified) are authorized to administer and/or read the results of Tb tests. The county health department generally coordinates the training. When I was in nursing school there was a theoretical outbreak of Tb that allegedly exposed hundreds of staffers and most of my nursing class. Ultimately it turned out to be a (very expensive) mistake and the nurse who read the first "positive" Tb result was not trained/authorized to do so. The "positive" patient had a hive (reaction to the additives in the reagent and not to the mycobacterium due to exposure). Lots of stress. Lots of PR issues. Lots of cost all because a nurse was just trying to be helpful to read someone's Tb test.

Also, don't take the medical order from the daughter just because she said the doctor okayed it....would you give your patient a dose of morphine because his daughter said the doctor okayed it?

Ultimately...when in doubt, don't.


89 Posts

Specializes in Homecare, Public Health. Has 6 years experience.

I'm in Ct, as long as the patient has the slip from the MD, I'll check the site. We do this routinely in my school nurses office for our students and staff and I've done it for patients in home care. The slip gets faxed to md. Any positive reaction, allergic reaction or anything that looks poitive is immediately reported to the MD for them to f/u on.