Im new on this board I have a question about TB testing

  1. Not sure if this is where I post this but hopefully someone can help
    I am hopefully going to start a CNA class in about 2 months. . .I know I have to take a TB test but Im a little nervous it might come up positive bc my ex had it but it was inactive. If I do test positive I know i have to do a chest X ray and if it comes up negative I will be good to go for the CNA class if it comes back positive then what? I just take meds for 6-9 months? and then go for my CNA again when its gone.
    Also if I have it and its inactive does that mean the x ray will come back positive or neg for it? Im a little confused and nervous about this can someone please explain Im so nervous bc I have always wanted to become a nurse and If I can't Im gonna be so broken

    If I test postive for the PPD and my chest ex ray comes back negative does that mean I have it and its just inactive or does that mean that the PPD was wrong and I dont have it at all? Also wouldn't you know if you have active TB?
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    About adruiz01

    Joined: Jun '09; Posts: 52; Likes: 2

    11 Comments

  3. by   snowyRN
    All my PPD skin tests come back positive but thats because I have had a BCG vaccine. When I do have a chest x-ray it always comes back negative.

    If you're chest x-ray comes back negative then you're ok if not then you will have to seek medical attention.
  4. by   Prettyladie
    My friend is originally from Africa, she was infected with TB, so she could be immune to it later, or something like that. It was something that was done in Africa. Her skin test shows up positive, but her x-ray shows up negative. She got this as a child, and it still shows up negative. I think you should be fine, if you get an x-ray test. As, far as the x-ray coming back positive, I think that means you have it, but if you are inactive I believe it should show up negative.
  5. by   adruiz01
    If it was positive or active wouldn't I know? I would currently be sick, right?
  6. by   2BSure
    Don't worry so much! Go get the 2 step test (usually your city or county public health dept. does this for a nominal fee (mine is $15). If you get a reaction it can only mean you have been exposed, BUT they will do a chest xray if there is a reaction. If that is positive, there are a number of different next steps -- you should go under the care of an infectious disease specialist who can determine what the best steps are for your results.

    My mother has a calcified node and lives with me, but my tests are always negative.

    I wouldn't spend anymore energy on worrying about this. Go get the TB skin test done now and if they are positive you will have time to deal with further tests.

    Good luck with CNA school. I did it years ago but it was a blast.

    See the CDC's website:
    http://www.cdc.gov/tb/
  7. by   2BSure
    Quote from adruiz01
    If it was positive or active wouldn't I know? I would currently be sick, right?
    One would think so. See my other post.

    I don't have any statistics to hand so someone here might blast me....

    I understand that if you get TB they usually recommend an HIV test. Hopefully your boyfriend was counseled about this.
  8. by   adruiz01
    Well I know for a fact I do not have HIV or any other STD's I have been tested for all that in the past yr and I am currently married now so there is no way I have that, and yes my ex did know about his inactive TB his mom is the one who told me about it
  9. by   LEN-RN
    Quote from adruiz01
    Not sure if this is where I post this but hopefully someone can help
    I am hopefully going to start a CNA class in about 2 months. . .I know I have to take a TB test but Im a little nervous it might come up positive bc my ex had it but it was inactive. If I do test positive I know i have to do a chest X ray and if it comes up negative I will be good to go for the CNA class if it comes back positive then what? I just take meds for 6-9 months? and then go for my CNA again when its gone.
    Also if I have it and its inactive does that mean the x ray will come back positive or neg for it? Im a little confused and nervous about this can someone please explain Im so nervous bc I have always wanted to become a nurse and If I can't Im gonna be so broken

    If I test postive for the PPD and my chest ex ray comes back negative does that mean I have it and its just inactive or does that mean that the PPD was wrong and I dont have it at all? Also wouldn't you know if you have active TB?

    I know your worried, you need this CNA class, and if it comes out positive it could delay things. Have you ever heard the statement 2 steps forward, 3 steps back?

    Your health is important, you need to be healthy to work. Take one step at a time. It will work out in the end.

    But I do know how you are feeling, panicking that this may mean you have to wait to take the CNA class.
  10. by   adruiz01
    Quote from LEN-RN
    I know your worried, you need this CNA class, and if it comes out positive it could delay things. Have you ever heard the statement 2 steps forward, 3 steps back?

    Your health is important, you need to be healthy to work. Take one step at a time. It will work out in the end.

    But I do know how you are feeling, panicking that this may mean you have to wait to take the CNA class.
    Thank you for the support. . .I am starting to feel better about this whole situation and I know It will work out bc I will not give up
  11. by   kanzi monkey
    "Inactive TB" probably means "Latent TB Infection" (LTBI). So, your ex likely never was SICK with TB, but has been EXPOSED to it. That's incredibly common (1/3 of the population of the world has been exposed to TB, if you can believe it). A positive PPD can mean a few different things, most commonly:

    1. You had the BCG vaccine at some point which often leads to a + reaction, though it DOES NOT mean you have been exposed to TB.

    2. You have been exposed to TB, but your immune system is protecting you from getting an active infection (aka, LTBI). With a normal immune system, a person with LTBI has about a 10% lifetime chance of getting active TB. LTBI people have a +PPD and a negative CXR (and obviously no symptoms). They typically receive 6-12 mos treatment with antibiotics (Isoniazid and Rifampin usually). An immunocompromised person (ie, with HIV, neutropenic, etc) with LTBI has about a 10% chance PER YEAR of getting active TB. Telling the difference between LTBI and BCG false positive is based on history.

    3. The other possibility with a +PPD is that you have active TB. As of this moment, active cases are fairly rare in the US and are found mostly in high risk groups (ie, immunocompromised, homeless, prison, recent immigration from endemic country, direct exposure to active pulmonary TB). If you have a +PPD, you get a CXR. If there are suspicious lesions, most likely serial sputums looking for acid-fast bacteria will be taken. In this case, you are most likely not feeling so hot.

    Just so you know, you can't "catch" LTBI from someone else who has LTBI. If you have LTBI that means you have been exposed via respiratory droplets from an actively sick person.

    I'm pretty sure this is all relatively accurate, but if someone finds any errors in my assessment, please correct me. Diagnosing TB is fairly complex and there are gray areas. As a nurse it's good to be somewhat familiar with all this in the long run anyway.
  12. by   cockynurse80
    When I started nursing school-we had to have a 2-step completed. I had been an aide for years and always got my yearly 1-step; however, my college required me to obtain a new 2-step. My annual tb's were always negative. My 2nd step for nursing school came back positive. I was refered to our county health department where they administered 9 months of INH to me.

    I took the pills-had a negative CXR and went on with my education-symptom free. When I obtained my first job at the Cleveland Clinic-I explained to them that I am a positive reactor. They drew my blood (a more accurate way of testing") and it was negative. I have never been exposed to someone with active TB...I just-for some reason-had a positive reaction.

    I do know others who are positive reactors. I have never known someone with active TB. If someone has been exposed to TB-they can not pass it to anyone else unless/until they are having a bout of active tb themselves.

    Don't worry about it, girl! Even if you have been exposed-you are not going to be prohibited from going to go to CNA school.
  13. by   adruiz01
    kanzi monkey

    thank you for all the info that is very helpful

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