Positive PPD--TB (latent) and nursing school

  1. I received surprising results from my first PPD skin test today--it was positive for tuberculosis! I'm asymptomatic, but my doc has sent me on for a chest Xray, which I will do tomorrow (you are not contagious as long as it is latent). My mother did receive the BCG vaccine when she was 16/17 years old in England (she was a nursing student)--so it's possible that her immunity passed through the fetal placenta to me--which may explain the positive PPD test.

    Anyway, my question to you is, how this might affect my candidacy for nursing school. I'm supposed to begin the initial nursing class July 12th. Do you think the school will postphone my starting with the class even if I have a latent exposure? The school is not aware of this yet, but obviously I'll have to tell them. Has anyone else had this experience before starting school and, if so, how did it impact your starting date or was it a non-event? Thanks,
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  3. by   Nurse Ratched
    It should be a non-event. The jury is out as far as BCG - however , I doubt your mother's vaccine is r/t your positive PPD - most likely you have just been exposed somewhere along the line.

    Assuming a normal chest x-ray, you will be educated on medications for you may want to consider for latent TB - either a 4 month course of Rifampin or a 9 month course of INH. This will prevent the TB germ that is currently in your body from making you sick in the future. The course of medication recommended is usually based on age, expense, and time you have to commit to the therapy. Please consider medication carefully - most people just blow it off, and there are potentially serious health consequences.
  4. by   enfermeraSG
    This should be no different than working in the hospital with a positive PPD. There are many nurses, techs etc who do. As long as your screening (questionaire form annually) and chest x-rays (every few years) come back negative you are fine. When everyone else gets their annual TB skin test, you will simply fill out a form screening you for s/s of TB. SG
  5. by   shel_wny
    I tested positive for TB through the PPD test and after a chest x-ray I was found to be totally fine. I am fair-skinned and sensitive to some things so as it turned out I was probably allergic to something in the shot itself. Don't freak out like I did when I thought I had TB. Wait for the x-ray to come back and then decide how to feel about the whole thing.