Question about TB test


I am a pre nursing student and I went to the local hospital today to have my TB test done....I found it super strange that the nurse DID NOT cleanse my arm with an alcohol prep before administering my this normal practice? Just curious because now I am super worried.....esp because I was already at the hospital sending some time in the birthing center with my friends and her new baby.....lord knows what kind of germs/bacteria were/are lurking on my arm???? Am I wrong to assume the nurse should have cleansed my arm first?

classicdame, MSN, EdD

2 Articles; 7,255 Posts

Specializes in Hospital Education Coordinator.

maybe not wrong but certainly over-reacting. You cannot walk around being sterile unless you live in a bubble. I believe you are probably safe.


103 Posts

Well I dont mean to over react, lol

I just think it seems unsanitary/unsafe?

I am sure my arm will not fall off, I am just curious as to why it was done this way and is it normal?

Specializes in Cardiology and ER Nursing. Has 10 years experience.

It's not normal as it is best practice to scrub the surface for 15 seconds then allow it to dry for 15 seconds and then give the injection. Probably done the way it was due to lazyness. It's not really "unsafe" though just not best practice.

Specializes in Vascular Access, Infusion Therapy.

As you will learn in your A&P and Micro classes we can never sterilize the skin, only reduce the number of bacteria. Due to the oil and sweat glands laying several mm below the skin, and housing copious amounts of bacteria, surface decontamination will only do so much. Don't worry, your entire body is swimming in trillions of bacteria, even large amount of fecal bacteria! :yuck:

Best practice is to always wipe with alcohol but you should be fine, think of it like skinning your knee.