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TB test positive... but may be neg?? Please advise...

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I'm worried, i took the TB test required for my CNA course (which I already paid $900 for and is only 50% refundable), and they weren't sure whether it was pos. or neg. because the reaction was 5mm in diameter, which is right on the fence. Anything more than 5 is technically positive for sure. So they did a chest x-ray.... but I won't get the results back until the 12th and my class starts on the 16th.... which means I won't have time to postpone my start date or get my money back :crying2:

The nurses said that I have most likely just been exposed but the TB is not active and I don't have any of the symptoms.... but my question is what are the chances that my test will come back negative?

PLEASE ADVISE, my livelyhood depends on this. I am planning on resigning from my job tomorrow in order to do this CNA program and eventually an RN!!!!!!

Jolie, BSN

Specializes in Maternal - Child Health. Has 35 years experience.

I'm sorry for your frustration, but we can't give you a prognosis or medical advice. If you've had the CXR done already, you should be able to get results by tomorrow. Call or stop by and calmly explain the reason you need the results ASAP and your provider should be able to accomodate you. Best wishes.

NursingRocks1998

Has 5 years experience.

Like she said, we can't give you any advice- but this was my own personal situaton with TB testing:

I had a TB test a couple of years ago at the health department and they thought it was positive- I had to get a second opinion and it was pretty borderline too- so I got a chest x-ray and I was fine, but of course they recommended the 6 months of isoniazid. Couple years later, we had to have a 2-step tb test for entrance into nursing school. They say once you test positive you'll always be positive, and should never get another test, but I got one anyway because I didn't want to take 6 months of prophylactic meds unless I was darn sure I had been exposed. Long story short, BOTH of the 2-step skin tests were NEGATIVE and I'm so glad I did it again. Even a positive skin test won't keep you out of school- you just need to get a clearance or a chest x-ray and they will probably recommend the meds. Good luck to you!!

deyo321

Specializes in LTC, Hospice, corrections, +.

The tubersol interpretation lists 5-9 mm has "doubtful" with 10 mm or more as positive. We don't do a chest x-ray unless >10 mm at my facility. I'm surprised the nurse told you you were probably just exposed with that small a reaction. Try not to worry. Unless you have traveled outside the country, had a family member with active disease or been institutionalized chances for exposure are small.. Stay positive.

I'm worried, i took the TB test required for my CNA course (which I already paid $900 for and is only 50% refundable), and they weren't sure whether it was pos. or neg. because the reaction was 5mm in diameter, which is right on the fence. Anything more than 5 is technically positive for sure. So they did a chest x-ray.... but I won't get the results back until the 12th and my class starts on the 16th.... which means I won't have time to postpone my start date or get my money back :crying2:

The nurses said that I have most likely just been exposed but the TB is not active and I don't have any of the symptoms.... but my question is what are the chances that my test will come back negative?

PLEASE ADVISE, my livelyhood depends on this. I am planning on resigning from my job tomorrow in order to do this CNA program and eventually an RN!!!!!!

Were you born in America?

If you were born in another country, the PPD+ might always be positive due to vaccine you might had!

:typing:typing

I'm sorry for your frustration, but we can't give you a prognosis or medical advice. If you've had the CXR done already, you should be able to get results by tomorrow. Call or stop by and calmly explain the reason you need the results ASAP and your provider should be able to accomodate you. Best wishes.

I did this through the county health department, and they have to send the x-ray somewhere else to be read, and they said it would take 2 weeks (just to be on the safe side)... I'm going to call tomorrow and try to rush them a little... but it's the gov. health dept. they're going to do things on their own time anyways....

Were you born in America?

If you were born in another country, the PPD+ might always be positive due to vaccine you might had!

:typing:typing

Yes, I was born in India.... moved to the US in 1992 (6yrs old), had a TB test done in 2001 - it was negative... traveled to India last year.... and now it's "doubtful"......

mizfradd, CNA

Specializes in med/surg, psych, public health. Has 11 years experience.

At my facility we also don't recommend a chest x-ray unless >10 mm.

Since you are from India, can you remember if you ever had BCG as a child?

Or if you can't recall, can you ask your parents if you were given BCG?

The reason I ask is because I've seen many false readings from foreigners who've had BCG.

Good luck and don't worry about CNA school; you'll know your results by the 12th and your

classes don't start until the 16th...everything will be ok!

Couldn't they do the QuantiFERON®-TB Gold at your Dr's office and get the test results quicker? I had mine thru employee health at my facility and had a reaction to the test (not positive, but not normal) and they did the blood draw and had it back in a week. (Yeah for me... no more PPD... I hate that test!)

Were you born in America?

If you were born in another country, the PPD+ might always be positive due to vaccine you might had!

:typing:typing

Just learning here..

Why is that, could you please explain if you got a moment?

Yes, I was born in India.... moved to the US in 1992 (6yrs old), had a TB test done in 2001 - it was negative... traveled to India last year.... and now it's "doubtful"......

I was not born in America and my PPD result was positive due to the BCG I had. I have chest X-ray every 2 years and the result is always negative. By the way, my PPD result was > 10mm!

Feel better!

Tomorrow is another day!

Just learning here..

Why is that, could you please explain if you got a moment?

The size of the induration determines the significance of reaction. A reaction of 0 to 4 mm is not significant; > 5mm may be significant. > 10 mm is significant. A significant PPD result indicates that a patient has been exposed to M. tuberculosis recently or in the past or has been vaccinated with bacille Calmette-Guerin (BCG) vaccine. The BCG vaccine is given to produce a greater resistance to developing TB. It is effective in up to 76% of those who receive it. The vaccine is used in Europe and Latin America or Asia but not routinely in the U.S. A significant PPD + result does not necessarily mean that active disease is present in the body. I got the info from a school text book!

ghillbert, MSN, NP

Specializes in CTICU. Has 20 years experience.

My hospital only counts >10mm as positive for needing CXR etc.

EJSRN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Med Surg, ICU, Tele. Has 2 years experience.

I had what looked like a positive and turns out it was just a local reaction to the PPD. Wonder why the CXR would take that long. Call them, explain your situation and maybe they can read it sooner.. Good Luck! If it turns out to be positive it's not the end of your nursing career. TB is not always active. On the bright side you wont ever have to have a PPD again...

cna2lpn80

Specializes in nursing home. Has 2 years experience.

:up:

I'm worried, i took the TB test required for my CNA course (which I already paid $900 for and is only 50% refundable), and they weren't sure whether it was pos. or neg. because the reaction was 5mm in diameter, which is right on the fence. Anything more than 5 is technically positive for sure. So they did a chest x-ray.... but I won't get the results back until the 12th and my class starts on the 16th.... which means I won't have time to postpone my start date or get my money back :crying2:

The nurses said that I have most likely just been exposed but the TB is not active and I don't have any of the symptoms.... but my question is what are the chances that my test will come back negative?

PLEASE ADVISE, my livelyhood depends on this. I am planning on resigning from my job tomorrow in order to do this CNA program and eventually an RN!!!!!!

the same thing happened to me when i started my cna classes, i done my chest xray, and everything was fine, and i had to go to the health department and they said i may have been exposed to it somehow.

but i took three this year one for work, and 2 for school, they were all negative, and i did not have to do another chest xray.

so i think the person who reads it, makes a mistake because once you have a positive reaction, they say you always will , but that is not the case with me

i think you will be okay.

LHH1996

Specializes in Acute Care/ LTC. Has 13 years experience.

i noticed in my career that many nurses "panic" when they see the slightest bump..sometimes it is just an allergy to something in the actual test. it sounds like you are fine. Most nurses who have seen a true "positive" will never forget it. But like someone earlier said, we can't diagnose you here.

Many thanks to everyone who replied to this thread so far, you all have put me more at ease! I'm sure i'm fine, but I was panicking a little because I didn't want my nursing plans to crumble before my eyes!

Yes, so I confirmed with my mom that i did receive a BCG shot when I was 3 months old, that is probably what made me test positive!

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