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Planning to Work as a NURSE but with Positive Skin Test for TB & NEGATIVE Chest x-ray result
Aug 28, 2006

I NEED HELP!!! I am a registered nurse from the philippines & have migrated to the USA (Feb 2006). I underwent a complete medical examination (Jan 19, 2006) required by the US embassy in Manila (St. Luke's Extension Clinic) & have passed all the medical test, including the chest x-ray, the reason why I was approved for the migration. I never had any problem with my yearly medical in my country (we have a mandatory annual physical examination) but no skin test examination. I was informed by a friend who works a nurse here that it is mandatory for all nurses to undergo skin test for TB, so before applying for a nurse position, I tried to have it & be tested. IT TURNS OUT TO BE POSITIVE (+). I was seen by a doctor from Houston Texas & have examined my chest x-ray taken last Jan 2006 to see if it is possible for me to have another chest x-ray or even further medical evaluation & management. After evaluating my x-ray, he says I should not go on with the skin test exam in the future for it will turn all positive result. He told me I don't need a new chest x-ray. I also ask him if I need to undergo a prophylaxis (drug treatment) & he says "NO"! He just gave me a certification that I have a positive (+) skin test & negative (-) chest x-ray & currently asymptomatic. He told me if I will be ask to undergo another chest x-ray, then I should submit myself to the request.

MY QUESTION (S):

1. CAN I WORK HERE AS A NURSE now that I have a positive skin test for TB but with negative chest x-ray result ?

2. DO I NEED TO TAKE THE PROPHYLAXIS(DRUG TREATMENT)?

3. ARE HOSPITALS HERE ACCEPTING NURSE APPLICANT WHO TESTED POSITIVE(+) WITH THE SKIN TEST EXAM?

Response from Ms. Breuer

We can handle most HIV questions, but we don't claim to be experts on TB. Please talk with someone from your state's nursing board and ask advice about how to proceed, and don't panic. Positive skin tests are not unusual and can be managed.



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