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Tuberculosis (TB) Testing

Student Health Services’ in conjunction with the School of Nursing provides several walk-in TB skin test clinics for students throughout the academic year beginning in early September.  Students in need of a TB test for class, work, volunteer placement,  health requirement, etc should make every effort to attend these clinics.   In addition a day is set aside in Student Health Services once a month to provide TB skin testing to students who were unable to attend one of the TB skin test clinics.  Since our Fall TB skin test clinics have passed, these are the remaining opportunities for a TB skin test on campus:

upcoming TB SKIN TEST DATES

–Tuesday, January 28, 2014 (must be able to return for test reading on Thursday, January 30, 2014)
–Time: 2:30 – 4 p.m.  Walk in anytime between these hours to receive your TB skin test.  Same time, same place for the reading.

LOCATION:  Loser Hall 106

COST: $5.00

TB skin testing (Mantoux) is a two-part process: the test solution is given to the student using a very tiny needle in the arm; 2 days later the test is “read” to check for reaction.  Students will be given a record of their TB test when they return for the reading. This is the student’s PERSONAL RECORD and is NOT to be given away.  If you need to provide someone with this document (i.e., STEP Office, Department of Nursing, Health & Exercise Science), make a copy of your record.

Students who are required to have a TB test for classroom field experiences, including JPE and student teaching in New Jersey Schools, are required by the New Jersey Department of Education to have provide the following:

  • Documentation of a negative TB test result in the last 6 months before your first classroom field experience (which usually occurs in your sophomore or junior year) OR documentation of a positive TB test result, regardless of when this test was done, is required.
  • You do NOT need a TB test if you have less than 20 hours per month of pupil contact.
  • Annual testing is NOT required.
  • Once you have submitted this documentation, retesting is NOT required when transferring between school districts.
  • If the school nurse requires you to provide proof of TB testing that is not in accordance with the above paragraph, please notify the Director of TCNJ Student Health Services via e-mail at health@tcnj.edu or contact Student Health Services at (609) 771-2889.

About the TB (Mantoux) Test

The Mantoux (pronounced ‘Man-two’) skin test can show if a person has every been exposed and infected by tuberculosis (TB) germs.  TB infection does not mean the person has the disease, but if someone has been infected there is a chance that they may get sick with TB in the future.

The Mantoux test is a simple and safe test.  It is NOT a vaccination. A small amount of liquid is injected just under the top layer of skin on a person’s arm using a tiny sterile needle and syringe.  Forty-eight to 72 hours later the skin reaction, if any, is measured and the result is recorded.  An interpretation is made by a trained health care professional as to whether the test is positive or negative.

NOTE: If you have recently had a vaccination containing a live virus, such as MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella), nasal spray type Influenza (flu) vaccine, or Varicella (Chickenpox) vaccine, you must wait 4-6 weeks after vaccination before a TB test can be given in order to avoid false negative reactions.  If you are having the TB test because you may have been exposed to TB, you must wait 10-12 weeks for the test to be reliable.

tbtesting

BCG

A TB test can be performed regardless of whether or not you had BCG in the past.

Positive TB Tests

If your test is interpreted as positive, you will need an evaluation by one of the Student Health Services’ clinicians to rule out active tuberculosis and recommend a course of treatment or further evaluation.  Blood will be drawn and sent to the lab to confirm the result of your TB skin test.  If this test is positive, a chest x-ray will be ordered to rule out Active (contagious) Tuberculosis.  If the blood test is negative, the nurse practitioner in Student Health Services will determine if a chest x-ray is still needed.  Once Active Tuberculosis is ruled out, you are not contagious and will be permitted to participate in classroom field/clinical experiences.  However is your TB test is positive and your chest x-ray is negative, you may be diagnosed with Latent Tuberculosis (noncontagious) and offered medication to treat this infection.  The nurse practitioner will discuss this with you.  Treatment for Latent TB is available in Student Health Services at no cost to you.   If your TB test is positive and your chest x-ray is positive, the New Jersey Department of Health will be notified as required by law and you will be referred off-campus for treatment.  To learn more about Tuberculosis and TB skin testing, please visit the CDC website at http://www.cdc.gov/nchstp/tb/faqs/qa.htm or  email Student Health Services at health@tcnj.edu.


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