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Tuberculin Skin Test Frequently Asked Questions

In accordance with Clinical Placement Agreements on immunization, students entering Nursing and Health Sciences practicum programming, including the Saskatchewan Collaborative Bachelor of Science in Nursing (SCBScN) program, require Tuberculin Skin Test prior to placement in clinical or health authority work environments. During an audit of placement documentation, it was noted that the Tuberculin Skin Test (TST) was not properly recorded for Sask Polytech Saskatoon campus nursing and health sciences students. Also, the TST was not properly recorded for students in the Saskatchewan Collaborative Bachelor of Science in Nursing (SCBScN) program. The SCBScN is offered in partnership between the University of Regina and Saskatchewan Polytechnic. The TST is completed in conjunction with the immunization package that all nursing and health sciences students need to complete before starting their practicums.

Saskatchewan Polytechnic consulted with TB Prevention and Control Saskatchewan and there is no public risk because of the lack of testing. A positive TST result indicates that an individual may have latent TB infection. People with latent TB infection are not contagious and cannot spread TB infection to others. The purpose of TST among health care students and employees is to ensure that individuals receive appropriate testing and treatment for TB disease, and individuals who are exposed to a patient with infectious TB receive the correct follow-up testing for TB.

Graduates of the program should have received a TST through their health-care employer as part of the documentation required for employment. As a result, Sask Polytech will only be re-testing current SCBScN students in order to complete the required training documentation. 

Sask Polytech and the University of Regina have been in contact with SCBScN students and faculty regarding testing for the Tuberculin Skin Test. Registered Nurses will meet students at their over the next two weeks to  administer the TST and to carry out the follow up. Specific details will be confirmed with students and their clinical instructor.

Steps have been taken to ensure immunization records at Sask Polytech are properly documented for all nursing and health sciences students. Internal processes are being reviewed.

 

Q: Is there a health risk to myself or to the public?

A: Throughout this process and investigation Sask Polytech made continual assessments regarding risk to public health. There is no public risk because of the lack of testing. We apologize for any adverse impact this situation may have for our students and our partners.

 

Q: What does a positive Tuberculous Skin Test mean?

A: A positive TST result indicates that an individual may have latent TB infection. People with latent TB infection are not contagious and cannot spread TB infection to others. The purpose of TST among health care students and employees is to ensure that individuals receive appropriate testing and treatment for TB disease, and individuals who are exposed to a patient with infectious TB receive the correct follow-up testing for TB.

 

Q: I am a practical nursing or health science graduate at Sask Polytech. How do I receive my Tuberculin Skin Test?

A: It is not necessary for nursing and health sciences graduates to receive Tuberculous immunizations and inoculations from Sask Polytech. Graduates should have completed Tuberculin Skin Test upon receiving employment if it was not available in their documentation, during the hiring process. If students or graduates have exposure to active Tuberculous they would be followed on by the Saskatchewan Provincial Tuberculous Program.

 

Q: Why are Saskatchewan Collaborative Bachelor of Science in Nursing program students being asked to take the Tuberculin Skin Test?

A: During an audit of placement documentation, it was noted that the Tuberculin Skin Test (TST) was not properly recorded for Sask Polytech Saskatoon campus nursing and health sciences students. Also, the TST was not properly recorded for students in the Saskatchewan Collaborative Bachelor of Science in Nursing (SCBScN) program. Graduates of the program should have received a TST through their health-care employer as part of the documentation required for employment. As a result, Sask Polytech will only be re-testing current SCBScN students in order to complete the required training documentation.

 

Q: I am a Saskatchewan Collaborative Bachelor of Science in Nursing program student. How do I receive my Tuberculin Skin Test?

A: Registered Nurses will be at students’ clinical sites and will meet with students in the next two weeks to administer the TST and to carry out the follow up. Specific details will be confirmed with students and their clinical instructor the day prior to the testing occurring.

 

Q: How many students have to complete the Tuberculin Skin Test?

A: The 2016 fall cohort of SCBScN students from Saskatoon campus are required to complete the Tuberculin Skin Test.

 

Q: What is being done to prevent this from happening again in the future?

A: Sask Polytech and the University of Regina SCBScN takes this matter very seriously. Steps have been taken to ensure immunization records at Sask Polytech are properly documented for all nursing and health sciences students. Internal processes are being reviewed.

 

Q: Where can I learn more about Tuberculous?

A: Tuberculous is closely monitored in Saskatchewan through the TB Prevention and Control Saskatchewan program. The goal of the program is to eliminate tuberculosis within our province through surveillance, detection, treatment and prevention. https://www.saskatoonhealthregion.ca/locations_services/Services/TB-Prevention

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