Session: Poster Session: Occupational Health: Worker Safety
Sunday, October 26, 2008: 12:00 AM
Room: Hall C
Background: Annual tuberculin skin testing (TST) of HCWs is recommended by the CDC for many hospitals with at least medium risk of exposure to patients with tuberculosis. Methods: We conducted a survey of HCWs to assess their knowledge of published CDC guidelines for proper interpretation of TST results. A questionnaire was completed anonymously by 210 HCWs, including attending physicians, residents, medical students, nurses, and other allied HCWs. Results: Most respondents knew that the TST should be read at 48-72 hours (91.9%) and HCWs should not read their own TSTs (94.3%). However, only 58.6% knew that induration, and not erythema, should be measured. Although 47.6% knew that only a single length measurement should be documented in the medical record, only 11.4% knew that the measurement should be transverse to the long axis of the arm. For a measurement of 0 mm, only 20% answered correctly that “0 mm” instead of “negative” should be recorded in the record. And if the measurement of the TST induration falls between mm marks on a ruler, only 9.5% knew that one should round down to the nearest mm. The residents were the subgroup that answered the most questions correctly. Conclusion: Although TST is performed routinely in many HCWs and some patients, many HCWs have inadequate knowledge for optimal TST measurement and documentation of the results.