K-1433. Assessment of Healthcare Worker (HCW) Knowledge of Correct Interpretation of Tuberculin Skin Testing
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.
Allison Messina, MD1, David Berman, DO1, Juan Dumois, MD1, Scott James, MD2 and  J. A. Dumois, None., (1)All Children's Hospital, St. Petersburg, FL, (2)All Children's Hospital