COMMONLY ASKED MEDICAL QUESTIONS FOR CASTLEBRANCH
Q: I was told I need to come to the nurse’s office to fill out a TB Questionnaire, Why?
A: The purpose of the TB Questionnaire is to verify you are not having any current signs or symptoms of tuberculosis. Since your chest x-ray will be good for 5 years we annually need to see you to make sure you are healthy and are not experiencing any problems related to tuberculosis. Through clinical experiences and other environmental exposures you potentially could have come in contact with someone who had been carrying the disease, this is for precautions for you and those you care for in the clinical setting.
Q: Why does Castle Branch continue to reject my vaccination records?
A: Make sure when you upload your vaccination records you have dates for each vaccination required for you program. It needs to be signed by a healthcare professional and have a heading on the document from the healthcare provider office you retained the records from. Many times one of these components may be missing. If you are still unsure why your document in being rejected please email the Student Health Services Office including your name and phone number.
Q: Why does Castle Branch continue to reject my TB test?
A: Make sure when you upload the document it contains a date and time for the injections given, and a date and time and signature for each time it was read. Make sure the date falls within the one year time frame for your requirements. If you are uploading a 2 step TB test be sure the two tests are within 11 months of each other for them to be accepted as a 2 step. Please make sure there is a heading from the healthcare provider’s office at the top of you form stating where you had the test done. If you are still unsure why your document in being rejected please email the Student Health Services Office including your name and phone number.
Q: What is the purpose of a 2 step TB test?
A: A 2 step TB test is required of students to begin their program to prove you do not have active TB. The initial skin test could have a false negative when you are initially tested. The second test done 1 week to 11 months apart is to ensure you are in fact negative for TB. These standards are developed from the CDC website and used widely to test those working in the healthcare community. Once you have had the 2 step TB test the 1 injection and 1 reading 48-72 hours later will be what is required for renewal.
Q: What if I don’t know when I had my vaccinations for MMR?
A: If you are unsure of dates for your MMR vaccinations, you will need to have a titer drawn to determine if you have appropriate immunity to work in a healthcare setting. If you titer comes back positive, this means you have immunity and will just upload the titer results in to Castle Branch If your titer comes back negative, you would need to complete the series of vaccinations to bring your immunity up so you can work in the healthcare setting. For adults receiving MMR vaccinations you would complete the first vaccine as soon as possible and then the following vaccine would be done 28 days after the first one. According to the CDC if you will be working in a healthcare setting it is recommended to get both vaccinations allow for adequate immunity.
Q: If I had Varicella as a child would I need to get the vaccinations?
A: Maybe, if you had varicella as a child and can have an approximate date documented on a form from you healthcare provider and a signature from your healthcare provider then no vaccinations would be necessary. If you are not sure please see the question below.
Q: If I have had Varicella as a child but I don’t know when and/ or I have no medical documentation about it, what do I need to do?
A: You would start by getting a titer done for the varicella virus. If the titer would come back positive you would have immunity. The titer documentation would be uploaded into Castle Branch and you would not need to get vaccinated as this would prove you had immunity. If your titer came back non-equivocal or negative you would need to start the vaccination series. The first vaccination should be done as soon as possible and the second vaccination would be done 4 weeks from the first. According to the CDC those working in the healthcare setting should have both vaccinations to give appropriate immunity.
Q: What is a titer and why do you require one if I don’t know the dates of my vaccinations?
A: For our purposes using it for Castle Branch and documentation, a titer is checking your blood to know your specific level of antibodies to a particular disease. The antibody level in your blood tells the healthcare provider if your body can fight the infection on its own with the antibodies it already has, or if a vaccination would be required to boost your antibody level and allowing you to fight disease.
Q: My titer is negative or non-equivocal for Varicella how many vaccinations do I need to have?
A: If your titer came back non-equivocal or negative you would need to start the vaccination series. The first vaccination should be done as soon as possible and the second vaccination would be done 4 weeks from the first. According to the CDC those working in the healthcare setting should have both vaccinations to give appropriate immunity.
Q: How far apart do my Hepatitis B vaccinations need to be?
A: Hepatitis B series is 3 vaccinations done at different specified times. If you have not previously had the Hepatitis B vaccination series you would begin the first vaccination as soon as possible. The second vaccination would be given 4 weeks from the initial vaccination. The third vaccination should be given at least 4 months from the first vaccination or 3 months from the second vaccination.
Q: Does Mercy College provide flu shots to their students?
A: Yes, all students are welcome to receive a flu shot. Flu vaccinations are free. We offer the flu shot and the flu mist as options for our students. Flu clinics are typically held in the month of October but will sometimes take place early November.
Q: What if I don’t want to get a flu shot?
A: Unless you have a religious or medically documented reason for refusing to get the flu shot you will need to have one to attend clinicals. Please remember that the flu shot is necessary to give yourself protection but also to protect the visitors, patients, and staff you will be working with in the hospital.