What TB testing Options do you have as a CNA school owner?
TB testing (tuberculosis testing) is a requirement for anyone who plans to work in a facility such as a nursing home. Even students who are in the nursing home space to learn MUST have TB testing done as well. There are a multitude of TB testing options which you can learn about in my “TB Testing” YouTube video which will be linked below.
I would like to highlight the top 3 choices you have to test your CNA students for tuberculosis.
- Refer the student to their PCP or the Public Health Department
- Obtain an agreement with a local urgent care
- Conduct TB testing in house
Let’s talk about what each of these options look like.
Refer the Student to their PCP or Public Health Department
This is a more hands-off approach and is possibly the most cost effective for you as a school. This will be a cost to the student (the health department is usually the cheaper of the two).
The provider or health department will take care of all steps regarding the TB testing and after the TB testing. If the test is positive the provider or health department will follow up on this and take care of this. All the student will have to do is bring back the paper stating they were positive or negative and what actions were taken if they were positive. Please be sure to obtain this paper prior to the start of clinical. I highly recommend obtaining this before the student event begins the program!
Obtain an agreement with a local urgent care
This option is a little more hand off as well once you have the agreement in place. Find a local privately-owned Urgent Care to collaborate with. Let them know you need TB testing and possibly Chest X-Ray services based on the results of the test (I recommend partnering with an urgent care that has x-ray services. To many transfers in care can cause the student confusion and frustration). Work out a price that you know will be cost effective for your students. You can add the cost of the TB test into your tuition if you choose to make it easier for the student and just pay the Urgent Care directly, or you can have the student be responsible for the test costs. Regardless it is hard to know who will and will not need x-ray so I recommend leaving the x-ray cost to the students. In many states you may need a physical or drug screen as well, so be sure to negotiate this cost into the Urgent Care services as well if it is required for your state.
Conduct TB testing in house
This is the most hands-on approach. You will need a physician or nurse practitioner, depending on your state, who will write for the PPD testing solution. Each vile usually costs about $80-$100 and usually has about 10 tests per bottle. So depending on how much you decide to charge to conduct PPD in house, and how much your provider charges you to order the solution, you could make additional money on the side by doing this. However, once again if the test comes back positive, you will need to coordinate the follow up such as chest x-ray etc. If the x-ray comes back positive, you have to ask yourself how you plan to deal with that. There must be follow up care that is conducted this could be time consuming and something to think about.
You also may need to become certified to conduct and read TB tests. Most states provide this certification course for free. Check out your local TB Control Program HERE.
I hope this was helpful information. For more information about TB testing please view my YouTube Video that gets into more detail. There are a lot of small aspects of starting a CNA school you need to think about and that is why The CNA Instructor Consultants exists. We help you figure the little things out. Feel you would like help getting started, feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or learn more about our CNA School Mentorship Program HERE.
Victoria Randle NP-C
Founder of The CNA Instructor Consultant