Depending on the industry or field that you work in, there may be a requirement to participate in specific health or drug tests. Many industries utilize these procedures as a pre-hire protocol to regulate safe and healthy work environments. One specific health and safety test employees undergo during hiring is a PPD test. 

If you’re unfamiliar with PPD testing, and which industries are most likely to require them, continue reading.

What is PPD or TB Testing?

PPD stands for purified protein derivative, the bacteria used to test for active cases of tuberculosis, or TB. The terms TB testing, PPD, Mantoux, and tuberculin skin test are often used interchangeably when referencing this type of health screening. 

Though tuberculosis is less common in the United States, various industries seek to limit exposure to the disease in work environments. This type of precautionary health testing is especially common for industries that serve and care for the general public. 

Which Industries or Fields Require A Tuberculosis Test?

As mentioned, PPD testing is often standard for industries that interact with the public on a regular basis. It’s especially common for professionals in the healthcare field. Regular tuberculosis testing ensures that any spread of the disease becomes contained or prevented prior to the onboarding of a new employee. Here are various healthcare spheres that typically require a tuberculosis test for healthcare providers. 

  • Inpatient and outpatient settings
  • Laboratories and medical research facilities 
  • Emergency medical teams
  • Home healthcare fields
  • Live-in and long-term healthcare settings
  • Homeless healthcare clinics and correctional medical facilities

No matter what type of care your facility provides, it’s crucial that you proceed with tuberculosis testing as a pre-hire protocol. When healthcare professionals test negative for tuberculosis, medical settings remain safe and clean, protecting both the providers as well as their patients. 

What Is Tuberculosis? 

Tuberculosis is an infectious bacterial disease that is spread from person to person via airborne droplets. It most commonly spreads by coughing or sneezing. 

Mycobacterium tuberculosis can lay dormant in the body for years. This is called latent tuberculosis. When the mycobacterium tuberculosis becomes active and causes infection, symptoms arise, causing serious distress to the lungs and respiratory system. 

What are the Common Symptoms of Active Tuberculosis? 

With active tuberculosis, a wide range of symptoms may occur. The primary symptoms include severe and ongoing coughing as well as coughing up mucus or blood. Additional symptoms of active tuberculosis tend to resemble general cold-like symptoms. 

Symptoms can include fever, night sweats, weight loss, fatigue, loss of appetite, or chills. Keeping a lookout for abnormal flare-ups of these symptoms could help individuals identify active tuberculosis or an additional underlying condition. 

How Does PPD Testing Work? 

Though active tuberculosis resides in the lungs, PPD testing is actually conducted through a skin test. To perform a PPD test, a small concentration of purified protein derivative (PPD) is injected into the forearm. Side effects include a small bump at the injection site, which generally goes away within 24 hours. 

If a serious reaction to the PPD injection causes a flare-up within 48 to 72 hours, this is considered active tuberculosis. The reaction is called induration and can be anywhere from 5 to 9 millimeters of swelling. 

Health and Drug Testing with Soteria Drug Screening

If you’re seeking higher safety standards for your business, health testing is a powerful tool for all industries. Soteria Drug Screening offers a multi-facility, quality drug screening lab to ensure your professional environment meets the highest safety standards. To improve the success of your business, contact Soteria Drug Screening today. Find out how their services can support your professional workplace. 

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