A Tuberculosis Primer for the Correctional Nurse

2.0 Continuing Education Hours

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that 4-6% of all cases of tuberculosis in the United States occur in individuals who are incarcerated at the time of their diagnosis. Tuberculosis prevention and control measures in the correctional environment include early identification of persons with TB disease and those with Latent TB Infection (LTBI). They also include successful treatment of both individuals with TB disease and those with LTBI. The appropriate use of airborne precautions, such as isolation, environmental mechanical controls, and respiratory protection; and comprehensive discharge planning for the patient with TB disease or LTBI are also integral to a comprehensive program of TB prevention and control in the correctional setting.   These measures must necessarily be implemented in collaboration with the local and state health departments. To promote understanding, cooperation, and program participation, healthcare staff, correctional staff, and inmates should participate in regularly scheduled continuing education regarding tuberculosis and its treatment.