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I'm going to school to become a medical assistant (CMA-AAMA). I'm in my final semester, doing my clinicals. Over the summer I'll do my externship. We were given a paper on Monday of all the things we need to have done before we begin our externship. On the list, was vaccines. Now, I was vaccinated as a child... so I won't have to get the MMR. On the list was a two step TB test, Tetanus or DT (if haven't had within the past 10 years), Chicken Pox, Hep B.
Ok, I don't believe I've had a tetanus shot in the past ten years. I'm 24, and I remember being 14... and I can't remember getting a shot. I'd have to find my medical records, or call my high school for a copy. I wasn't vaccinated for cp, because the vax wasn't out, but I did have cp when I was younger. However, the instructor said that I must have medical documentation that I had cp. Umm, I highly doubt my mom took me to the doctor when I had cp! I guess I can have a titer done... but our insurance doesn't pay for it and we honestly don't have any extra money at this time. Hep B is optional, so I can decline it if I wish.
So, my questions are.....
From what I understand, it isn't my school who is requiring these vaccinations. (I didn't have to turn in any medical records, vaccine info when I applied to the school) I guess it's for all of the employers we will be doing our externships with. Do I have the option on an exemption? Do exemptions work for employers? I know it's not the law that we have to vaccinate, but can't an employer decline me from being able to do an externship with them if I don't follow their policies (vaccinations)? Kind of like if I were an employee, not a student, they could decline me a job? Or is that not the case?
Would you get a tetanus shot if you were working in the medical field? Why or why not?
What about the two step TB test?
And would you get or decline the Hep B vaccine?
We'll be externing in family practice offices, not specialty offices (though once we're done with school we can work in specialty offices... which is what I plan to do). I threw this out there, because in a family practice office you see a lot more illness and diseases than in a specialty office.
I'm just seeking some info and advice! Thanks for the help!
Okay here's what I found. To decline the Hep B vax, you would submit the OSHA declaration form. I wasn't able to find any information on declining the TB screening, but I would venture to say that you could opt out of that as well. Whether or not it could effect your employment... probably not, since those things generally aren't requested until after you are hired.
Would you get a tetanus shot if you were working in the medical field? Why or why not?[/b]
No. In the first place, according to the CDC's Pink Book, the vaccine has never been tested for whether or not it actually works; we just assume it does because tetanus rates are low... despite the majority of the adult population not being up to date on boosters. Also, you are statistically more likely to be struck by lightening twice in your lifetime (1 in 9 million) than you are to contract tetanus disease (1 in 10 million). Also, as stated in the package insert, the Institute of Medicine has determined that there is a causal relationship between the tetanus vaccine and Guillain-Barre Syndrome and with brachial neuritis.
What about the two step TB test?[/b]
I wouldn't, but if there was no way for me to get out of a tb test, I would only submit to one of the non-invasive alternatives like BioMeridian, the F-scan, etc.
And would you get or decline the Hep B vaccine?[/b]
See, we have to have these for our externship... not for employment. The school isn't requiring them. It's the externship sites (physicians offices) who are requesting this information before we are able to go on site and do our externship. So that's why I'm wondering if they could tell me I couldn't do my externship with them if I didn't have TB, tetanus, etc. done. It's something they're asking for before we get there, since we won't be employees of theirs, there is no hiring process for them to request these things after they offer us a job. We're assigned externship sites, we don't get to choose either.