Are you about to embark on a new career in healthcare? Perhaps you’re about to begin a school program to become a Registered or Licensed Practical Nurse, Health Care Assistant, Medical Office Assistant, Phlebotomist, or Pharmacy Technician, to name a few. Maybe you’ve already graduated from a healthcare program and are about to start a new job. There are usually vaccine requirements for healthcare programs and new healthcare careers, and requirements can often be confusing. A Registered Nurse (RN) at TMVC can help you navigate the requirements and provide TB skin testing and any vaccines you may need. Here’s what you can expect at your appointment:


Vaccine Requirements and Form Completion

Your school or employer will provide you with a list of vaccine requirements for your healthcare program or new job. Some schools/employers require an immunization form be completed by a healthcare professional. Bring your list of vaccine requirements or school forms so the RN at TMVC can ensure your vaccine requirements are met. The RN can complete your school form and provide the required signature.


Health Assessment

Before administering any vaccines or TB skin testing, the RN will provide a health assessment. This involves:

• Reviewing the immunization requirements specified by your school or employer
• Reviewing your previous vaccine history
• Reviewing your health history to confirm that all required vaccines can be safely administered


How to Locate Your Vaccine Records

The RN will need to review your childhood and adult immunization records to determine if you need any vaccines for your career in healthcare. There are a few ways to locate your immunization records:

Health Gateway: A good place to start in your search for immunization records is Health Gateway. This is an online portal to access your BC medical records, including immunization history. Health Gateway only shows records of vaccines you received at public health clinics or pharmacies. It will not show records of vaccines you received at travel clinics, doctor’s offices, or in other provinces or countries.

Paper Records: You may have to do some digging. In BC, paper records are typically provided at the time of immunization. You are usually given a Child Health Passport as a baby for your vaccines to be recorded in. You may have also received paper records from other places you received vaccines at, such as travel clinics, doctor’s offices or pharmacies. Check your files or ask your parents if they kept any of your old immunization records.

Make Some Phone Calls: Contact any clinics or pharmacies where you received vaccines to request a record.

Check Other Provincial Databases: If you received vaccines outside of BC, visit the Government of Canada’s website for links to find your immunization records in other provinces.


If You Don’t Have Any Vaccine Records

If after all your detective work you still can’t locate any immunization records, don’t fret. It’s possible you grew up in a different country, or may have been born before immunization records were electronically recorded in BC, so your childhood vaccination records may not be accessible online. If you don’t have a paper copy then you might not be able to track down any childhood records. If this is the case you may need to repeat some vaccines. It is safe to repeat vaccines if necessary. You can also have a blood test called serology testing to determine if you are immune to certain vaccine preventable diseases.


Serology Testing

The RN at TMVC can provide you with a lab requisition to have your blood tested at LifeLabs to determine if you are immune to certain vaccine preventable diseases. If the serology testing indicates you are immune, then you do not require the vaccines for those diseases to be repeated. Vaccine preventable diseases required for careers in healthcare that serology testing can be completed for include:

• Hepatitis B
• Measles
• Mumps
• Rubella
• Varicella (chickenpox)

The turnaround time for results is approximately 2 business days for hepatitis B, and 1-2 weeks for all other diseases. A nurse at TMVC will contact you once all the results are available.


Vaccine Administration

TMVC carries all the vaccines required for all careers in healthcare. Any vaccines you need can be administered at your appointment by an experienced RN. Depending on which vaccines you need, you may only need one appointment, or you may need to return for 2 to 3 doses of the vaccines over 1 to 6 months.


TB Skin Testing

Most careers in healthcare require a recent TB skin test to be completed. This is a screening test to determine if you may have been exposed to the bacteria that causes tuberculosis (TB). The TB skin test requires 2 appointments 48-72 hours apart. At the first appointment the RN will administer a small amount of TB protein called tuberculin just under the skin on your forearm. At the second appointment the RN will assess the injection site for a reaction. TMVC will provide you with signed documentation of your TB skin test results and refer you for any follow up testing if needed.

Keep in mind that live vaccines can interfere with a TB skin test. If you require any live vaccines for your career in healthcare, such as MMR (measles/mumps/rubella) or varicella you must receive them at least 4 weeks before your TB skin test. There is no problem to receive these vaccines on the same day as your TB skin test, or anytime after the test is given.


What to Bring to Your Appointment

There are a few things you should bring to your appointment:

• All vaccine records including childhood vaccines (if available)
• Your school forms or list of required vaccines
• Your BC care card
• Previous blood test results (if available) for any vaccine preventable diseases
• A list of any medications you are currently taking


Book Your Appointment

Now that you know that TMVC is your one stop shop to prepare you for your career in healthcare, contact us to book your appointment and learn about pricing. It’s easy to book an appointment. Simply call us at 1-888-288-8682 or book online. You may need all of the services discussed in this blog, or only a few – just let us know!