Tuberculosis (TB): Nursing

00:00 / 00:00



Tuberculosis or TB for short is an infectious disease that primarily affects the respiratory tract, and is caused by Mycobacteria spp., such as Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

Now, let’s quickly review the respiratory tract, which can be divided into two regions: the upper respiratory tract and lower respiratory tract. The upper respiratory tract includes the nose, nasal cavity, the oral cavity, pharynx, epiglottis, larynx, and the upper part of the trachea; while the lower respiratory tract includes the lower part of trachea, and the lungs containing the bronchi, bronchioles, alveolar ducts, and finally the alveoli. Alveoli are tiny air-filled sacs where most gas exchange occurs, so as we breathe, the inhaled oxygen moves from the alveolar sacs into the blood, while the carbon dioxide moves from the blood into the alveolar sacs to be exhaled.

Now, TB is caused by Mycobacteria spp. settling in the bronchioles and alveoli. The majority of TB cases are caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis. However, it can rarely be caused by Mycobacterium bovis, Mycobacterium africanum, and Mycobacterium microti. These bacteria are transmitted from person to person via respiratory droplets. This happens when a person with active TB talks, sneezes, or coughs, spreading droplets that may then be inhaled by others nearby.


Tuberculosis (TB) is a chronic infectious disease caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis. It primarily affects the lungs but can also spread to other parts of the body. TB is transmitted through the air when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks, and another person inhales the bacteria.

People with active tuberculosis infections may experience flu-like symptoms, as well as chest pain, or even respiratory distress. Treatment for TB requires long-term antibiotics, often for 4 months to one year.

The goals of nursing care include improving the client's pulmonary function, providing supportive care during treatment, and preventing the spread of TB to others. Client and family teaching focuses on adherence to their medication regimen, infection control measures, and when to contact their healthcare provider.


Copyright © 2023 Elsevier, its licensors, and contributors. All rights are reserved, including those for text and data mining, AI training, and similar technologies.

Cookies are used by this site.

USMLE® is a joint program of the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) and the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME). COMLEX-USA® is a registered trademark of The National Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners, Inc. NCLEX-RN® is a registered trademark of the National Council of State Boards of Nursing, Inc. Test names and other trademarks are the property of the respective trademark holders. None of the trademark holders are endorsed by nor affiliated with Osmosis or this website.