TSA Medical Evaluation: Complete Candidate Guide [2022]

TSA Medical Evaluation Overview

The medical evaluation is a three-stage process, including a hearing test, drug test, and physical exam. Below, we will explain each stage in greater depth so that you know exactly what to expect and become the best Transportation Security Officer possible.

 

TSA Hearing Test

To be accepted as a Transportation Security Officer demands a hearing level in each ear of 25dB or less. The test will check each ear at several frequencies, including 500, 1000, 2000, and 3000. If you do not pass this evaluation stage, you will be referred to an audiologist for further testing.

It is essential to mention that hearing aids and cochlear implants can be used on the job, provided that the applicant underwent an assessment by an audiologist first.

Speech Understanding in the Presence of Noise Test

This test discerns your ability to understand others in a noisy setting. This test uses a loudspeaker placed just one meter away from the applicant, with the test giver speaking at a hearing level of 60dB, while the noise you must hear is set at 50dB.

Meaning, the noise around you (the speaker) is louder than the noise or speech you must concentrate on.

 

TSA Physical Examination

The screening process continues with a physical examination that tests many health factors. Let’s take a look at some of the physical exam elements.

  • Vital Signs: Height and weight, temperature and pulse, breathing rate, and blood pressure.
  • ENT: Checking the face, ears, nose, throat, and neck for any extra fluid.
  • Gastrointestinal: The abdomen is checked for tenderness or rigidity.
  • Cardiovascular: Blood tests along with heartbeat inspections.
  • Respiratory: Ensure you breathe at a regular rate of 12 to 20 breaths per minute.

Additional checks will include Diabetes, sleep disorders, neurological disorders, psychiatric disorders (such as anxiety, depression, Posttraumatic stress, etc.), and more.

Fitness for Duty - What You Have to Be Ready for

  • Pick up a 50-pound object multiple times.
  • Stand for over 6 hours without rest.
  • Walk over three miles every shift.
  • Squat, bend and kneel to conduct pat-downs.

TSA Medical Exam High Blood Pressure Level & What Does It Mean

While all the tests are important, it could be said that considering the pressures of the job, special attention should be paid to blood pressure. A Transportation Security Officer - TSO must maintain a minimum consistent blood pressure of no more than 140/90 and a pulse rate of 90bpm. Failure to meet those rates will result in disqualification with room for an appeal.

 

TSA Drug Test

The drug test TSA uses is called a five-panel urine test, which is preferred by most government agencies and covers the most used drugs, including

  • THC (Marijuana)
  • Cocaine
  • Opiates
  • Phencyclidine (PCP)
  • Amphetamines

It is important to note that yearly drug tests will continue after hiring for every TSA agent. At this time, some TSA agents are given surprise hair follicle and breathalyzer tests, as drugs remain in your hair for up to 90 days.

As far as we know, they do not use fingernail or toenail tests, which can detect drugs for up to six months and years, respectively.

 

Transportation Security Officer Medical Questionnaire

As part of the medical exam, you will be provided with a form to fill out. Although it may seem trivial, filling out the form correctly is an integral part of the TSO hiring process background check. Let’s take an overview of the content on the form.

General Questions

The questionnaire starts by asking you a wide range of general questions about your medical background. For instance, you will be asked about any past mental health and treatments, have you had any injuries and received compensation, or about past or current medical prescriptions.

Medical History

The history questions will focus on the following to gather information.

  • Vision - Did you have eye surgery or experience a total loss in any eye?
  • Hearing - If you need or have hearing aids?
  • Respiratory - If you have had shortness of breath, bronchitis, or asthma, among others.
  • Gastrointestinal - diarrhea or constipation
  • Cardiovascular - Past heart issues, including high blood pressure, Palpitations, or chest pains.
  • Hepatic - Liver disease, jaundice, or history of cirrhosis

 

Response Time for Appealing Failed Results

While results are usually accurate, mistakes can happen. If you feel the results are incorrect, you may file for an appeal. However, you must provide medical documentation stating the contrary. For instance, if your glasses number is too high, you can go to an eye doctor to prove your real vision.

Once you send in the documentation, you should receive a response within several business days, although sometimes it can take longer.

Once you are cleared as fit, you will once again be considered.

 

Transportation Security Administration Screening Process

The entire purpose of the hiring process at the TSA is to ensure that one can fulfill all the tasks as best possible. Considering that a job offer will entail a lot of physical strength and stamina, they must ensure that your body is 100% ready.

The job will entail physical exercises, like -Standing for hours on end, serving as a pat-down screener, bending, squatting, and stooping. Additionally, you need to climb stairs and ladders, open bags, and zippers while unpacking and repacking bags.

 

Completing the Hiring Process

As we mentioned above, this is the last major hurdle before you are placed in a ready pool and offered a TSA position and join this important anti-terrorist organization with a final job offer as a TSA Agent.

 

Learn More About the Other TSA Hiring Process Stages

 

 

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