Medical Evaluation

TSA Medical Evaluation 2024: What to Expect and How to Prepare

You have passed the assessments and security checks and jumped through all the hoops placed before you in the TSA recruitment process. But you still have to get through the medical evaluation and are not really sure what to expect.

In this article, we set about clarifying the procedure for you.

Your first step is to log in to your candidate’s dashboard on the TSA website and book a slot for your evaluation. Make sure when going for your evaluation to follow all the instructions given.

Drink plenty of fluids prior to the test, have an eyesight test if you haven’t had one recently, and bring the documentation they request along to the evaluation.

Why Do I Need To Do a Medical Evaluation?

Many companies ask candidates to take a medical evaluation.

They have decided they want you to work for them. But they also need to do if you meet the health requirements to carry out the job.

In the case of TSA being fit and healthy is essential for the tasks you will have to carry out.

There will be a lot of standing, squatting, and getting back on your feet when carrying out pat-downs. There may be a great deal of physical activity if you encounter a person who may be dangerous to fellow travelers.

You will also, of course, have to be able to see or hear anything that could pose a threat to the traveling public.

What Happens In The TSA Medical Evaluation?

TSA Medical Evaluation

You will undergo the following:

The Hearing Test

This test aims to discover if you can hear specific sounds when you are in a noisy setting. As a TSA agent, your hearing is one of the most important tools at your disposal when carrying out your work.

If you wear hearing aids, an audiologist will have to perform the test. If not, a medical officer at the evaluation will check if you can hear sounds produced at 500, 1000, 2000, and 3000Hz in each ear.

The tests check if you can overhear quiet conversations among passengers, hear changing tones as passengers walk through a metal detector, or hear changes in tone of voice when dealing with passengers.

Your ears will be checked to determine if you meet the required speech reception level in each ear.

They will be especially interested in discovering if you can understand speech in the presence of noise.

The testers are provided with levels you have to meet in each test. Failure to reach the levels may see you being sent to an audiologist for further testing. Or, if your scores are lower than a certain minimum level, you could fail the test.

The Vision Test

You will be tested on the sharpness and accuracy of your distance vision and on your color vision.

Remember that, along with your hearing, your eyesight will play an important part as you work at ensuring the safety of the traveling public. You will use it when checking luggage but also when observing passengers as they mill about.

The vision test, like all the other tests, determines if you can readily notice anything that may pose a threat to that safety.

The Drug Test

The drug test checks for traces of the most widely used drugs in your system.

It is important to bear in mind that some drugs can leave traces in your system for some time after their consumption. If you are employed by the TSA, you can expect regular drug tests throughout the course of your employment.

If you are in the habit of using drugs, it is advisable to change that habit well in advance of your medical evaluation.

The Physical Test

The physical test looks at all aspects of your health that could impact your work as a TSA agent. The TSA has produced a list of the physical activities their agents should be capable of carrying out.

Working for them, you must be able to:

  • Lift weights of up to 25 kg
  • X-Ray 160 bags in the course of a day
  • Bend, squat, and kneel 110 times
  • Move and extend your arms 270 times
  • Listen to and observe passengers over the course of 7 hours
  • Stand continuously for 6 hours
  • Walk 4 km without stopping

Physical checks will illustrate your ability to carry out all of those functions. You can expect to be checked in the following areas:

  • Your cardiovascular system
  • Your neurological system
  • Your abdominal system
  • Your respiratory system

Doctors will also check if you have any of the following:

  • Diabetes
  • Spinal issues
  • Hypertension

Medical Questionnaire

You will be asked to complete a medical questionnaire asking if:

  1. You have been in accidents and have claimed compensation.
  2. You have had treatment for any of the following health problems; liver disease, heart problems, gastrointestinal problems or have had concerns about your sight or hearing.

Questions are also asked about your psychological well-being. You can be asked if you have ever suffered from/been treated for:

  1. Depression
  2. Psychosis
  3. Bipolar Disorder

If you answer yes to any of the illnesses listed, you will need to give details on how long it has been since you have had the illness and if you are still being treated for it.

If you are clear of the illness for a sufficiently long time, then it may not affect your medical scores.

How Do I Prepare For The Medical Evaluation?

Girl Eating Healthy

In an ideal world, we would all be ready for medical evaluations. However, as this is not a perfect world, most people have to work on their health.

Ideally, you need to have been working on your physical well-being from or before the moment you applied to the TSA.

It will prove helpful if you pay attention to the physical functions, you will be expected to carry out on the job and incorporate them into an exercise routine.

A visit to a good medical practitioner will also point you in the right direction when getting ready for the test. The practitioner will highlight any issues you have that may sabotage your attempts to become a TSA agent.

It is advisable to make that visit as early as you possibly can as you will need time to put any advice the doctor gives you into practice.

For more information on the medical test, head to Job Test Prep.

What Happens If I Fail The Examination?

You can appeal the decision if you feel an error has been made in the evaluation. You need to go about appealing the results as soon as you possibly can.

However, for an appeal, you need to provide medical documentation. You will have to go to your own medical people to get the paperwork and to determine if there was a mistake in your results.

If a mistake has been made, you can raise the issue with the TSA, and you will be readmitted to the system.

And If I Pass?

If you pass, it means you have arrived! Your next step will be to take your place in the TSA Ready Pool and wait to be called upon to play your part in keeping the traveling public safe.

Written by Elizabeth O Mahony

With 25+ years’ experience as a teacher and state examinations corrector, Elizabeth now writes for the education and careers industry. Her experience preparing students for examinations and running an academy for supplementary education give her invaluable insights into what it takes for job seekers and graduates to succeed in assessments.