Texas is home to world-class medical centers. Healthcare is one of the largest industries in the state. It is also pretty relaxed when it comes to employment regulations despite having a strict and thorough licensing requirement. For example, Texas doesn’t legally require medical exams for health workers in order to be employed by a hospital, clinic or other medical facility.
In this guide, we’ll also cover fingerprinting, background checks, drug testing, CPR/AED and BLS/ACLS courses.
Are health workers required to have a medical exam before being hired?
Texas has no laws that require health workers to take any form of medical exam–TB tests, physical and medical history–in order to be hired. However, employers have the right to include such medical exams in their hiring policy.
Why your health workers should take TB tests
A recent report found that Texas was responsible for 12% of tuberculosis cases in the U.S. in 2020, which was second only to California at 24 percent.
Health workers who work with patients have an even higher risk of contracting TB.
So, while there’s no Texas statute that requires health workers to take TB tests, it would be recommended that your organization integrate TB testing into your company policy.
You can implement TB assessments as part of the onboarding process for new employees. You can also have your medical staff take annual testing.
On the other hand, you can have your staff take mandatory TB tests only if they’ve had in-person contact with patients who’ve tested positive for TB, or if your employee reports to management that they’re exhibiting symptoms of tuberculosis.
If your health worker tests positive for TB, they will most likely need a Chest X-Ray as well.
What is a physical examination?
A physical exam, also known as a wellness check, is generally composed of the following tests:
- Evaluation of patient’s medical history
- Check weight
- Check blood pressure
- Check temperature
- EKG or ECG (electrocardiogram), which records the electrical signal from the heart to check for different heart conditions
- Check your ears, nose, lungs, throat, and eyes.
Remember that you can only request your employees to undergo a physical exam and other medical tests after you’ve offered them employment. Meaning, you cannot use medical exams as part of the pre-employment process. Doing so would be a violation of federal laws.
Why your new employees should get a physical exam
The physical exam should have full details that indicate the employee is free of disease to perform their duties and that they don’t have any health conditions that would create a hazard for themselves, fellow employees or patients.
Do health workers need to submit fingerprinting for employment?
The Texas Medical Board requires licensed health workers to get fingerprinted, which will include a background check by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS).
Obviously, in order to work as a medical professional, you will need to have a valid state license.
The benefits of fingerprinting and background checks
Fingerprinting and background checks for your new employees are beneficial for your medical facility.
- Patients will feel safer and more secure during their visits when you ensure that your health professionals are properly screened.
- Live Scan fingerprinting protects healthcare professionals from other people stealing and using their identities.
- Live Scan fingerprinting can be seamlessly integrated with existing healthcare systems, which makes the process more streamlined and efficient.
Is drug testing required in Texas for health workers?
No. In Texas, doctors, nurses, and other licensed medical professionals are not required to be drug tested.
However, it’s up to your company to implement drug testing as part of your hiring policy. You can also make drug testing of current medical staff recurring and random.
Why you should require drug testing for health workers
The lives of patients are metaphorically and literally in the hands of health workers. Therefore, having a clear sober mind and sound judgment is of the utmost importance.
Let’s take a look at some benefits of drug testing, whether as part of the hiring process or as a recurring program after they’re hired.
- Illicit drugs can impair one’s physical and mental capabilities.
- Drugs can impair one’s judgment and decision-making.
- Reduces the chance of on-the-job accidents and injuries.
- Drug testing provides both employers and employees with the ability to make the workplace a more productive environment.
- Reduces absenteeism from your staff.
- Reduce employee turnover rates.
- Protect your company from lawsuits and liabilities.
Are CPR and BLS certifications required for health workers in Texas?
Health workers in Texas must complete and pass either a BLS (Basic Life Support) or CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation) certification course to attain their initial licensure in the state.
BLS and CPR courses cover the same fundamentals, but BLS certification programs cover a few more advanced techniques.
Online CPR, AED, and First Aid courses are accepted in Texas, but a hands-on skills test may be required by the state to maintain employment.
Also, even if CPR/BLS courses are not required for a specific job role and license, your company has the right to implement it as part of your goal to keep employees up-to-date with the latest knowledge and techniques.
Why are CPR/BLS courses required?
It is only natural that healthcare employees and other staff members at a medical facility know basic CPR/BLS procedures. After all, your employees play a critical role in the health and safety of patients within your facilities.
Enrolling and completing CPR, AED and/or First Aid courses benefit those around you.
Are Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) courses required?
Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) is not required by law or by licensing boards. Neither is Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS).
Having said that, different jurisdictions and agencies might require ACLS and PALS.
It’s up to your organization if you would like your licensed professional staff to attain ACLS and/or PALS certification.
What’s the difference between ACLS and BLS?
BLS and ACLS are different in scope as well as complexity.
BLS focuses on basic life-saving techniques, such as CPR and proper use of AED.
ACLS delves deeper into advanced cardiovascular life support, including advanced airway management, pharmacology, and complex resuscitation algorithms.
Your next steps
Now that you know what the pre-employment medical exam requirements are in Texas, the next step is to help your prospective health workers to schedule appointments for tests.
WellnessMart specializes in pre-employment testing for working in the medical field. With over 50 locations to serve you, Wellnessmart allows employers to order tests, receive and store results, and get single consolidated billing – all at wellnessmart.com.