This article will describe California state laws regarding health tests and CPR courses that are required for employment in the education field. As a manager, you want to make the pre-employment medical testing process easy and straightforward for your prospective teachers and school staff. This guide will make sure you know what medical exams and CPR certifications they need in order to start working.
Who is required to have medical exams before working in education facilities in California?
According to the California Education Code, a pre-employment medical exam is required for teachers and other prospective employees who are applying to work in any public educational facility, such as:
- Public primary, middle and high schools
- Private primary and secondary schools
- State colleges and universities
- Community colleges and other tax-funded institutions
According to the California Department of Education, private school employees, private tutors, homeschool teachers, and employees of private colleges and universities are exempt from mandatory medical exams in California, such as tuberculosis tests.
What should the medical exam for teachers include?
We all know that there are hundreds of different medical exam types, everything from basic vital sign tests to more complex lab work. So, what types of tests do your employees need in California?
The initial pre-employment medical exam should include the following:
- A medical history
- Physical evaluation
- Tuberculosis (TB) Test and – if the patient has a TB infection or has a history of TB – a Chest X-Ray
The medical exam should have full details that indicate the employee is sufficiently free of disease to perform their assigned duties and that they don’t have any health conditions that would create a hazard for themselves, fellow employees or students.
Any subsequent annual exams should include those same tests.
There are other pre-employment medical tests that you could implement into your school’s policy, but they are not required by California law. However, the following tests will create a safer environment for your students and staff alike.
When should your school staff get a medical exam in California?
According to the California Code of Regulations, all employees working in a school facility should undergo a medical exam by a physician:
- Medical exams should be required for employment and should be completed within 7 days after being hired.
- Although not required by California state regulations, you and your company have the option to promote annual medical exams for your teachers and other school staff, which would include the same types of tests undertaken during the required pre-employment medical exam.
How long should I keep my employees’ health records on file?
The facility shall maintain a health record for each employee, including reports of all employment-related medical examinations. Such records shall be kept a minimum of three years following termination of employment.
Why your teachers and other school staff need fingerprinting
California State Education Code requires that all new school employers have to be fingerprinted, which should include a criminal background check.
Why fingerprinting is important when hiring new teachers
Fingerprinting and background checks are legally required for teachers in California due to their responsibilities and proximity with students, who could also be minors if your school is K-12.
There are other benefits besides safety and trust that make fingerprinting an important pre-employment policy for schools.
- Establishes your school’s reputation for security, safety and responsibility.
- Allows your school to recruit and hire high-quality teachers.
- Verify the info of your prospective teachers.
- Protects you from liability and potential legal issues in the future.
Are teachers required to take a drug test for employment?
Many people would assume that drug testing is required for hiring new teachers and other school staff – but that’s not the case.
Although teachers are fingerprinted and are subject to a comprehensive California Department of Justice background check, that does not include a metabolic drug screen, or simply known as a drug test.
However, each school has the option to include drug testing as part of their hiring policy.
Why your school should implement drug testing for new teachers
There are many reasons to require new teachers to take a drug test.
- Create a safe and secure environment for your students and school staff.
- Sets a good example for the students.
- Cultivate a culture of responsibility and professionalism.
- Protect your school from liability.
- Reduce workplace accidents.
Are CPR, AED and First Aid certifications required for teachers in California?
Yes! According to the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing, in order for teachers in California to receive their teacher credentials, they must complete and pass an Adult, Child, and Infant Pediatric CPR certification course.
Online CPR, AED, and First Aid courses are accepted in California, but a hands-on skills test may be required by the state or your local school district to maintain employment.
Educators who are teaching Sports Management, Physical Education, Nutrition or general Health courses may have additional requirements. Please check with your employer or institution.
Why are CPR courses required?
Remember, when you’re employed as a teacher or staff member at an educational facility, the health and lives of students are in your hands during the time that they’re in your presence.
Just as TB tests are required as a means to protect others, enrolling and completing CPR, AED and/or First Aid courses benefit those around you.
What’s the difference between CPR, AED and First Aid classes?
CPR stands for Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation. CPR can help save a life during cardiac arrest, when the heart stops beating or it beats too ineffectively to circulate blood to the brain and other vital organs.
AED stands for Automated External Defibrillator. Typically, it’s simply called a defibrillator. It is used to help those experiencing sudden cardiac arrest. It’s a sophisticated, easy-to-use, medical device that can analyze the heart’s rhythm and, if necessary, deliver an electrical shock, or defibrillation, to help the heart re-establish an effective rhythm.
First Aid is the first and immediate medical assistance given to a person with either a minor or serious illness or injury. The concept of first aid is to provide care in order to preserve the patient’s life, to prevent the condition from worsening, or to promote recovery until professional medical services arrive. As an educator or school staff member, you can take basic and advanced first aid courses to satisfy California’s occupational requirements.
Your next steps
Now that you know what the pre-employment medical exam requirements are in California, the next step is to help your prospective teachers and school staff to schedule appointments for tests.
WellnessMart specializes in pre-employment testing for education. With over 50 locations to serve you, Wellnessmart allows you to order tests, receive and store results, and get single consolidated billing — all at wellnessmart.com. It’s quick, friendly, accurate testing for schools and companies, and requires no out of pocket payments for your applicants.