The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) is tasked with ensuring the safety of the country’s roads and highways, and a key element to this is making sure commercial vehicle drivers are healthy enough to drive large vehicles. For this reason, they require for drivers to undergo a DOT physical and carry a medical certificate declaring their fitness to drive. If your employer requires you to get a DOT physical, there are a few things to know about the process.
Who Needs a DOT Physical?
If you hold a commercial driver’s license and operate a vehicle for interstate commerce with a weight rating of more than 10,000 pounds, drive a vehicle that holds nine to 15 passengers, or transports hazardous materials, you must receive a valid medical examiner’s certificate. The certificates are valid for up to 24 months, so you‘ll need to have a physical at least every two years, and more often if you suffer from certain health conditions, such as high blood pressure.
Who Can Provide the Exam?
Only licensed medical examiners certified by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration can perform the DOT physical and issue the required certificate. These health care professionals may include family physicians, osteopaths, advanced practice nurses, physician assistants, and chiropractors. The DOT maintains a searchable registry of licensed providers.
What Happens During the Exam?
The examiner will first collect information about your medical history, including whether you’ve experienced hearing and vision problems, psychiatric disorders, epilepsy or seizures, chronic pain, heart disease, or diabetes. You’ll need to provide a list of all the medications you’re currently taking as well. It’s also a good idea to bring glasses or contacts, hearing aids, and blood glucose logs if you have diabetes.
During the physical exam, the health care professional will check your vision, hearing, blood pressure, and pulse. They’ll perform a full-body evaluation (including mouth, throat, heart, lungs, abdomen, and spine) to look for abnormalities. Tests will be given to check for neurological and psychological issues. You will also be required to provide a urine or blood sample for drug testing.
Remember, all of these tests are to ensure your safety while driving, as well as the safety of others who are sharing the road, so it’s important to be truthful with the examiner and provide all the information needed so that an accurate assessment of your health can be made.
If your job requires a DOT physical, let the experienced professionals at Pecos Family Chiropractic & Drug Testing in Pecos, TX, help get you on the road. Their team is dedicated to providing fast, high-quality, and reliable drug testing and physical exam services to all of their clients. To learn more about their wide range of services, call (432) 445-4878, or visit the website to learn more.