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Healthy Workplace: Pre-Employment Physical Check-up

Doctor or radiologist looking at an x-ray online displayed on a desktop monitor as he makes a diagnosis or checks prognosis
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Most employers require pre-employment physical check-ups these days to ensure that their employees are in good health and can handle the physical demands of the job. However, many people don’t know what to expect when they check in. This could lead to anxiety and even a feeling of unpreparedness.

So, having a good understanding of what to expect during a pre-employment physical check-up can help you feel more relaxed and confident. Here is a rundown of the most common procedures and tests conducted during these check-ups.

Medical History Review

The first thing that will happen during your pre-employment physical check-up is that the doctor will review your medical history. They will ask about any previous injuries or illnesses and any medications you are currently taking.

Be prepared to answer these questions honestly and accurately. Providing false information could result in you not getting the job, or worse, getting injured on the job.

If you’re worried about a pre-existing condition affecting your chances of getting the job, talk to the doctor ahead of time. They may be able to provide you with a note or other documentation that will help put your potential employer’s mind at ease.

You should also know that your medical history is confidential and will not be shared with your potential employer without your permission. In that case, you can be confident that they will not release information that you’re not comfortable sharing.

Vital Signs Check

A doctor or nurse will take your vital signs, including checking your blood pressure, heart rate, and temperature. It is a routine procedure conducted on all patients, regardless of the reason for their visit.

This information is important as they give the doctor a general idea of your current state of health. Plus, it provides them with a baseline to compare to if you were ever to get sick or injured while on the job.

There is no need to be nervous about this part of the check-up, as it is painless and only takes a few minutes. However, you might want to avoid eating or drinking anything caffeinated beforehand, as this can interfere with the accuracy of your vital signs.

Physical Examination

The physical examination is the part of the check-up where the doctor will assess your general physical health. It often includes a series of tests, such as:

Checking your weight and height

The medical personnel will check your weight and height to determine if you are a healthy weight for your height. This information is important as being overweight or obese can put you at risk for developing health problems, such as diabetes and heart disease. If you are overweight or obese, the doctor may recommend losing weight before starting the job.

Listening to your heart and lungs

The doctor will listen to your heart and lungs with a stethoscope to check for abnormal sounds. It is important as it can help to identify any underlying cardiovascular or respiratory problems. If they found something unusual, you may need further testing to determine the cause.

Testing your vision and hearing

Most jobs require that you have good vision and hearing. The doctor will likely test both of these senses during the physical examination.

A vision test is conducted by reading from a chart while standing a certain distance away. On the other hand, a hearing test is conducted using an audiometer. This machine allows the doctor to measure how well you can hear different sound frequencies.


Laboratory Tests

The doctor may also order some laboratory tests, such as urine or blood tests. These tests help assess your overall health and identify any underlying medical conditions.

For example, a urine test can check for signs of diabetes, kidney disease, and urinary tract infections. A blood test can check your cholesterol levels, liver function, and iron levels.

If you have any concerns about these tests, ask the doctor ahead of time. They will be able to explain what the tests are looking for and why they are necessary.

Drug Test

Lastly, you may get asked to take a drug test. This test ensures that you are not using illegal drugs and do not have any substance abuse problems.

A drug testing facility such as Butterfield Onsite Drug Testing will provide you with a urine sample cup and instructions on how to collect your sample. Once you have collected your sample, you will need to seal it and bring it back to the facility. They will then send off the sample to a laboratory for analysis.

Depending on the results, you may get asked to take a second drug test. It usually happens if the first test is positive for drugs or if there are concerns about your level of drug use.

A pre-employment physical check-up is present to assess your overall health and fitness for the job. It usually involves taking your medical history, physical examinations, laboratory tests, and drug tests. While other companies may have different requirements, these are the most common tests you can expect to undergo.

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