The Department of Transportation (DOT) requires all commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers to have a DOT physical to ensure they are physically qualified to operate a CMV. The physical must be performed by a DOT medical examiner.
DOT physicals are an important part of keeping commercial drivers safe on the road. The DOT physical follows guidelines established by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). During a DOT physical, a certified medical examiner will check your health numbers, such as your blood pressure, heart rate, vision, and hearing, among other things. The examiner will also ask questions about your medical history and identify any medical conditions that could affect your ability to drive safely. Drivers must pass all aspects of the DOT physical in order to be cleared for driving duties. A DOT physical is critical to becoming a commercial driver.
Here are 4 things to avoid when getting a DOT physical.
1. Choosing The Wrong DOT Physical Provider
First and foremost, anyone who needs to undergo a DOT physical should make sure that they get their DOT physicals from a licensed, certified, and registered DOT medical examiner. Use the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners, or call the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) at (202) 366-4001 to check for a DOT medical examiner located near you. Seeing the wrong provider will result in wasted time on your part, as a DOT physical cannot be completed by just anyone.
2. Not Being Forthright with the Medical Examiner
Second, you should be honest with the medical examiner about your health history and any medications you are currently taking, and be prepared to discuss your medical conditions. The medical examiner is not there to judge you, but rather to ensure that you are healthy enough to safely operate a commercial vehicle. Also, just because you have a medical condition, doesn’t mean you will fail the exam. The important thing is to have your health and chronic medical conditions under control – which is what the examiner will be assessing.
3. Forgetting Important Documents for the DOT Physical
Third, make sure to bring important health records and reports to your DOT physical appointment. A DOT physical includes a vision and hearing test, which means you should bring eyeglasses, contact lenses, and hearing aids with you to the clinic. If you have diabetes, take your latest Hemoglobin A1C (HgAIC) lab results. If you have heart disease, you should bring the latest report from your cardiologist.
4. Being Unprepared for the DOT Physical
Finally, and most importantly, you must remember to prepare for your DOT physical by avoiding caffeinated and sugary food and drinks at least 24 hours before the exam. Eat smaller meals and avoid putting too much salt in your food, as sugar, salt, and caffeine can increase your blood pressure and heart rate. In addition, try to get eight hours of sleep before your test. It’s important to be alert and present during your appointment to best engage with the provider.
Schedule Your DOT Physical in King, NC
Cardinal Urgent Care in King, NC provides a variety of physical exams, including the DOT physical. Our providers are licensed and certified DOT medical examiners, who are compassionate and caring toward our patients. Cardinal Urgent Care is committed to providing convenient and affordable medical services to our patients.
Our friendly and helpful staff is more than happy to help you prepare for your exam. Call our office today at (336) 983-9111 for any questions or to schedule your DOT physical. You can also use our online appointment request form.