Primary Care & Aesthetic Medicine

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Pre-Employment or Work Physical

What is a Pre-Employment or Work Physical Exam For?

Pre-employment or work physical exams are becoming the norm in many industries. Once restricted to industries with a high incidence of worksite-related accidents, more and more employers are now seeing the advantages of requesting them.

While it might seem that employment exams only benefit the employer, the truth is that they have benefits for the worker as well. What kind of benefits? Well, for starters, the exams ensure that you are in good health and able to do the job you’re being hired for. The company is protecting itself against liability claims by doing this, but it’s also protecting you by confirming you’re in good physical shape and mentally capable of doing the job.

What Exactly Does the Pre-Employment Physical Exam Cover?

The first step in your employment or work exam is a general physical exam, where your vital signs will be checked and a nurse will write down your medical history. You will also have a basic hearing and vision test to confirm that you can see properly (with or without glasses) and that you are not colorblind (essential in some industries). In most cases, wearing glasses or contacts is fine, as long as your vision meets the required minimum while you’re wearing them.

Drug and Alcohol Tests

 Companies have a right to request a drug and/or alcohol test from potential employees. These are often an important part of a pre-employment exam in professions where abuse of drugs or alcohol severely increases the risk of accidents, such as long-distance driving or operating heavy machinery.

Drug testing is done either urine analysis or hair analysis, while a breathalyzer can be a quick way to check for alcohol presence in the blood. Blood tests are commonly used to test for both alcohol and drugs. It’s also possible to check for certain substances through a mouth swab. Sometimes a combination of tests is necessary to rule out the presence of different drugs as well as alcohol.

Special Tests

Depending on the job you want to perform, a company might ask for additional, specific tests. For example, you might need to undergo a Physical Abilities Tests (PATs), which checks your pull and grip strength. This is important for jobs that require lifting or carrying heavy objects. In some cases, a physical therapist might need to participate in the test too to ensure the health of your spine or joints.

Special-request tests are not usually part of the typical pre-employment exam, but if you have concerns or questions, you should find out in advance what the exam will entail so you can be prepared.

What the Exam Cannot Check For

To keep the test nondiscriminatory, the exam cannot include any test that invades person privacy or tests for a disability. Potential employees cannot be discriminated based on preexisting medical conditions, either, unless those conditions directly interfere with the job performance.

One exception to the rule is medical jobs, where you might need to undergo infectious disease testing. Here, the provider can check for hepatitis, HIV and other diseases that could put people at risk when you’re working in direct contact with them.

Schedule your employment physical today. Same or next-day appointment available