Department of Transportation Physicals, or “DOT Physicals,” are a specific type of medical exam that allows truck drivers to renew their license and continue their trucking career uninterrupted. However, many truck drivers may not realize that there are a few ways they can easily get their exam completed and ultimately speed up the commercial driver’s license (CDL) renewal process.
DOT Physicals use both state and federal benchmarks to ensure that truck drivers are healthy enough to operate large trucks and commercial vehicles safely. Drivers generally know if they are still able to continue their trucking career and require a streamlined process for CDL renewal. The good news for drivers is that local walk-in clinics offer a highly convenient resource to get immediate renewals.
So what do DOT physicals require from a driver health-wise in order to pass? What are some ways in which drivers can prepare for their physical to ensure accurate results and an easy pass?
If you want to be behind the wheel of your truck, keeping up on DOT physicals is a must. You won’t want to try and trick your provider into a passing grade, but it does help to adequately prepare:
Avoid foods and beverages that could blood pressure when possible
Managing our diet more extensively before your DOT physical can ensure that your blood pressure meets clinical requires for renewal. Blood pressure and similar cardiovascular disease indicators
Drivers should limit their intake of caffeine, salt, and other high sodium or caffeine foods a week before your physical. Caffeine is likely to cause an increased heart rate and higher blood pressure. Salt and sodium-heavy foods can also increase your blood pressure if you consume too much.
A high heart rate or blood pressure are a surefire way to get disqualified from driving or be given strict driving restrictions that make it harder to find work. In addition, don’t forget to check the sodium content on the nutrition label of everything you eat.
Prepare your medical history and have it ready for review
Bringing in your medical history with any documents related to conditions, medications, etc. so your provider will have a complete picture of your overall health. This allows your provider to determine if you are keeping your overall health under control, which is a significant portion of the DOT exam.
Go into your DOT physical any questions they may have. That includes medications, medical history, and concerns you have for the physician. If you wear glasses you should bring them with you too. Drivers that use corrective lenses can still get a renewal as long as they have up-to-date prescriptions for glasses/contacts.
Make sure to also drink some water before your appointment so you’ll come with a full bladder and ready to provide a urine sample. If you’re on any medications you should take them before the exam begins so that they’re fully in your system and working before the physician comes into the room.
Try and reduce stress before going into your DOT Physical
Just the act of being in a doctor’s office is enough to make many people fail an exam. If you’re stressed out or nervous you’ll have a higher blood pressure and heart rate, which could add a false positive for chronic disease risks. Try to take a deep breath and don’t think about anything going on in your life that adds to your stress.
Before your physical take some time to practice other stress reduction techniques including deep breathing, meditation, and frequent exercise. Additionally, taking a day or two off before your physical may help lowering stress.
Ask your provider questions during your DOT exam
If you’re concerned about the exam you’re receiving, don’t be afraid to ask questions along the way. Unfair or improper examination could lead to you losing your driving abilities and your career. If all else fails, get a second opinion from a different physician.
Don’t delay or try to skip a DOT physical just because you’re afraid of not passing. If you fail, you can always seek treatment for what made you fail and try to retest and re-certify at a later date. Speak with your current employer about restricted positions available in the event of a failed DOT physical.
Where can drivers around Denver, CO find DOT physicals near them?
If you’re located around Denver, CO make sure to visit any one of our AFC Urgent Care locations in the city. Patients can always find care around Denver Speer, Cherry Creek, Highland, and Baker whenever they require care. If you need care ASAP, please use the map below to find your closet AFC Denver walk-in clinic location!