Preparing for Your DOT Physical

Preparing for Your DOT Physical

The health of commercial drivers matters. As a professional licensed to drive large trucks or other heavy vehicles, you need to be fit enough to operate your vehicle safely. That's why the United States Department of Transportation (DOT) requires paperwork signed by a DOT Certified Medical Examiner stating that you're in sufficiently good health for the job.

The paperwork that’s necessary to apply for a commercial driver's license (CDL) can be confusing, and some people even put off their physical until the last minute. Our experts at Nation’s Best Family Health Care of Panama City, FL can help you expedite your application process. Let our team help you with your DOT physical.

Why do I need a DOT physical?

Whether you're applying for a CDL for the first time or maintaining a current license, you'll need to get a DOT physical exam. Operating heavy machinery over long periods of time can put your health and the safety and lives of others at risk. That's why health screenings, including your physical, mental, and emotional health, are an important part of the application process.

At your DOT physical, we can certify that you don't have factors immediately disqualifying you for a CDL. We can evaluate the safety of any sensory aids, like eyeglasses or hearing aids, that you currently use. We also screen for compliance with drug-related regulations within the industry.

Preparing for your appointment

In the weeks and days before your physical, if you’re not already eating a nutritious diet and exercising regularly, begin to incorporate these healthy practices to maintain or improve your health. Get plenty of sleep ahead of your appointment, so you feel your best for your exam.

You'll need to gather some documentation before your DOT physical. You should bring:

During your DOT physical, you'll need to give a urine sample, so you should also plan to arrive well-hydrated. However, we recommend that you not eat a large meal right before your appointment, particularly if you have diabetes, as this may affect your results. 

Do take all of your regular medications first thing in the morning on the day of your appointment, giving them plenty of time to be in full effect.

What to expect during your appointment

A DOT physical can typically be completed with just one quick appointment, getting you in, out, and on the road as smoothly as possible. Our qualified team reviews your health history and performs a thorough physical examination. 

We'll ask you about any medications you take, and any pre-existing conditions like heart problems, diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, or mental illness.

You may need copies of recent tests, lists of medications, or letters of compliance, to address ongoing medical or mental health concerns. If you don't achieve the results you desire from your DOT physical, you have the right to seek a second opinion.

To schedule your DOT physical and renew or obtain or CDL, get in touch with us today. You can send us a message online, or give us a call at 850-481-1101.

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