Are you a commercial truck driver or bus driver? If so, then you know just how important your health is for your success and safety on the road. Whether you need a medical card for the first time or you want to renew your current card, you can schedule your medical exam at Preventive Medicine Associates in Camillus, NY. Terry Kelley, our experienced nurse practitioner, is certified to perform New York State Department of Transportation (DOT) physicals in compliance with DOT and FMSCA requirements. Learn more about what to expect before scheduling your exam.
What to Expect
When you arrive for your DOT exam, we’ll start by collecting your recent health history. For this, you’ll need to bring the following:
- Signed and dated Medical Examination Report form (don’t forget to fill out the Driver Information and Health History sections)
- A list of any current medications you take, plus the name and contact number of the doctor who prescribed them
- Medical records for any serious conditions, such as diabetes or cardiac diseases
- A letter from your treating doctor if you take medication for pain, psychiatric conditions, attention deficit disorders or smoking cessation
After that, the nurse practitioner will perform the physical examination, which will involve urine, vision, hearing and blood pressure tests. You must meet the DOT guidelines for each test in order to be deemed medically fit.
Commercial drivers need good vision in order to read traffic signs, monitor road conditions and more. The NYS Department of Transportation requires you to have at least 20/40 acuity in each eye with or without correction. You’ll be asked to sit or stand still and identify letters and numbers on an eye chart. The nurse practitioner will also test the peripheral vision, or side vision, in each eye. Finally, there will be a color test to make sure you can distinguish between the red, green and amber colors of traffic signals.
Note: Be sure to bring your eyeglasses or contact lenses if you have them.
According to the DOT, you must be able to perceive a forced whisper voice at 5 feet or more, with or without a hearing aid. If not, you need to pass a formal hearing test with an audiometer. This is to make sure you’ll be able to hear the sounds of traffic and any information coming in over the radio. Please bring any hearing aid devices with you to the appointment.
Blood Pressure Test
In order to qualify for the 24-month certification, your blood pressure must be less than or equal to 140/90. Individuals whose blood pressure is more than 140/90 but less than 180/110 may qualify for a shorter term certificate.
To help ensure your blood pressure test goes smoothly and delivers accurate results, follow a few simple tips:
- Don’t drink coffee or smoke cigarettes 30 minutes before the test
- Five minutes before the test, sit with your back supported and your feet flat on the ground. Rest your arm on a table at the level of your heart
- Wear short sleeves
- An empty bladder is best so use the bathroom beforehand
We can take two separate readings (two minutes apart) and average the results together. We’ll also be happy to tell you the blood pressure reading in numbers so you can understand it better, as well as answer any questions you might have.
Conditions that Can Disqualify Drivers
Going into the DOT physical exam, it’s important to be aware of some of the common conditions that can disqualify drivers. These may include, but are not limited to: epilepsy, diabetes, alcoholism, use of habit-forming drugs (such as narcotics and amphetamines) and loss or impairment of a limb. You may also be disqualified if you do not pass the vision, hearing or blood pressure tests. Some of these conditions may be eligible for exemption, so be sure to talk to your nurse practitioner at Preventive Medicine Associates for more information.
Schedule Your NYS DOT Medical Exam
Are you ready to take your DOT medical exam? Call 315-487-8190 to schedule your appointment at Preventive Medicine Associates today. We’ll make the exam quick and easy, so you can get back to the rest of your day. Questions? Feel free to contact us now.