What is DOT physical examination?
The Department of Transportation is committed to ensuring that individuals who operate commercial vehicles do so safely. Prior to driving a commercial motor vehicle, the government required that all drivers undergo a medical examination conducted by a Certified Medical Examiner (CME). The exam is intended to determine if an individual can meet the severe demands of the work. All truck drivers are required by law to pass a DOT physical examination before getting behind the wheel of a large rig. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has established several mental and physical health standards that truck drivers must adhere to in order to satisfy the rigors of a truck driving profession. At all times, all professional truck drivers must maintain an up-to-date Department of Transportation physical certification. It is essential to adhere to the DOT physical requirements in order to guarantee both the truck driver’s and other motorists’ safety on the road.
A DOT physical examination includes the following:
- Blood pressure readings
- Urinary analysis
- Hearing Vision
- Physical examination in general
Blood pressure monitoring is a critical component of the DOT physical criteria. Although high blood pressure presents with minimal symptoms, it may result in severe consequences. A motorist who maintains an average blood pressure level will guarantee their health and safety, as well as the security of others.
These criteria, on the other hand, may benefit anybody in any career. Maintaining a healthy blood pressure level may help lower a person’s chance of developing heart disease, a heart attack or a stroke. It will contribute to an increase in general well-being.
How to prepare for DOT physical examination
- 24 hours before your scheduled DOT physical, abstain from energy drinks and coffee.
Caffeinated beverages have the potential to elevate your blood pressure, resulting in permanent restriction or disqualification. For example, if your blood pressure rises over 120/80 (roughly 140/90) the findings of your DOT health check will be negative. For this prepare by abstaining from caffeinated beverages and stimulants such as coffee, tea, soda, and energy drinks as well as some cold and allergy medicines.
- Reduce your salt consumption for one week before your DOT test. Excessive salt consumption may increase blood pressure. Processed foods, salty meats such as beef, sausages, chips, and canned products are the primary sources of salt. These are the meals you should avoid a week before your DOT physical to avoid developing high blood pressure.
- Get a good night sleep and rise early to avoid feeling hurried. Ensure that you have a decent night’s sleep before your DOT physical to ensure that you feel calm. If you arrive at the facility feeling hurried, weary or even exhausted this may have a significant impact on your health and blood pressure.
- Avoid large meals before your DOT physical. This is critical, even more so for people who have diabetes. A big meal before your DOT physical results in sugar overflowing into your urine test, which may result in an abnormal urinalysis. As a result, consume something light and nutritious.
Additionally, drink lots of cool water to stay hydrated and give a urine specimen; doing so also helps to decrease your blood pressure.
Blood pressure requirement for DOT physical exam
One-year DOT medical certification: a maximum of 140-159 points and a minimum of 90-99 points. This is, however, stage 1 hypertension, and the driver should seek treatment to get their blood pressure down.
DOT medical certification for two years: blood pressure less than 140/90
Temporary DOT certification for three months: with a peak number of 160-179 and a bottom number of 100-109. Blood pressure medication may be suggested, and the driver’s blood pressure may be rechecked for a one-year certification once it has decreased.
When a person’s blood pressure is 180/110 or above, he or she cannot obtain a DOT medical certification. This is referred to as stage three hypertension. The physician may suggest treatment alternatives, and the driver may be retested for a six-month accreditation at a later date.
If a person has type 1 or type 2 diabetes or renal disease, their blood pressure must be treated more than 130/80. These drivers have a greater chance of developing heart disease.
How to reduce blood pressure
- Shed excess pounds and keep an eye on your waistline. Obesity or being overweight raises your chances of getting hypertension. Weight loss is more beneficial for individuals who are obese and already have hypertension.
- Maintain a regular exercise regime. Even as little as 10-15 minutes of exercise each day may help you lose weight and tone up, as well as enhance your general fitness and health. According to research, a 15-minute workout that included only one minute of high-intensity activity had the same advantages as 45 minutes of running.
- Salt may raise blood pressure and the DOT has stringent limits, begin reducing your salt consumption a week before your physical. This will assist in stabilizing your blood pressure rather than causing it to rise excessively. Avoid salty foods (potato chips, pretzels and french fries for example) and do not season your meal with salt.
- Cutting back caffeine and smoking can also help improve your blood pressure. Don’t drink caffeine or smoke a cigarette just before your physical. They can immediately raise your blood pressure.
- Consume potassium-rich foods like beets, bananas, potatoes, spinach, melons, lentils, and avocados.
- If you take blood pressure medication, ensure that you do not run out and take it on time. If you forget to take your medication or are late, attempt to reschedule or postpone your physical until you have taken it and allowed it to work. If you are unable to reschedule, notify the medical examiner.
- Increase your calcium intake. Consume low-fat dairy products, broccoli, kale, and almonds, as well as foods that are high in magnesium such as avocados, nuts, legumes, seeds, whole grains, and dark chocolate.
- Reduce your level of stress. When confronted with a stressful circumstance, our bodies respond by releasing stress hormones into the bloodstream (adrenaline and cortisol). These hormones react by speeding up the heart and restricting blood arteries to redirect blood flow to the center of the body rather than the extremities.