DOT Physicals Columbia, MD
The Department of Transportation’s physical exam is necessary for prospective Maryland truck drivers and bus drivers. This examination is commonly referred to as the DOT physical. Required by federal law, this physical exam is meant to gauge whether you are fit to operate a commercial motor vehicle. After all, those who operate such massive commercial vehicles bear a significant responsibility. Add in the exhausting schedule, the long hours and stress and it is easy to understand why the government requires truck and bus drivers to pass this exam. Our urgent care center near Columbia, OUCH Urgent Care, is here to administer this test and hopefully get you on the road in as little time as possible.
The Basics of the DOT Physical
Rules and regulations for the safe operation of commercial vehicles are dictated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). There are also state regulations unique to Maryland and other states. The purpose of the DOT physical in Columbia, MD is to gauge your health, mental fitness and even your emotional intelligence to determine if you can withstand the rigors of professional driving.
The FMCSA’s rules state every commercial driver must have a certificate of good health. Meet with our Columbia urgent care medical professionals for your DOT physical and we will provide you with this certificate as long as you are in good health. The results of the exam will not be legitimate unless the medical professional who conducts it is a member of the FMCSA National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners. Our team has the training necessary to determine whether prospective truckers and bus drivers are healthy enough to safely operate such large vehicles.
About the DOT Physical Exam
In order to pass a DOT physical exam, you must be able to identify color as necessary, have 20/40 correctable vision in both eyes and combined (glasses and contacts are allowed), a max blood pressure of 160/100 and a blood sugar below 200. Those who have blood pressure above 160/100 can rely on prescription medication to lower this level and ultimately work as a truck or bus driver. Those found with a schedule 1 drug in their system will fail the test. It is important to note diabetes is not a deal-breaker unless it is controlled through injections of insulin.
It is also interesting to note candidates must be able to hear a forced whisper from a length of at least five feet. Those who are diagnosed with a cardiovascular disease such as cardiac insufficiency or collapse must also provide the medical professional performing the test with a stress test. These candidates will also be forced to provide a note from a treating physician stating they are capable of operating a commercial vehicle without any restriction.
DOT Physical Exams Require a Urine Sample
There is a common misconception the DOT physical mandates a urine test as a drug screen. Those who employ truckers or bus drivers do not want someone getting high before or during work. However, the real reason a urine sample is provided for the DOT physical is that the doctor needs a means of screening the kidneys for possible medical conditions. Though the DOT physical exam does not necessarily include a drug test, the trucker’s employer might request a drug screen to be performed during the physical. This screen typically accounts for the presence of cocaine, marijuana, opiates, amphetamines and phencyclidine.