DOT physicals ensure that you can continue your commercial truck driving career with minimal interruption. It is essential to also prepare for physicals to ensure your test results are accurate and don’t conflict.
But you shouldn’t try and manipulate your test results and accurately pass the physical if there’s actually something wrong with you. However, you’ll want to make sure that you test results are not improperly skewed against you.
Prepare for your DOT physicals with these tips:
Ask any questions about your medical conditions and the physical
If you’re concerned about the exam you’re receiving, don’t be afraid to ask questions along the way. A DOT physical can determine if you hit any snags or difficulties in your commercial trucking career. If all else fails, try going to a second physical to get a second opinion.
But don’t ever try to delay or skip a DOT physical just because you’re afraid of not passing. If you fail, try to get treatment for any unaddressed medical conditions that caused you to fail. And as always, speak with your employer just in case you don’t pass on your first physical.
Lower Caffeine and Salt Intake before your DOT physical
Cut back and lower your caffeine and salt intake before your physical. A good benchmark to start with is at least a week in advance before your physical.
Caffeine can lead to increased heart rate and higher blood pressure, which are critical parts of your DOT physical. Salt can also increase your blood pressure especially if you have a sodium-heavy diet.
A high heart rate or blood pressure is likely to get test results that could lead to a delay in your CDL renewal. When you’re avoiding salt, don’t forget to check the sodium content on the nutrition label of everything you eat.
Bring in information about medical history for your DOT Physical
You’ll always want to go into your DOT physical with any medical information, history, and updates for your provider. Types of information you’ll need includes medications, medical history, and concerns you have for the physician.
If you wear glasses you should bring them with you too. Drink some water before your appointment in order 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.
These pieces of information help your doctor know if you still qualify to drive a commercial vehicle. For example, drivers that have glasses or corrected vision can still drive if they meet current requirements.
Relax and lower your stress level before your exam
Stress has been clinically proven to contribute to a variety of healthcare problems including higher blood pressure and other chronic disease indicators.
If you’re stressed out or nervous you’ll have a higher blood pressure and heart rate, which could cause inaccurate and lower-than-optimal results. Try to take deep breaths and don’t think about anything going on in your life that adds to your stress.
Additionally, some self-care and wellness techniques including meditation, deep breathing, and even planning day offs in advance can help to lower stress.