If you want to be behind the wheel of your truck, keeping up on DOT physicals is a must. You shouldn’t try and manipulate your test results and 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:
Cut Back on Caffeine and Salt before your DOT physical
Limit your caffeine and salt intake before your physical. You may even want to reduce or cut back on both products a week in advance of your exam.
Caffeine is likely to cause an increased heart rate and higher blood pressure, which are critical parts of your DOT physical. Salt can also increase your blood pressure if you consume too much.
A high heart rate or blood pressure is likely to get test results that could restrict your driving When you’re avoiding salt, don’t forget to check the sodium content on the nutrition label of everything you eat.
Come equipped with medical history during your exam
You’ll always want to go into your DOT physical with any medical information, history, and updates for your provider. That 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 so you’ll come with a full bladder, ready to give 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.
Try to 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.
Ask 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.
However, don’t ever try to delay or skip a DOT physical just because you’re afraid of not passing. If you fail, you can always seek treatment for what made you fail and try a retest later on. And as always, speak with your employer about your situation in the event of a non-passed DOT physical.