Bayside Urgent Care Center makes every effort to support our community. One of the ways we do this is by offering Department of Transportation (DOT) physicals to commercial drivers.
A DOT physical is required for those who carry a commercial driver’s license (CDL) such as truck drivers and bus drivers. DOT physicals have a strict set of guidelines that have been provided by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to ensure that drivers who are operating large vehicles on busy streets are healthy enough to work and to protect the safety of the general public. DOT physicals can only be completed by a medical examiner. A Medical examiner is a medical provider who has completed training and has been certified by the FMSCSA.
Sometimes the process of getting a DOT physical can be overwhelming to both drivers and their employers. Below is some helpful information to better prepare you for your DOT physical.
Before the Exam
To help the exam go as smoothly as possible, we recommend that you fill out your health history form before arriving at the clinic. You should bring a detailed medical history including prior surgeries and a list of any daily medications that you take. It is also important to bring corrective lenses or hearing aids if you use them while driving. The forms needed for your exam can be found on fmcsa.dot.gov/registration.
During the Exam
After arriving at the clinic and checking in with our friendly front desk staff, you will be roomed by a medical assistant at which time your vitals will be taken along with your height and weight. The medical examiner will then come into the room to begin your exam. Major components of the exam include:
- Visual Acuity – Drivers must have a visual acuity of at least 20/40 in each eye individually and both eyes together. Corrective lenses may be worn. Peripheral vision is also tested and must be at least 70 degrees in both eyes.
- Color Vision – Color vision is tested to ensure that you can distinguish between the colors of traffic signals and road signs.
- Hearing – Drivers must be able to pass the “whispered word test” which is performed by recalling words that are whispered from a distance of at least 5 feet.
- Blood pressure – Drivers must have a blood pressure equal to or below 140/90 to obtain full certification. Sometimes temporary certifications are given if blood pressure is above 140/90 but it is on a case-to-case basis and is only temporary until blood pressure is reduced to the appropriate range.
- Urinalysis – Drivers must provide a urine sample which the medical provider will use to determine if there are any underlying diseases such as diabetes or kidney disease. If there are abnormalities in the urinalysis, sometimes further testing with blood work is needed.
- Physical exam – 14 different body systems will be examined which include: general, skin, eyes, ears, mouth/throat, cardiovascular, chest/lungs, abdomen, genitourinary system (hernias), back/spine, extremities/joints, neurological system including reflexes, gait, and vascular system.
After all components of the physical exam are complete, the medical examiner will decide whether or not the driver is certified. They must also determine the length of time that the certification is valid. The longest period of time the driver can be certified for is 2 years before returning to have a re-certification exam. But shorter intervals such as 3 months or 1 year are often necessary depending on the exam findings.
We are very excited to offer this service to the community. With our thorough and friendly approach, we help to put you at ease while you go through the process of completing your DOT physical. Remember, no appointment is necessary, and you can come at any time that is convenient for you, even during our weekend hours!
Bayside Urgent Care is your alternative to the high costs and long waits at hospital emergency rooms. We believe that excellent healthcare should be affordable, and it’s our goal to never rush patients.
We are conveniently located in Clearwater, Florida. The center is only a short drive from nearby Clearwater Beach, Largo, Belleair, Dunedin, Countryside, Safety Harbor, Palm Harbor, and Indian Rocks Beach.