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How to Prepare Before a DOT Physical

Truck drivers looking to renew their Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) want to do so in a manner that is quick, efficient, and easy so their trucking career isn’t heavily interrupted. A big part of CDL renewal includes getting an updated DOT physical.

The DOT physical is designed to ensure that all truck drivers are healthy enough to operate large commercial vehicles. All truck drivers at any experience level are required to get updated DOT physicals in order to renew their license.

Unless you have a significant health issue, getting a DOT physical is a fairly simple and straightforward process: simply visit a local walk-in clinic or urgent care center for renewal. However, there are some ways to prepare for the physical to ensure you won’t need a re-test and even more delays in your CDL renewal:

Avoid caffeine and other foods that elevate blood pressure

An important part of the the DOT physical is evaluating any potential chronic diseases by measuring weight, cholesterol, and blood pressure. To avoid an inaccurate reading, make sure that you avoid certain foods that raise blood pressure.

The main foods that come to mind include coffee and anything that has high sodium. These foods could unnecessarily inflate your average blood pressure and add further delays in your CDL renewal. Before your physical try eating foods and drinking beverages that are more balanced, low-sodium, and low-caffeine.

Bring a list of your medications and similar health information

Drivers with certain chronic conditions, corrected vision, and other potentially failing medical status can still pass if they show the examiner these conditions are properly treated.

Specifically, drivers will want to bring in a list of the current medications and medical history to get the proper exemption or distinction during the DOT physical. Drivers with properly corrected vision, controlled health conditions, and medication adherence are still able to pass and renew their CDL.

The more information that your bring to your doctor’s office your chance of getting an accurate physical assessment increases.

Use personal time to de-stress before your exam

Stress is a clinically-relevant factor that can lead to higher-than-normal blood pressure, which could impact the results of your DOT Physical.

When possible, try and take some time off work or other appointments to relax before your exam. Find activities that are calming such as reading, deep breathing, or general rest to lower your stress levels. Additionally, try and avoid stressful encounters or events when possible.

If you can’t take time off and need an urgent care center that offers flexible hours, try visiting AFC Urgent Care North Andover for fast and immediate DOT physicals!