If you had a free day to look out your window and count white delivery vans, you would probably lose count pretty quickly in most neighborhoods. Online purchases have exploded during the pandemic, and delivery services have had to turn to plain rental vans and unpainted new vehicles to keep up with the demand. The package delivery boom has driven demand for drivers as well. In 2019, the Bureau of Labor Statistics counted around 1.5 million delivery drivers — a number that has surely risen with the pandemic.
Delivery driver jobs typically pay well, around $15/hour, and often don’t require a college degree. But what do you need to do to join the ranks of the white van captains? To get officially licensed, you’ll need to pass a DOT (Department of Transportation) physical to get behind the wheel.
If you’re ready to start your delivery career, come see the team at Qvita Health & Wellness. Our CEO and leader, Panagiota (Peggy) Demetriou, ARNP, FNP-BC, is proud to offer a wide range of primary care services, including DOT physicals.
Today, we’ll explain everything you need to know about a DOT physical — why you may need one, and how you can prepare.
Why a DOT physical?
The Department of Transportation’s mission is to ensure the United States has the safest, most efficient and modern transportation system in the world. If you have a job that is deemed safety-sensitive by the DOT, meaning your job can impact both your own safety and the safety of the public, you’re required to have a physical to remain compliant and able to work. A DOT physical basically confirms that you are in good enough health to work safely.
What’s covered in a DOT physical
The main portion of a DOT physical is the actual physical exam. However, during the physical you can also expect the following tests:
- Vision testing
- Drug testing/urinalysis
- Hearing testing
- Cardiovascular/blood pressure screening
- Brain and neurological screening
Some states require different tests and screenings, so check with local websites or offices before coming in to see us.
The physical exam
The physical exam is generally made up of 12 different categories:
- General appearance
- Mouth and throat
- Lungs and chest
- Abdomen and viscera
- Spine, other musculoskeletal
Your DOT physical will be completed by a team member who has been certified by the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration), a regulatory agency.
As with most physicals, you want to avoid eating a big meal before your appointment. Keep it to water after dinner the night before. Those with certain medical issues need to bring the following to their appointment:
- Drivers with vision or hearing problems must bring their eyeglasses, contacts, or hearing aids.
- Drivers with diabetes must bring the most recent lab results and blood sugar logs.
- Drivers with heart issues must bring a letter from their cardiologist that outlines their medical history and current medications.
You should also bring medical records and a list of all the prescription medications you take, including dosage and timing, as well as medication names.
You don’t have to wait for your chance to get on the road. Call or book an appointment at our Wesley Chapel office today.