Pre-Employment Physical Exams

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    Quick question, I just offered this job and they are making me take a physical. What exactly does this Pre-Employment Physical Exam entail? I just think it's stupid and intrusive.
  2. 19 Comments so far...

  3. 0
    Most of the time it's clearing you and saying that at your current physical condition you're able to do your expected tasks in the way they need to be accomplished.

    Most contain an eye component, I remember specifically colorblind testing. Another was pulmonary function test. Finally they also did a urine screen for illicit drugs and also diabetes. It's to protect them from an employee that is mentally capable of doing the job, but physically incapable of doing the desired tasks efficiently or at all.

    That's the typical case. Some places base your insurance premiums off these items (overweight, diabetes, HTN, etc)
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    Every healthcare employer I've ever encountered does this, and I don't consider it "stupid" or "intrusive." Some of it is mandated by law. What is meant by "pre-employment physical" varies greatly among employers, though -- I've seen everything from the basic drug-screen-plus-TB-test/screening to a full history and physical exam, including routine labs. The drug screening and screening for TB are mandated by law (at least, in the states in which I've worked over my career). Anything beyond that is at the employer's discretion, but they reserve the right to ensure that you're not going to be transmitting anything contagious to clients and that you're physically able to do the job for which you're being hired.

    You can refuse if you feel strongly about it, of course, but, at every place I've ever worked, the offer of employment is contingent upon you passing the physical -- so, no exam, no job.
  5. 0
    Mine just involved a blood pressure screening, TB skin test, brief medical history questionnaire, color-blind test, and urine drug screen, and fitting for an N-95 particulate mask. I think these are very typical of clinical jobs.
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    I can live all the physical stuff I am fit as a fiddle. It is just that I am deathly afraid of needles. I don't mind giving injections to others or drawing blood, but I do not receive them. And i know if they were going to stick me beyond a TB test I would not be able to do it. Fear is a crazy irrational thing.
  7. 0
    Quote from MMurse
    I can live all the physical stuff I am fit as a fiddle. It is just that I am deathly afraid of needles. I don't mind giving injections to others or drawing blood, but I do not receive them. And i know if they were going to stick me beyond a TB test I would not be able to do it. Fear is a crazy irrational thing.
    You may have to present evidence of MMR/Tdap/Varicella vaccination or recent titers. If you haven't had them drawn, it's possible that you'll have to have them drawn. Most hospitals want to know that their caregivers have immunity to the diseases prevented by these vaccines.
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    "And i know if they were going to stick me beyond a TB test I would not be able to do it. Fear is a crazy irrational thing. "

    Just so you know, some employers require you to take annual flu vaccines or provide a note from your PCP as to why you cannot take it. Yes, it's controversial (there's been at least one thread here about it) but it does happen.
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    As most have said previously the "physical" usually consists of health hx, vaccination verification, tb test, drug screen and N95 fitting. I have been through several and they are all some variation of the above. If you do not have proof of vaccinations they will draw titers. Interesting enough now they are including flu vaccine on start of job.
    Being a nurse you know that they need to make sure that the public is safe from us carrying disease and they also wish to protect us from the public. Explain your fear to the person performing the tests they may be able to limit the amount of invasive procedures. i.e. flu vaccine can be given intranasally.
    Last edit by Redhead28 on Sep 5, '10 : Reason: added more information
  10. 1
    Quote from MMurse
    I can live all the physical stuff I am fit as a fiddle. It is just that I am deathly afraid of needles. I don't mind giving injections to others or drawing blood, but I do not receive them. And i know if they were going to stick me beyond a TB test I would not be able to do it. Fear is a crazy irrational thing.
    Please consider seeking professional guidance. Dismissing fear will cost you a job, and in the future, when you may not be quite so fit, may cost you your health.

    No reputable employer will allow you to work without adequate TB surveillance and evidence of immunity/vaccination to certain communicable diseases. This isn't a matter of employer or employee choice, it is a matter of health department requirements.

    Best of luck to you.
    roser13 likes this.
  11. 0
    I got proof of my vaccinations. Trust me they were hell on earth for me, but I got most of them when I was a kid. The hospital I was working at last year fired me because I refused the flu vaccine, which is silly.... trust me I know, but it's like asking me to hold onto a Tarantula. And I am a body builder I'll be fit for quite some time. And as mentioned earlier I don't mind getting a TB test as it does not penetrate deep, and it does not cause me pain.


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