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DOT Physicals Specialist

Kimberlee D Decker, DNP, APRN, FNP-BC -  - Family Nurse Practitioner

Total Family Care

Kimberlee D Decker, DNP, APRN, FNP-BC

Family Nurse Practitioner & Family Practice located in Lewistown, MT

People who work in commercial transportation often need specialized physical exams called DOT physicals. For those in and around Lewistown, Montana, Kimberlee Decker, DNP, APRN, FNP-BC, of Total Family Care is an outstanding resource for these examinations. Booking a visit online or by phone takes just moments.

DOT Physicals Q&A

What are DOT physicals?

A Department of Transportation (DOT) physical is a specialized physical exam required in order to drive a commercial vehicle. This requirement is set by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and is intended to increase public safety. 

If any of the following circumstances apply, you’ll likely need to have a DOT physical before beginning to transport other people:

  • Driving a vehicle that can carry 15 or more people
  • Accepting payment to drive eight or more people
  • Driving a vehicle on the interstate that weighs more than 10,000 pounds
  • Transporting any material that requires the display of a hazardous material placard

There’s no need to learn the rules on when you might need a DOT exam. You’ll be advised to schedule one during the hiring process or as part of your ongoing employment requirements. 

What happens during a DOT physical?

Many aspects of a DOT physical are similar to your annual physical exams. That said, it’s important to understand that not every medical practitioner is authorized to perform DOT physical exams. 

Some of the things to expect during your DOT physical exam include checks of your:

  • Height and weight
  • Blood pressure 
  • Nervous system
  • Skin
  • Ears
  • Nose and throat
  • Extremities and joints 
  • Lungs and chest

These are just some of the aspects of a DOT physical exam. However, urinalysis is also a standard part of a DOT exam. This screening checks protein and sugar levels, as well as specific gravity. In addition, if you show signs of sleep apnea, including loud snoring, you may need further screening for this condition.

What kinds of conditions will cause me to “fail” my DOT physical exam?

The purpose of the DOT physical is to determine if you have a health condition that might make it unsafe for you to drive or transport other people. While “failing” a DOT physical can be disappointing, detecting signs of a serious health issue empowers you to take action to preserve your overall health.

Some of the conditions that can cause you not to pass a DOT physical exam include:

  • Uncontrolled high blood pressure
  • Uncontrolled diabetes
  • Seizure disorder
  • Vision loss that cannot be corrected
  • Certain respiratory conditions 
  • Signs of kidney disease
  • Hearing loss that cannot be corrected

As you can see, some of these conditions can be treated and effectively controlled. You may be able to make lifestyle improvements and begin medical treatment that will allow you to pass your next DOT physical exam. 

If you are uninsured, self-pay options are available. 

If you have additional questions or need to book your DOT physical examination for commercial or non-commercial drivers, call today or use the online booking tool to schedule a visit at Total Family Care.