The services listed below are sometimes necessary for work, school and legal purposes.
- Drug Tests
- Pre-Employment Physicals
- Respiratory Evaluations
- Work Injuries
- DOT Drug Screens
- DOT Breathalyzers
- Hepatitis A Series
- Hepatitis B Series
- TDAP (diphtheria, pertussis, (whooping cough) and Tetanus)
- Tetanus Updates
- Wellness Services (Blood Pressure Checks, Diabetes Screening, and Cholesterol Checks)
Drug Tests (Results in 15 minutes)
It is now possible to get tested for drugs in as little as fifteen minutes! These rapid tests basically involve taking a sample of your urine and then transferring it to a system that can check the contents. There are various systems on the market, but they all adhere to the standards that have been setup by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Typically, this checking takes the form of test strips that simply have to be dipped into the urine in order to decide on whether or not a particular drug is present.
There are both legal and job specific reasons why an employer may require a pre-employment physical. The legal reasons could be for example where a company has more than 15 employees, and may have to conduct a pre-employment physical in order to check that they are complying with all disability legislation. A job specific reason could be for example if you were looking to pursue a job as a sportsman or woman. It would be reasonable for the team who are looking to hire you to request a pre-employment physical before they actually signed you on a contract to check that you can do the job and are not injured in any way.
A respiratory physical exam is designed to check both the general health and overall function of the respiratory system. The respiratory rate does actually fall with age, and so any Doctor who is carrying out the checks needs to do so with the parameters of the age group that they are checking in mind. A respiratory exam will also look at such things as the pulse rate and the blood pressure of the person being checked. These checks can either be part of a wider medical examination, or they can sometimes be to check for specific conditions like lung disease.
Spirometry is a test that is used to measure lung function or more specifically the flow of air in and out of a person’s lungs when they breathe. These tests are particularly useful if a Doctor believes that someone’s lung function is impaired, or they want to check to see if there is a problem with the respiratory system. There are also certain conditions, like cystic fibrosis, asthma and pulmonary fibrosis that show up on spirometry tests. The literal meaning of Spirometry is in fact “the measuring of breath”, and this is accomplished with the aid of a device called a Spirometer that the patient has to breathe into.
Injuries at work in the United States have actually been falling steadily in the last ten years. The Health and Safety Executive (HSA) publishes statistics that show that there have been 4% fewer injuries overall reported by employers between the period of 2003 and 2012, and that self-reported injuries (where the employee reports them) have fallen by 6% in the same period. The number of work injuries is then on the decline in the United States. This is good news, but there were nevertheless still 591,000 workers who had an injury at work in 2011/12 in the United States that meant they were absent from work for a period of over 3 days.
DOT Drug Screens
The Department of Transportation in the United States has a policy of requiring drug screening for drivers. It was designed with the aim in mind of making sure that no one who drives a vehicle in the United States does so under the influence of any banned drug. This process of testing began in 1989, and it is a measure of the influence that the test has had that when it was first instigated 18% of the truck drivers who were tested were found to be positive for marijuana, cocaine or amphetamines. This rate has dropped considerably over the years as a result of the DOT Drug Screening Program.
DOT Breathalyzers refers to breathalyzers that meet the standards of the Department of Transportation in the United States. This is important, because if you are considering purchasing a breathalyzer for your personal use, then you need to be using one that is measuring your blood alcohol levels in the same way as the device that a police officers would. This also means that if your own breathalyzer meets these standards then you also potentially have the possibility of using the readings from that breathalyzer in court, should the need arise. This could happen for example if you were caught up in an accident and wanted to prove that you hadn’t been drinking.
Hepatitis B Series (OSHA required for some employees)
The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) recommends that some employees have a Hepatitis B Series of vaccinations. Some such people could be people who are the designated first aider in a company and trained to be the first responder in the event of there being an accident. It is also a requirement for medical practitioners and anyone who has exposure to blood in their work. The best advice if you are in a company is to see that your medical officer has the vaccination.
Hepatitis A Series
The Hepatitis A Series vaccination is a necessity if you are thinking of travelling to many parts of the developing world where cases are more prevalent. It is thought that there are 1.5 million cases of Hepatitis A worldwide, and yet there are four currently used vaccinations that can be used on anyone over the age of one-year of age. Hepatitis A is a disease of the liver, and has an incubation period of generally around 28 days, so can spread fast. It is recommended particularly to get a Hepatitis A Series if you are homosexual or have chronic liver disease, as these groups are highly susceptible to catching the disease.
TDAP (diphtheria, pertussis, (whooping cough) and Tetanus)
The TDAP Vaccine offers protection against three different diseases. Specifically, pertussis (more commonly referred to as “whopping cough”), diphtheria and tetanus. This is normally administered to pre-teens at around the age of 11 or 12, and then there is generally a booster shot given later to ensure that it remains viable. This is an important vaccination for children to receive, because all three of these diseases have bacterial infection at the heart of how they are spread. This is such things as cuts and grazes, which clearly children are more prone to, and so it is important to make sure they are protected.
Tetanus as a disease is caused by bacteria that live in manure, saliva, soil and dust getting into open wounds or cuts. This can be from something as simple as cutting your finger and then proceeding to do some gardening. So, as you can imagine before the tetanus vaccine it used to be one of the most common disease that people would get. It is characterized by a tightening of the muscles, and it is possible to get lockjaw, which, in extreme cases, could even lead to suffocation. The Tetanus Vaccine itself is very effective, but its protection does wane over time, and every ten years you should be sure to get a Tetanus Update, or booster to keep its effectiveness high.
Wellness Services (Blood Pressure Checks, Diabetes Screening, and Cholesterol Checks)
Wellness Services is the name given to a whole series of checks and screenings that are carried out on a routine basis to ensure that someone continues to be healthy and well. These would typically include checks for blood pressure, diabetes and cholesterol levels. These are important because often times you can have unacceptably High LDL Cholesterol levels for example, and not even be aware of it, or feel any symptoms. So the only way you can know for certain how healthy you are is by getting it checked. These types of Wellness Services are generally preventative in nature then, and are designed to stop a patient from having more serious medical consequences in the future.