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How To Get A Physical Examination for Work

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The average American worker gets a physical examination before they start work. There is a nearby medical center that can take in a worker for an examination and give them the health approval for their job.

Before a person starts work, they often first go see a health practitioner to get a physical examination. Many employers tell new workers to get a physical before they step in the door for the first day of work.

Healthy workers get a good start, and do not take days off to recover from illness or injury. Employers like hard workers, not disappointing new hires that experience dizzy spells during the first three months.

Workers walk in to medical offices in large numbers to sign up for their physical. New hires, workers that just got a promotion, and workers that recovered from an illness or an injury and are returning to work. The examinations go by a number of names, pre-employment physical exams or post offer exams. Return to work exams. Often, simply, a physical. Whatever the name, the routine is the same for a worker.

Their main task is to find an examiner they are comfortable with.

1. Think through the physical condition. Fit? Average? Sluggish? Fatigued? And be ready to talk about it.

2. Decide the kind of medical examiner and the kind of health center that feels comfortable. Making a visit to see a professional is putting the health in somebody else's hands. Workers need to trust the examination will go well. There are several choices.

a) Talk to the regular doctor that watches over the health. Primary care physicians and family doctors, the ones that do the check ups, know their patients' bodies well and can write up full examination results.

b) Step in at a local hospital and ask who can give a physical examination. Doctors often regularly do the exams. Nurse practitioners that have a graduate degree and trained physicians assistants handle many of the patients.

c) Show up at a walk in clinic or an urgent care facility. A health practitioner that is used to handling aching backs that need attention, and heavy colds and burns, can do the work.

There is a Playa Marina Walk In Urgent Care Center at the UCLA Medical Center.

d) Come in to an Occupational Health Center and see a physician dedicated to work health. These physicians help injured and ill workers return to work so know the health conditions that matter most for work productivity and comfort. As well as safety.

In California, Kaiser Permanente has occupational health locations up and down the state. From San Francisco to Anaheim to San Diego.

e) Find the nearest retail health center at a mall or in a grocery store and drop in. A nurse practitioner can spend 10 to 20 minutes to learn the condition and write up the paperwork.

Palomar Pomerado Health has Express Care facilities in Escondido, California.

4. Go through the physical. The basics do not take too much time. The health practitioner takes down the patient's height, weight, and blood pressure. They take a look into the patient's eyes and test their vision. Chest x-rays and lab tests are sometimes done.

The rest is talking to the health practitioner about the health condition. The past history of colds, broken bones and dizzy spells. Any high blood pressure is noted.

A short set of question is asked on the patient's lifestyle. Do you exercise? How often? Do you smoke? Drink alcohol? Take medication?

And, last but not least, the patient talks about the family health history.

Many health practitioners also offer drug testing for workers that work for employers that ask for the tests.

Then, after all the paper work is written up and signed for, the patient is free to go. And go to work.


UCLA Medical Center, Playa Marina Walk In Urgent Care Center, website http://www.uclahealth.org (August 10, 2011).

Kaiser Permanente, Kaiser On-the-Job Location Guide (2011), at Kaiser Permanente Business Net on the web www.kp.org (August 10, 2011).

Bronx Community College Health Center, Physical Examination Form (2005).


About This Article

Adam Benjamin Pollack

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