Pre-employment physicals: Why a healthy employee should matter to you
We understand that no one likes going to the doctor. But when a potential employee is being considered for a new job, it’s always a good idea to give them a pre-employment medical to make sure they’re healthy and ready to start on the right foot.
Why Do My Employees Need a Pre-Employment Physical?
Physical examinations are an excellent tool for measuring an employee’s health. We offer many types of physical exams, including pre-employment, return to work, Department of Transportation (DOT), and general wellness exams. Studies have shown that pre-employment medical exams can help you save money by reducing the number of accidents and injuries.
A pre-employment physical exam, also known as a pre-placement test or human performance evaluation (HPE), is important because it gives you and your employee confidence that they can perform a job to the best of their abilities. Sometimes a pre-employment medical exam can identify potential illnesses or chronic conditions that could prevent someone from performing the job properly. Pre-employment medical exams can be especially important for people with an existing chronic illness, as they can indicate whether the current management program is working.
Pre-employment medical exams can also provide you and your employee with a baseline to track your health over time or after an injury.
What Does a Pre-Employment Physical Look Like?
A pre-employment physical exam looks at many health elements, including:
- Vital signs such as blood pressure, heart rate, and temperature
- The health of the abdomen to determine the functionality of the liver, intestine, and other organs
- The appearance of the skin to determine if there are signs or symptoms of other underlying diseases
- Cardiac and pulmonary examination
You can also supplement your employee’s pre-employment medicals with additional tests such as:
- Drug and alcohol testing
- vision test
- Tuberculosis screening
These additional tests provide accurate measures of your employee’s well-being and ensure that critical factors such as vision and hearing meet job requirements.
How Can My Employees Prepare for Their Pre-Employment Physical?
While an employee cannot change their health overnight, they can prepare for the physical by putting together a few things:
- Documents you have given them detailing the services they need, including lab orders if needed
- Any aids they may need such as glasses, hearing aids, etc. for further testing
- A valid ID such as a driver’s license, state or federal ID, or employer-issued badge
- List of medications, past surgeries, medical conditions, and allergies
What Other Ways Are There to Measure My Employee’s Health?
Health does not begin or end with a pre-employment physical examination. There are other ways to assess an employee’s well-being, including biometric screening. Biometric screenings are similar to physical tests in that they measure physical characteristics such as height, weight, body mass index (BMI), and blood pressure, but they also consider other indicators such as lipid and glucose levels. These indicators are important in determining your employee’s level of health and can provide important information for the early detection of diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease.