We understand the rigorous physical, mental, and emotional demands required for commercial drivers. In the interest of public safety, we provide thorough CDL physical exams that meet the Department of Motor Vehicle requirements.
CDL PHYSCIAL EXAM OVERVIEW
The CDL physicals, provided by AJ Jensen, PA-C and Ruth Beck, PA-C, who are certified by the State of Idaho include:
- General Information: If the CDL applicant is not already a patient, general information will be gathered including health history, current health concerns, and level of physical fitness.
- General Appearance: By simply talking with the applicant, the provider will gather a lot of information through simple conversation. Assessments of mental quickness/memory, skin appearance, balance and coordination will be made to determine if risk factors for disease exist. It will be noted if the applicant is overweight, has any postural defects or conditions that may be caused by alcoholism.
- Vital Signs: Vital signs include blood pressure, heart rate, respiration rate, and body temperature. He will look for signs of hypertension and other risk factors for disease. When hypertension exists, CDL re-certification will be necessary more frequently.
- Heart Exam: By listening to a patient’s heart with a stethoscope, the provider may detect an irregular heartbeat, heart murmur or other symptoms of heart disease. Any irregularities will be noted along with any history of heart problems. If necessary, an electrocardiogram will be ordered.
- Lung Exam: The provider will also use a stethoscope to listen for signs of lung disease. If he hears wheezing, crackling, or diminished breath sounds, he may want to explore the lungs further. Any abnormalities may require additional testing such as pulmonary texts or x-rays.
- Head and Neck Exam: The throat and tonsils will be checked for normalcy as well as the ears, nose, sinuses, eyes, lymph nodes, thyroid, and carotid arteries. In case of an abnormally, we may continue testing, like checking blood hormone levels to identify thyroid problems. If corrective lenses are used by the patient, additional evaluation will be necessary to verify vision standards are met. If any evidence of ear disease is discovered, further audiometric testing will be ordered.
- Abdominal/ Viscera Exam: Our providers will use a stethoscope again to listen for bowel sounds, and palpitate the abdomen and liver to detect any tenderness. The providers may also tap the abdomen to see if there is a presence of abdominal fluid. Significant abdominal wall muscle must be present to ensure the applicant can safely control a commercial motor vehicle.
- Neurological Exam: Nerves, muscle strength, reflexes, balance, and the patient’s mental state may also be assessed with a neurological exam. This may include tapping just under the kneecap with a special device to verify normal reflexes. Equilibrium and coordination will be tested.
- Dermatological Exam: A closer look at a patient’s skin and nails will help the provider determine if there are dermatological problems or if there is a manifestation of disease somewhere else in the body.
- Extremities, Spine & Musculoskeletal Exam: A patient’s pulse is checked in the arms and legs and further examination of the patient’s spine, joints, feet, toes, hands and fingers will be assessed to identify any atrophy, paralysis or deformities that may affect the applicants ability to maintain steering and control of a vehicle. Normal range of motion of the applicant’s extremities will also be assessed.
- Genital, Urinary and Rectal Exam: A standard genital and rectal exam will be performed as well as a hernia test to determine if any conditions exist that may interfere with safe operation of a motor vehicle. Urinalysis tests are required to identify any underlying medical problems like diabetes.
- Laboratory and other testing: Other test(s) may be indicated based upon the medical history or findings of the physical examination.
The purpose of a CDL physical examination is to determine if an individual meets the Department of Motor Vehicle health requirements for commercial drivers. Our office provides CDL examinations to meet these standards.
Unfortunately, health insurance does not cover a CDL physical examination. Many companies will pay for their employees’ CDL physical examination so we encourage drivers to check with their employers. If employers do not cover the CDL physical examination for their drivers then the exam will be a private pay service.
If you need a CDL physical examination, please call for an appointment.