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Why have I been asked to undertake a pre-employment medical examination?
Good employers take their responsibility for duty of care very seriously. This requires understanding what risks their prospective employees might carry, and managing these risks in the workplace with the aim of avoiding illness or injury to the potential employee, or to fellow employees.
There are also statutory (in other words legal) requirements for industries and workplaces, such as making sure drivers meet the national standards for Commercial and Heavy Vehicle Driving, as well as numerous other medical standards including Rail Safety Workers medical and Queensland Coal Board medical to name just a few.
What if I have a previous injury or illness?
It is not uncommon for candidates to be concerned they won’t “get through” the pre-employment medical examination because of a previous injury, or because of a medical problem.
Employers cannot, and do not, exclude people because of this. Many workers have sprains and strains at work in a physical role. What our medical practitioner is looking for is to see that there was an appropriate rehabilitation from the injury, and to explore whether there are any ongoing risks that need to be managed in the workplace.
It is important that you are honest with your answers to the medical history questionnaire. It is dangerous to place yourself in a position that may do you harm, and that your new employer may not be aware of.
Please note that certain pre-employment and periodic medicals must be determined by our medical practitioners in line with current statutory requirements. For example medical assessments for Rail Safety Workers and Commercial Vehicle Drivers have medical standards which must be adhered to and are very prescriptive with regards to certain medical conditions.
Do I need to bring anything to my appointment?
Yes, please bring your driver’s licence or other photo identification. You will not be able to have your medical without it.
If you wear spectacles, contact lenses or hearing aids, you must bring them with you.
What should I wear to my appointment?
You will be asked to undress to your underwear to allow a thorough medical examination and to provide a urine specimen, therefore please wear appropriate underwear.
If you have been asked to undertake a work fitness assessment, please wear loose fitting and comfortable clothing and closed in shoes (preferably runners).
What are some tips to prepare for my medical?
Arrive on time for your appointment, and make sure you allow enough time for the assessment. The time required will range from one hour (minimum) to two hours for more extensive assessment.
The examination will usually require you to strip to your underclothes so be prepared and wear appropriate underwear.
So that the results of your audiogram (hearing test) will not be affected, avoid exposure to loud noise in the 16 hours prior to the medical – this includes loud music.
Spirometry (lung function test) may be required and you may be asked to use a Ventolin puffer as part of the assessment. Don’t smoke before the medical, or whilst you are waiting.
What happens at the medical?
The assessment will usually involve a number of aspects. Exactly what is done depends on the job and the organisation you are applying to work for. As a minimum you will need to fill out a questionnaire and undergo a physical examination.
Our health professional will be examining all joints, your neck, spine, chest and abdomen.
Personal examinations are NOT part of a pre-employment medical examination – e.g. breast examination, prostate examination etc.
Drug and alcohol screening
You may be required to do urine drug screening for illicit drugs including cannabis, opiates (heroin), methamphetamines, amphetamines, benzodiazepines (antidepressants and sleeping tablets), cocaine and alcohol. Please note that cannabis can stay in your system for days after occasional use, and weeks after regular use.
If you are on medication, make sure you declare it on your health assessment questionnaire as it will get detected anyway.
Under Australian standards, the collection of urine for drug screening must be directly witnessed by our health professional to confirm that the urine in the sample cup came from you. This is done in a professional and sensitive manner at all times with maximum regard for your privacy.
If you drink more than 2-3 cups of water before having your urine collected, you may provide a sample which is too dilute for testing. This is determined by measuring the level of creatinine in the urine. If the creatinine level is too low, the sample cannot be tested and must be recollected.
Can I get a copy of my medical results?