What laboratory tests and supplies/equipment are required for a routine DOT medical examination?
Urine Testing: A urine dipstick test for glucose, blood, protein and specific gravity is required; however, if you don’t perform this service, federal guidelines allow referrals to a lab or another physician. Urine dipsticks are CLIA exempt.
Hearing: To test the driver’s hearing, providers use the “whisper test.” Those without an audiometer refer out drivers who don’t pass. For this reason, having an audiometer is convenient, but it must be a “pure tone” audiometer, and the automatic models keep your staff from having to manually administer the test. It also allowsstaff to perform the yearly hearing tests required by OSHA for workers in noisy environments.
Other Supplies: Other supplies needed to perform the DOT medical exam include an otoscope; blood pressure cuff; Snellen eye chart; stethoscope; and cards with signal green, red and yellow. There is no requirement for an otoscopic exam of the eye unless you suspect a medical condition, but you must visualize the auditory canal and tympanic membrane. Having an automatic blood pressure cuff reduces the workload for your staff, and stethoscope use is limited to breath and heart sounds and auscultating the abdomen and carotid arteries.
Visual Acuity: Visual acuity is measured for distance only (20 ft) and must be reported in Snellen-equivalent measurements. It is not necessary to use color vision charts, as the driver is only required to differentiate The colors of “signal” green, yellow and red. Having a card for each of these specific colors saves time as drivers, even if color blind, can nearly always distinguish them.