What can you expect at a pre-employment medical?

employment medical service
Occupational and aviation hearing test

Audiology Screening is available on-site at The Medical Centre.

Audio Results are presented in dB at the nominated frequencies – typically from 500 Hz to 4000 Hz.

The test takes around 20 minutes.

Other On-Site Testing

There are also facilities for on-site ECG (Electrocardiogram) & Spirometry. Blood Tests are done a few feet away at the pathology provider.

Urine Drug Screening will require a visit to an accredited pathology provider and we’ll give you details at the time of your appointment.

Why Are Pre Employment Medical Screenings Required?

If you are reading this page, it is probably because you have been asked to participate in a pre employment medical screening. If you’ve never worked in a job or for a company or industry that requires this form of testing you may wonder what’s going on. No worries! Here’s the scoop on pre employment medical screenings.

Optional Screenings.

Responsible employers are concerned about the safety and welfare of their employees while at the workplace. In order to fulfill this responsibility, they need to know if a prospective employee presents certain risks. The employer isn’t being nosy; they are attempting to minimize workplace accidents and incidents that could harm you or other workers.

Mandatory Screenings.

In addition, certain occupations have a legal requirement to have a pre employment medical screening and on-going medical screenings performed. Commercial drivers, rail workers, and divers are all examples of professions that are required by law to conduct pre employment medical screenings as well as on-going medical screenings. The requirements for the screenings may vary from territory to territory within an industry. For example, in Queensland, coal miners must have a health assessment at least every 5 years¹ and in New South Wales the assessments are performed every 3 years.² If you have applied for employment in one of the many regulated industries, this is why you have been asked to complete a pre employment medical screening.

What to Expect At Your Pre Employment Medical Screening

The exact nature of your pre employment medical screening will depend upon the requirements of the law and the prospective employer. At a minimum, you will be asked for a medical history; physical screening; and hearing, vision, and urine tests.

General Health History. This portion of the exam may be written or performed orally. This information is provided to give an overall picture of your current and past health history. You can expect to be asked to provide general health screening information such as:

  • History of illness or disease
  • Vaccination history
  • Medications you take
  • Alcohol and tobacco use

Physical Screening. Your blood pressure will be taken as well as measurement of your weight and height. Your Body Mass Index (BMI) will be calculated to determine if you are within a healthy weight range for your height. Your limbs and spine will be examined, as well as your abdomen heart and lungs. Your physical screening may include spirometry to test your lung function. A chest x-ray may also be taken as part of this exam.

Hearing and Vision Testing. You will undergo a vision exam to see how well your eyes focus close up and at a distance. Your hearing will may be tested with an audio screen.

Urine Test. You will be asked to provide a urine sample. Your urine will be tested for glucose (sugar), protein, and blood. Glucose in the urine will mean that you’d need a blood test for Diabetes.

If required or requested, your urine will also undergo testing for the presence of drugs such as cannabis, heroin, methamphetamines, cocaine, or benzodiazepines. If drug screening is performed, Australian law requires that the sample be collected under supervision of a health professional. The collection will be done in a professional and sensitive manner to maintain your dignity and privacy while at the same time meeting the requirements of the law.

Fitness Test. Some jobs require you to undergo testing to determine if you are fit to perform certain physical tasks. If this is part of your pre employment medical screening you may be asked to perform tests such as:

  • Range of Motion Tests – to determine the ability of your joints to flex and bend
  • Grip Strength – to determine the strength of your hands and the ability to hold objects
  • Cardiovascular – to determine your cardiovascular fitness level
  • Lift – to determine your ability to lift and carry various amounts of weight.

How Do You Prepare for a Pre Employment Medical Screening?

You don’t need to study or do any extra homework, but you should come prepared. Make sure you bring your photo identification! The practice is required to confirm that it is you who showed up for the screening! If you take multiple medications, either bring the medications with you or make a list in advance and bring the list with you.

Since your screening will include hearing and vision tests, be sure to bring your glasses, contacts, or hearing aids if you need them to see or hear properly.

Since you will be asked to remove your clothing down to your underwear, remember to dress appropriately. If your screening will include a physical fitness test, be sure to wear loose fitting clothes and comfortable shoes.

Don’t smoke for several hours before the exam to get the best results from your lung function test. If you are asthmatic, bring your rescue inhaler.

Avoid caffeine for several hours before your exam is scheduled.

Don’t drink excessive amounts of water before a urine drug test. If you do, the creatinine levels may indicate that your urine is too dilute for testing. That means you will have to return again for another urine drug test.

What Else Should You Know?

It is important that you be honest during your pre employment medical screening. Too often, people are afraid to divulge information about prior injuries or illness. They mistakenly think that they will fail the test if they admit to a prior injury. This simply isn’t true! It is against the law for an employer to reject you because of an injury or illness that won’t prevent you from doing the job safely.

Your medical examiner is not concerned about the prior injury; they are concerned that it has healed properly and that you can work without creating a risk to yourself or others. It is crucial for you to be honest about prior illness, injuries, or surgeries so that any risk is properly assessed.

Plan on arriving at least 15 minutes prior to your scheduled exam. This will give you plenty of time to complete any pre-exam paperwork that might be necessary.

Your pre employment medical screening is not something to be feared. It is for your safety and the safety of your fellow workers.

[1] Coal Mine Worker’s Health Scheme (formerly coal board medical)

[2] Coal Services NSW

Book your Pre-Employment Medical today!

WRITTEN BY: Richard Beatty