Employee Physicals in Waterloo, Iowa | UnityPoint Health

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Employment Physicals & Screenings

  • DOT physical exam (new and recertification)
  • Non-DOT post job offer physical exam
  • Respirator physical
  • Return to work
  • Fit for duty physical
  • Firefighter/HazMat physicals
  • Audiograms
  • Pulmonary Function Testing (PFT)
  • TB skin test
  • Physical Capacity Profileā„¢ (PCP) testing
  • Agility test (lift test)

Choosing the Right Physical Examination

Because of the many workplace health and safety issues as well as financial restraints, businesses are forced to be very selective when considering the components of a post-job offer physical examination.

To ensure that employers are spending their healthcare dollars wisely, a variety of physicals have been pre-designed to meet the needs of the majority. Understanding the purpose, (ie: to address a problem area, to comply with federal regulations, to promote employee wellness and health) will aid in this selection process. Upon request, we will provide you with copies of the physical examination forms for your perusal.

We realize the need for businesses that operate statewide or nationally to develop a standard set of protocols and written reports. Our team of professionals will utilize your pre-printed forms and established protocols to provide consistency in services.

DOT Physical

This physical is mandated by Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations for drivers with a Commercial Drivers License (CDL). The examination should be performed by a qualified professional who will take into account the specific requirements of the transportation industry. A summary of the regulated procedures and protocols is provided on the reverse side of the mandated DOT medical examination form entitled "Physical Examination of Drivers". The CDL driver that is physically qualified to operate a motor vehicle must carry a valid "Medical Examiner's Certificate". A DOT drug screen may be required with the physical exam depending on the type of vehicle driven.

DOT Physical Components (drug screening is separate):

  • Limited Health History 
  • Vision 
  • Vital Signs 
  • Audiogram or Whisper Test for Hearing Qualification 
  • Dipstick Urinalysis 
  • Limited Physical Assessment 
  • Medical Evaluation of Results 

Post-Job Offer Health Assessment

Once a conditional job offer has been extended to an employee, a medical screening is performed to assess an employee's ability to perform his work-related functions. This physical examination screening will benefit companies by providing a written medical statement as to whether an employee is capable of performing the essential functions of the position hired for. A detailed medical history and physical examination will document previous injuries and surgeries that may place the employee at risk of injury in his future position. As mandated by the Americans with Disabilities Administration (ADA), a physician may suggest reasonable accommodations to allow the employee to safely perform his duties in your work environment. An employee that attempts to falsify medical information should be dealt with under the company's policy for disciplinary action up to and including termination. In order to protect companies from future liability, the information collected will provide a baseline medical assessment prior to entering the company's work environment. Physical conditions that require further medical care but that are not work-related will be discussed with the employee and/or his family physician only.

Health Assessment Components:

  • Extended Health History 
  • Vision 
  • Vital Signs 
  • Range of Motion 
  • Cumulative Trauma Screening 
  • Grip Strength 
  • Complete Physical Assessment 
  • Medical Evaluation of Results 

Physical Capacity Profile

PCP testing can be added to a Post Job Offer Physical in order to obtain objective results that may have been missed in a physician's physical.

"Matching physical abilities to the physical demands of a job, creating a cost effective, efficient work force."

The PCP Testing System helps employers by:

1. Reducing injuries by ensuring employees have the physical strength to safely perform their job responsibilities.

2. Reducing workers compensation exposure by documenting impairments that an employee brings with them to the workplace, per the American Medical Association (AMA) guides.

3. Providing pre-injury baseline measurements on an employee allowing treating professionals to expedite the rehabilitation process.

Post Job Offer PCP testing helps determine if the perspective employee can meet the physical requirements of the job. If so, the PCP record provides a baseline of pre-existing impairments for reference should there be a job related injury down the road. 

More information on PCP testing

Limited Health Assessment

The purpose of this screening is to provide an inexpensive, brief 'physical examination' to obtain baseline health information. According to ADA, any medical screening must be performed after a job offer has been made. A Limited Health Assessment does not provide the physician with enough information to assess whether an employee can safely perform the essential functions of a job. The brief physical assessment only checks the hands, wrists, heart and lungs. A medical history is included which will benefit the employer in determining previous injuries and illnesses. If your business is facing financial constraints and an employee's medical history is important to you to ensure that you place the person in a position that will not cause further harm, then the limited health assessment may be your best option.

Limited Health Assessment Physical Components:

  • Health History 
  • Vital Signs 
  • Brief Physical Assessment 

Disease Screening Medical Assessment

The purpose of this brief physical is to assess whether an employee is free of contagious diseases in order to work in a healthcare or teaching type of position. This is a brief medical assessment to determine childhood diseases, vaccinations, and exposure to infectious diseases. The physical examination concentrates on the upper respiratory system, including heart and lungs.

Disease Screening Medical Assessment Components:

  • Weight and Height 
  • Immunization record 
  • History of Disease 
  • Brief Physical Assessment 
  • Medical Evaluation of Results 

Annual Full Physical Examination

Many companies are concerned about their employee's health and well being. Ideally, annual physical examinations should be conducted on a regular basis by the employee's family physician who can detect changes from baseline medical data that has been collected throughout an employee's lifetime. It is a well-known fact that few employees have a regular family physician and even less visit their family physician for a thorough annual examination. By offering an annual physical examination conducted by an occupational health professional, your company will promote the importance of health and wellness. Physical examinations will focus on changes from baseline some which may occur due to work-related conditions. Detecting employee health problems and promoting treatment options will keep valuable human resources healthy and productive. The cost of this physical varies according to employee age and gender. 

Pulmonary Function Test

The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) requires respirators and a complete respiratory protection program for employees exposed to breathing air that adversely affects their lung functioning (29 Code of Federal Regulations Part 1910.134). To ensure that the employee is fit to wear a respiratory device, the employee is required to undergo a medical examination to obtain clearance for the use of respirators. A fit test is also necessary prior to use of a respirator. The medical examination components are based on the use of a questionnaire that includes: medical history, type of exposure, length of respirator usage, work effort exerted, and type of respirator worn. The physician will make a determination as to whether an employee needs a physical examination and/or is qualified to wear a respirator with or without restrictions. The physical examination takes into account all questionnaire details, assesses the upper respiratory system, and other screenings as deemed appropriate by the physician. A baseline pulmonary function test (spirometry), a test of forced lung capacity, may be performed to determine the extent of lung disease.

Respiratory Physical components:

  • Work Conditions Assessment 
  • Limited Medical History 
  • Brief Medical Assessment 
  • Physician Evaluation 
  • Medical Evaluation of Results 

Asbestos Physical Examination

The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) requires a medical surveillance program to monitor employees who are or will be exposed to asbestos (29 Code of Federal Regulations Part 1910.1001(l)). An initial physical examination will provide a baseline to compare with future examinations conducted on an annual basis. The examinations contains an extensive medical and work history, a complete medical examination of all systems with emphasis on the respiratory and cardiovascular systems, a chest x-ray, and a pulmonary function test.

Asbestos Physical Examination components:

  • Medical & Work History 
  • Single Chest X-ray & Interpretation 
  • Pulmonary Function Test 
  • Full Physical Examination 
  • Medical Evaluation of Results 

Lead Physical Examination

The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) requires a medical surveillance program to monitor employees who are or may be exposed to lead (29 Code of Federal Regulations Part 1910.1025(j)). An initial examination is performed to establish a baseline. Annual, post-exposure and periodic examinations are also required to monitor the blood lead level. A detailed medical and work history are obtained and a full physical examination is performed as well as urinalysis and blood screening that includes: blood lead level, hemogram and hematocrit, zinc protoporphyrin, and serum creatinine. A pulmonary function test is required if they wear a respirator in conjunction with their work.

Lead Physical Examination Components:

  • Medical & Work History 
  • Routine Urinalysis 
  • Lead Profile (includes: blood lead level, hemogram and hematocrit, zinc protoporphyrin, 
  • and serum creatinine) 
  • Full Physical Assessment 
  • Medical Evaluation of Results 

Optional Physical Examination Components


This hearing test measures the lowest sound that a person can hear. Hearing loss is very common, especially as we age. This test will be compared with future tests to determine loss of hearing.

Pulmonary Functioning Testing (Spirometry)

This test measures lung capacity, forced vital capacity (FVC) and forced expiratory volume (FEV). The results may indicate diseases caused by infection, exposure to carcinogens and/or effects of smoking.

Dipstick Urinalysis or Routine Urinalysis

This is a simple urine test to detect the presence of glucose, bilirubin, ketone, specific gravity, blood, ph, protein, urobilinogen, nitrite, and leukocytes. Abnormalities indicate a need for further evaluation for infections, illnesses or diseases such as diabetes. 

Lift Testing

An initial assessment of lifting capabilities is performed, simple instructions on safe and proper lifting techniques is given, and post-instruction assessment is evaluated.

Non-DOT Drug Screening

Iowa law governs the right to test employees for illegal substances in their system. A five panel urine drug screen consists of a four stage process: the collection of the specimen, the lab analysis of the specimen, the medical review of the results (MRO) and possible interview with the employee, and the reporting of the results to the company designated representative. The illegal substance that are tested include: marijuana (THC), cocaine, opiates, phencyclidine (PCP) and amphetamines (including methamphetamine). Please note that if your company tests for substances that are legal, you must prove that you have a work-related right to know and obtain that information.

DOT Drug Screening

The Department of Transportation has detailed procedures for each step of the urine drug screening process. A five panel urine drug screen consists of a four stage process: the collection of the specimen, the lab analysis of the specimen, the medical review of the results (MRO) and possible interview with the employee, and the reporting of the results to the company designated representative. The illegal substance that are tested include: marijuana (THC), cocaine, opiates, phencyclidine (PCP) and amphetamines (including methamphetamine).

Blood Chemistry 23 (BCP 23)

This is a blood test that includes a complete cholesterol screening as well as wellness screening.

Hematocrit & Hemoglobin

This blood test is useful to evaluate anemia and determine red blood cell count.

Chest X-Ray

A chest x-ray is useful in identifying disease of the lungs or other body organs.

Back X-Ray

A back x-ray will establish a baseline of previous injuries and present condition of degenerative diseases.