HealthDoctor Karen

I have to go for pre-employment medical – what does it involve?

Doctor KarenBy Dr. Karen Palmer
I have to go for pre-employment medical – what does it involve?

Dear Karen

I have to go for a pre-employment medical. What does it involve and is there any risk that I won’t get the job on account of the medical?

KAREN SAYS: What job you are going for? Some jobs (ie pilot), have a tighter medical criteria.

It involves a medical questionnaire which details background medical, mental health and family history, smoking status, alcohol intake etc. Plus a physical exam; eye sight assessment, height and weight check and a urinalysis.

The employer wants to know if there are pre-existing medical conditions that might affect job performance in years to come. One of the key questions during the medical is to find out if there have been any lengthy absences in previous jobs that may recur. For most, this pre-employment medical is a formality.

 

Dear Karen

My son (14) had an allergic reaction to an insect bite last January. He got a really bad hive like rash all over his body and face and needed intravenous steroids in casualty. He is going to France and I am worried about the insect bites. 

KAREN SAYS: Given he had a systemic reaction to the bite, it’s possible he may get a more severe reaction in the future. He should see an immunologist who will advise about allergy testing and management. He might even need an adrenaline pen.

He should take daily antihistamines and have a holding script for antibiotics and oral steroids. Oral steroids take 24 hours to get into the system, so if he has difficulty swallowing or a wheeze after a bite he should go to A&E.