What is Occupational Medicine?
When you get sick or injured on the job, it’s important to seek proper medical care. Although care can come from a number of medical facilities, many employers require their employees work with an Occupational Medicine clinic. Work injuries or illnesses also need to have proper documentation to return to work. Occupational Medicine clinics specialize in working with those who are filing Workers Compensation claims or who have work-related medical needs. Services offered by an Occupational Medicine include follow-up care to return to work after injuries, drug testing, pre-employment physicals, vaccinations, DOT physicals, and more. Physicians trained in Occupational Medicine must be up-to-date on federal and state regulations for workforce health and safety.
Work-related visits are a common reason why people visit Duke City Urgent Care. From employment physicals and drug screenings to the treatment of workplace accident-related injuries, Albuquerque employers and employees trust the qualified medical staff at Duke City Urgent Care to provide the highest quality care for a wide range of employment-related services.
Many Albuquerque employers require physical examinations both before and during employment to ensure their applicant or employee is physically fit to perform the duties of the job.
What are some jobs that might require an employment physical?
Jobs that require exertion, strength, and other physical duties may require applicants and employees to undergo a physical exam. Some occupations that commonly require physicals include:
- Truck drivers
- Police officers
- Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT)
What is included in an employment physical?
An employment physical at Duke City Urgent Care is designed to assess the overall health of an applicant or employee. Healthcare professionals look for possible symptoms of illnesses or chronic conditions that could prevent someone from effectively performing the responsibilities of the job.
A typical exam includes:
- Checking vital signs, including blood pressure, heart rate, and temperature.
- Looking for any possible signs of heart disease.
- Listening to the lungs for wheezing or difficulty breathing.
- An abdomen check, to examine the liver, bowels, and other organs.
- A skin exam, to check for signs and symptoms of underlying illnesses.
Why do employers require an employment physical?
Certain companies and jobs require a physical examination to determine the overall health and fitness level of applicants or employees in positions where physical exertion and strength are required.
A company may require an employment physical for new hires only if all candidates for the same job are also subjected to the same physical examination. Under the American Disabilities Act (ADA), employers must make “reasonable accommodations” for those with disabilities to allow them to be considered for job openings.
Many companies require pre-employment and ongoing employee drug testing to screen for illegal drug use and alcohol consumption. All Duke City Urgent Care locations are equipped with the latest machinery and processes for laboratory testing of all kinds, including employer-required drug tests.
What jobs require drug testing?
Many businesses require regular, periodic, or random drug testing for applicants and employees.
The types of businesses most likely to have drug testing policies include:
- Aerospace and Defense
- Information Technology (IT)
- Non-profit organizations
- Private Security
- Real Estate
- Schools and Education
- Transportation and Logistics
What happens if you fail a drug test?
If you fail an employer-required drug screening, you may be disqualified from getting the job, or lose your job. However, employment-related drug screenings have no legal standing, and therefore, positive results will not be sent to the authorities. Test results are sent only to the company who paid for the screening.
What drugs are included in a drug test?
Urine drug screenings performed at Duke City Urgent Care are used by employers to screen for:
Will prescription drugs show up on a drug test?
Because prescription drug abuse has become a widespread problem, companies are testing for additional components outside the traditional list of illegal drugs to look for commonly abused prescription drugs.
If you are taking a prescribed medication at the proper dosage and frequency, your results could show a “false positive.” In addition, prescription strength cold medicine and pain relievers can result in a false positive urine drug test. Before undergoing a drug screening, make sure you are completely honest and upfront with your employer or prospective employer about any prescription medications you are taking, including over-the-counter medicines and supplements.
Also known as Workman’s Compensation, New Mexico laws ensure that if you are injured on the job or suffer a work-related illness, you will be fairly compensated for medical bills and any lost wages resulting from the injury or illness.
What are Common Workplace Injuries?
Employers have a duty to provide a safe working environment and alert employees of any potential hazards and dangers. However, depending on the physical nature of the job, there are many ways you can get hurt while at work. Accidents and repetitive motion injuries can cause serious negative health consequences resulting in inability to work on a short-term or long-term basis.
Common work-related injuries and illnesses that result in the filing of a worker’s compensation claim include:
- Broken bones
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Crush injuries
- Exposure to hazardous or toxic substances
- Hearing loss
- Knee, hip, shoulder, and other joint injuries
- Lower and upper back injuries
- Slip and fall injuries
Does My Employer Have to Pay for My Workplace Injury?
Worker’s compensation laws vary by state, but every state has instituted some sort of protection system that will help in cases of work-related injuries or illnesses.
Most states, including New Mexico, provide for legal rights of workers for work-related accidents, injuries, and illnesses that take place on the job, including:
- The right for an employee to file a worker’s compensation claim for injury or illness.
- The right to pursue medical treatment for the injury or illness as prescribed by a doctor.
- The right to return to the same job and duties when a doctor approves you to do so.
- The right to permanent disability compensation if you are unable to return to work because of the injury or illness.
- The right to appeal any decision made by your employer, their insurance company, or the courts.
What Happens if My Employer Denies Responsibility For My Workplace Injury?
If your employer denies responsibility for your work-related injury or illness or disputes your worker’s compensation claim, you have a right to appeal. A worker’s compensation attorney can help navigate your case through an appeal or lawsuit against your employer.
You have the right to sue your employer for reckless or intentional actions that cause injury or illness, but you will need to waive your right to worker’s compensation insurance to do so. Courts can award a wide range of damages for workers injured on the job due to the actions of others, including:
- Lost wages
- Medical expenses
- Mental anguish
- Pain and suffering
- Punitive damages
Occupational Medicine vs. Occupational Therapy
Occupational medicine and occupational therapy sound similar, but are very different practices. While occupational therapy is a specific type of care dealing with patients’ ability to perform daily tasks and activities, occupational medicine deals with all aspects of workplace safety and health, focusing on the prevention of health hazards on the job.
Occupational therapy is used for employees with a disability or injury to help them regain mobility, strength, and stamina used for daily activities. Occupational therapists are trained to provide preventative and corrective therapies and treatment plans to increase the quality of life.
At Duke City Urgent Care, we provide a range of services related to the field of occupational medicine, including the treatment of injuries and illnesses, X-ray services, laboratory testing, bloodwork, employment physical examinations, and employment-related drug testing and screening.
Why Choose Duke City Urgent Care
Whether you are an employee who has been hurt on the job or a company needing to screen applicants and employees, Duke City Urgent Care offers all of your occupational medicine needs. Duke City Urgent Care is equipped with the proper staff and latest technologies to produce accurate, timely diagnosis and medical treatments for medical care 7 days a week. In addition, a dedicated customer service team is on hand to help navigate through medical billing and working with insurance companies to make sure necessary services and treatments are covered.
For more information on Duke City Urgent Care’s occupational medicine services, call (505) 228-2108.
To be seen by our team of professionals, you can walk-in, call (505) 814-1995, or schedule an appointment online at dukecityurgentcare.com.