What Types of Tests Are Done During Pre-Employment Physical Exams?


Pre-employment physicals measure your overall health. These medical exams vary by employer, but they usually include a check of your vital signs, blood work and drug testing. An exam may also include more involved tests, such as an electrocardiogram (EKG) on your heart.

Vital Signs

  • A medical assistant or nurse conducting your pre-employment physical will measure your blood pressure, pulse, respiration and temperature. You will also be weighed and have your height recorded.

EKG and Lab Work

  • An EKG is a non-invasive procedure to measure and diagnose abnormal heart rhythms. Lab work may include blood and urine tests. If your prospective employer is a school or hospital, you may need tests for hepatitis B, rubeola (measles) and rubella (German measles).


  • A purified protein derivative (PPD) test is a skin test that determines if you have an immune response to the bacteria that causes tuberculosis. Tuberculin PPD is injected just under the skin. Skin tests are read within 72 hours, looking for hardening of the skin.

Drug Test

  • Drug testing may be requested. Urine is collected in a tamper-resistant, sealed cup and sent to a laboratory for testing.

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