During recruitment processes in Nigerian companies, recruiters often refer applicants and interviewees to specific laboratories or hospitals for pre-employment medical tests.
These medical checks entail a series of health tests to ascertain your health status and healthiness and to confirm any such condition that may hinder work and performance.
Medicals usually require numerous health tests ranging from blood screenings to radiological scans, optical checks among others.
Why are pre-employment medical tests required at Nigerian companies?
- It helps ascertain any health conditions that may affect the performance of work(s).
- To establish rightly the physical suitability of a candidate for certain work conditions e.g heavy lifting, driving at night etc.
- For transparency purposes and to enable the company to make decisions regarding working conditions and company health policies.
- It assists in management of health and emergency risks in the office.
- It eases tracking of health status and history when required.
Types of pre-employment tests Nigerian companies ask for:
1. Kidney Function Test
Checking the kidney’s functionality is to help ascertain how well your kidney works. There are different types of tests that could be run on your to determine your kidney functionality level.
In testing kidney function, the following tests are usually done:
- Urinalysis – which checks for the presence of protein and blood in the urine.
- Serum creatinine test – which checks for creatine build up in the blood.
- GFR estimate – checks how effective your kidney is in filtering toxins and waste.
- Blood urea nitrogen test – helps check the nitrogen content in the blood which is meant to be a by-product of protein.
Kidney function tests help companies to avoid health risks especially for works that usually restrict access to water and toilet, and for work environments that are hot including incineration facilities, metal and jewel refineries, factories etc.
2. Cardiovascular Examination
Cardiovascular screening entails checking vitals relating to the heart and blood vessels. Extensively, it embodies tests such as:
- Blood pressure check
- Full blood count
- Pulse check
- Heart check
Concerns with the heart can shape the work environment particularly with regards to stress and burnouts caused by overwork. It can also point the company in the direction of your hireability depending on the description of the job and what it may entail.
3. Tuberculosis Test
As a pre-employment medical test, the reason for a tuberculosis test before hire is to protect other staff and also ascertain physical healthiness of applicants to carry out assignments and tasks the job may require.
Tuberculosis is an infection that attacks the lungs, spine, brain, and kidney. Usually, it comes in two categories for patients – those with active strain and those with inactive strain.
For active strain patients, it is easily spreadable and contagious. Thus, a need for the test.
4. Hepatitis A and B Screening
Hepatitis can affect liver function critically and could spread via a number of ways particularly through contaminated food or water, or from direct contact with an infected person.
Preventing the risk of other staff contracting hepatitis is a condition for testing applicants for the virus before hiring.
5. HIV 1 & 11 and Aids
HIV and AIDS tests help determine the level of healthiness a prospective have in handling certain work tasks.
Especially ones that require physical exertion that could negatively contribute to an applicant\’s health if hired.
6. COVID Rapid Test
Given the spread of the pandemic, it is appropriate for companies to request COVID tests as a pre-employment medical check, especially in a bid to ensure safety.
Usually, for candidates coming in from abroad, especially countries with high COVID risks, the COVID rapid tests help check the presence of the covid viral antigen in the blood to confirm infection.
Other tests companies may request in the pre-employment medical examination may also include the following:
- Blood drug tests – to confirm or negate drug use concerns.
- Audiometry testing – to test your ears’ abilities to hear sound.
- Spirometry testing – to check how well your lungs work by taking a read at your breathing levels.
- Functional physio-assessment test – to check things such as endurance, agility, speed, strength etc. Usually a common request by the military.
- Vision check – to test the visual depth and acuity and also check for other eye concerns that may be critical to work.
- X-ray scans: a number of companies, government agencies and the military requests for x-ray scans of the chest and spine to check physiological fitness.
Generally, pre-employment medical checks are a common requirement of pre-hire in major companies, startup conglomerates in Nigeria including governmental agencies.
These categories of tests help company management keep track of your medical history especially as it affects work, and some usually need these test confirmation to know the extent of coverage needed for health insurance.
So, if during a recruitment process, you are instructed to fill up a medical examination form and have it signed by a medical officer at an accredited laboratory or hospital, do not be surprised or fidget. It is normal and routine.
Some companies may still require medical checks from time to time even after you have been hired.