DO’S AND DON’T BEFORE MEDICALS IN THE MERCHANT NAVY
Last updated on November 9th, 2023 at 11:21 am
In the Merchant Navy, the medical examination is one of the most important stages where we have seen academic toppers getting rejected due to their physical or medical deficiencies. A casual approach or negligence towards health conditions can decrease your chances in the Merchant Navy. If you are aspiring to become a seafarer who can bask in the benefits of life as a sailor, remember this – Your health is the deciding factor for selection. Medicals in the Merchant Navy are performed by DG Shipping-approved doctors which you can easily find in your city by visiting the official notice of DG Shipping.
Before you go for your medicals in the Merchant Navy, you should be aware of the number of tests that are performed by healthcare professionals. There are two kinds of tests –
- Blood Test – These tests are conducted to find out how well organs such as your kidneys, liver, heart, or thyroid are working. It is also done to measure the blood count, cholesterol, and sugar level in the body. On the ship, a seafarer is not provided with facilities that can detect and cure a long-term or severe illness. These tests also help to find out if your immune system is having problems fighting infections. Hence, to avoid a situation that can deteriorate a seafarer’s health condition, the medical procedures are detailed and important before joining the ship.
- Imaging Investigations – This test consists of ECG, Ultrasound X-ray. It helps to reveal the internal structure and medical conditions hidden under your skin and bones. Suppose a seafarer starts experiencing long stomach aches onboard and is not getting cured with first aid and medicines available on the ship. Later, he realized this was due to stones in the stomach. The time spent on the ship must have been painful for him and his co-workers too. All of this could have been avoided if he was conscious of his health and got regular checkups done. Imaging investigations are performed by healthcare workers to detect such underlying issues in the body.
There are a few points every aspiring seafarer should consider before taking their medicals in the Merchant Navy –
- Plan your diet 1 week prior to the tests – Your body needs a good balance of nutrition before you get examined. Planning your diet a week before the big medical check-up will keep your blood sugar and blood pressure in check. Apart from this, drink lots of water and have a good night’s sleep. Follow this routine religiously for a week. This way you can qualify for the medical examination with flying colors.
- No alcohol / Narcotics drugs – Alcohol consumption or drug intake may cause irregular enzyme levels such as an increase in SGPT or SGOT, which might interfere with a blood examination. These temporary changes can influence your test report leading to an unstable picture of the diagnosis. Detection of substance abuse in your test report can lead to the direct cancellation of your candidature. Hence, it is recommended only to indulge in activities that promote health and wellness.
- Less sugar intake – Suppose you eat lots of sweets a day before your medical test. This increases your blood sugar level which gets detected in the report the next day. This negligence on your part has caused a temporary change in your body. But doctors will declare you fail in your medical assessment. This case makes it clear that sugar should be avoided as much as you can. An increased sugar level only invites lifetime illness. Thus it is important that every seafarer become more responsible towards their sugar intake if they aim to sail in the friendly seas one day.
- Manage your calorie intake – We have seen seafarers eating pizza and drinking alcohol prior to their checkups. Many of them got a fatty liver in their reports and were immediately disqualified. These experiences should make us more aware of our diet and calorie intake before getting the medical examinations for the merchant navy.
You must be in excellent physical and mental health on the day of your medical examination. Life on a ship is very unpredictable, hence any minor inconvenience can become a serious problem. To avoid such conditions follow the advice given above in conversation with DG Shipping-approved doctor Sooraj Rana. Lastly, treat your health as your first priority as it can bring success to your professional and personal life.