Pre-employment medical examination for seafarers also known as PEME is mandated by international regulations for persons working on ships. Many seafarers undergo pre-employment medical exams (PEME) everyday. From the first time cadets to the old and experienced seamen, each one must prove their mind and body fitness by passing the required medical exams.
Unfortunately, not all seafarers who take the pre-employment medical examination in Philippines come out unscathed.
The most common cases seamen encounter are hypertension, fatty liver, tooth extraction, restoration, hearing and visual problems are often the . But there are other illnesses more profound than those.
For some, they get surprised about the results of their medical exam. They blame the medical clinic thinking they’re only milking seafarer’s money. Check my article about a Personal Account of an Untold Stories of Pre-Employment Medical Exam (PEME) for Seafarers. But while this is a gimmick to some medical institutions, let us first look at how well we are prepared for our medical exam before we cast stones to them.
Just a side note. These tips, tricks, to do and not to do lists for your medical examinations are not 100% guaranteed. There are many other different factors that affect the results. But following these guidelines increases your chances of passing your medical examination.
Seven days. Give yourself seven days of preparation and you will be fit for your medical exams.
Before your medical exam, go to a dentist and have a check up. Choose a responsible dentist known for his/ her quality works and follow his advise whether a teeth cleaning, restoration or extraction is required. It will cost you more today but it will cost you less in the long run. My latest private dental works was three years ago. Since then, all my oral exams for pre employment took less than two minutes and they never asked me another “linis, pasta o bunot”.
After that, a seven-day diet of fruits and vegetables. Eat only fruits for breakfast. Get those with high fiber. A well cooked fresh vegetable with enough meat or fish on it is very helpful. In between meals, consume only fruits during snacks including night snacks if you want to. Avoid fatty and oily foods especially those with high preservatives including too much carbohydrates. Don’t forget to drink a glass of milk before going to bed. Most findings from the pre employment medical examination for seafarers are related to fatty and oily foods.
When preparing for a medical exam, avoid alcohol too. Not a single sip must be taken during this seven-day preparation. Why? Because a sip could turn into a glass, then a bottle, a case and the last thing you know is that you’re having a party! Alcohol also causes anemia, hypertension, damages brain cells, and destroys your liver. Your lungs are also heavily affected even if you don’t smoke since your drinking partners do.
A regular exercise is also powerful. Spend at least 60 minutes in routine exercise every morning. Make sure to meet the sunrise as you sweat yourself up. The sunshine enables your skin to produce Vitamin D which is responsible for increased absorption of calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphate, and zinc. Jogging is recommended. Sweat are fats crying- a good sign for your medical examination! During exercise, your body releases a chemical known as endorphins. Endorphins are similar to morphine- it help create a natural “high”. Overall, exercise helps relieves stress, increases energy, strengthens the heart, builds strong bones, reduces fats, lowers blood pressure and makes you look younger than your age.
After a day’s work, your body needs to repair itself. This function can only be done through sleeping. The proverb, “Early to bed, early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise,“ still holds true nowadays. Generally, an adult is required to sleep 8-9 hours a day and 9-10 hours for children. As you sleep, your body removes toxins and heals the broken cells and tissues. A good night’s sleep will keep you refreshed and recharged. This is good for your medical exam results.
To fully rid your body of the toxins that it gathered, drink lots of water. About 70% of the earth’s surface is covered with water. Our body is also 70% liquid. There must be profound reasons why we should drink more water. As a rule of thumb, consume 8 glasses of water everyday. But you can always drink more especially if you are engaged in an exercise program. It is important to always keep yourself hydrated. Most of the toxins of your body will come out in the form of liquid. Have you noticed? Your urine smells terrible and looks colored when you drink less water than when you drink more! Fruits are also high in liquid content so consider eating them.
Now that we we know how to take care of our body, the last thing to do is to take care of yourself- your mind! Your mind and body connection is very strong and powerfully connected. You can’t have a healthy body when you don’t have a healthy mind and vice versa. To create a powerful, positive mind, LAUGH. That is correct. Watch movies that make you happy. Listen to songs that keep you positive. Avoid news as much as possible. Play with your kids. Date your wife. Do something fulfilling and kick out negative news and thoughts that comes in (perhaps friends too?).
Passing the pre-employment medical examination for seafarers doesn’t have to be difficult as long as we take care of our health. I have tried those things and proven them effective. My seven- day preparation saves me a lot of time and money than no preparation at all. The process is much enjoyable as the result is. My medical examination went very smooth. I no longer have to buy medicines or wait another week for a follow-up schedule.
May the winds be on your favor!