Thread: Medical Records

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    Default Medical Records

    Are fire departments allowed access to your medical records.

    You see when I was 14 years old I was baker acted, meaning I was put in a psych for 72 hours and evaluated by a doctor.
    I was wondering if the department can see that?


    Thanks guys!

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    our department does not ask for medical records, and not sure if it is legal to,

    The only thing if there is something on the application that asks about medical and you have to disclose.

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    It's not really black or white in most departments. You will usually fill out a medical questionnaire for the doctor and sign something saying you have been 100% honest with everything. They'll usually have catchall questions like "Have you ever received treatment for behavioral or mental health, whether it was inpatient or outpatient?" If you were to omit this information and somehow it came to light someday, you would most likely be terminated and any care provided that might even be related to this circumstance could be considered paid for under fraudulent circumstances they could come back on you personally to make restitution. Be honest and up front with all the information during your background investigation. It will make it easier for you and the department.

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    I did not answer your question good, our department requests a lot of records, by having the applicant give us a blanket release, but medical records is not one of those we request, and once again, not sure if it is legal to request them.


    as far as a 72 hour psych eval, that can be done for a variety of reasons.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fire49 View Post
    I did not answer your question good, our department requests a lot of records, by having the applicant give us a blanket release, but medical records is not one of those we request, and once again, not sure if it is legal to request them.


    as far as a 72 hour psych eval, that can be done for a variety of reasons.


    To be sure it is legal. The cities and or counties legal departments has ruled on this as being legal to the HR depts. so therefore you sign a release, if not forget being hired. The HR and department have a right ot know about who they are hiring. Most FD's will not hire anyone who has had heart or lung problems. They do not want to assume your health problems.
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    Yep, they can because you sign off your rights (including HIPPA) that they can see anything. If they ask you if you have had the health issues, you don't list them and they find out you will be eliminated.
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    True. I had to get a notarized document saying they could poke around in any records of mine, medical or otherwise.

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    So what do you guys suggest for my situation?
    Being up front about everything?
    I just don't want them to think I'm crazy or something like that.

    Thanks for all the feedback guys!

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    how old are you know??

    can you handle the job??

    are you on any medications??


    If the application does not ask or does not specificaly ask, then no reponse is needed

    if you are crazy, they should pick that up some where in the process

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    You need to be honest with them. If you are not disclosing this situation when asked and they "find it out" then you will look like you are hiding it. Depending how the dept tests, they may not initially ask about this. Some depts do a "pre-application" and ask a variety of questions. However, something like this could get into the realm of a disability or discrimination. This is why medical and psyc exams are usually administered AFTER a conditional offer of employment. Almost every dept will have you sign a waiver that gives them permission to look at pretty much any record you have (employment, discipline, criminal history, medical, school, etc.).

    Will it make a difference? Depends on a lot of things. I'm sure they will want more information along the process. It depends on the circumstances surrounding the reason for the medical hold. It also depends on how long ago this was (you said you were 14, but we don't know if that was 4 years ago or 20 years ago). I see the Baker Act is in Florida, which is highly competitive to get hired. It will probably make things a little tougher for you.

    You'll know when you need to disclose this information during the background process. I would not bring it up during the Oral Interview nor would I go in there "flaunting" it. However, you will be asked about it somewhere along the process. Answer the question completely and honestly. Then shut up. Especially when they are silent. Background investigators, polygraphers & psychologists love to use silence to their advantage. Most people find the silence awkward and will keep talking to fill that silence. This is where people get themselves in predicaments. Like I said, answer their question completely and honestly and then be quiet and wait for them to ask the next question. Also, give only facts... don't make guesses or try to describe what you THINK someone else was thinking.

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