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singinglupines
July 29th, 2015, 00:36
So I feel like health checks are never really talked about. I'm not comfortable with doing some parts of the check. Does anyone have any experience getting out of them or are they truly mandatory? There was no mention in my contract about them.

Shincantsen
July 29th, 2015, 01:24
I didn't do one my first year. My second year I did. I had friends talk their way out of the blood test because they were afraid of needles. I didn't do the urinalysis because I told them I was on my period. In my area, at least, it was not really a big deal.

johnny
July 29th, 2015, 02:12
I haven't had one yet and I've been here for two years.

Ananasboat
July 29th, 2015, 04:54
So I feel like health checks are never really talked about. I'm not comfortable with doing some parts of the check. Does anyone have any experience getting out of them or are they truly mandatory? There was no mention in my contract about them.

I'm getting one about a week after I get back. There's a whole bunch of stuff they're going to cover, with a couple of procedures that I wasn't excited about. Mostly the blood test and the chest x-ray. I mentioned that I wasn't very comfortable getting a chest x-ray and my supervisor was happy to let that slide. But I didn't want to press to hard with the blood test because I'm actually interested in the results. Needles make me faint, so I'm not looking forward to it at all.

Zolrak 22
July 29th, 2015, 06:56
Needles make me faint, so I'm not looking forward to it at all.

I'm guessing you've never donated blood then?

singinglupines
July 29th, 2015, 07:52
Okay, that's the same for me. Good to hear I'm not the only one haha. I'm rather terrified of needles. I've never had blood drawn before. Can't donate because I was born abroad during mad cow disease. But I definitely would put my foot down at the chest x-ray.

My pred said she had to do one over her two years, but never asked any questions about it. I guess I'll see what will happen.

webstaa
July 29th, 2015, 08:24
Okay, that's the same for me. Good to hear I'm not the only one haha. I'm rather terrified of needles. I've never had blood drawn before. Can't donate because I was born abroad during mad cow disease. But I definitely would put my foot down at the chest x-ray.

My pred said she had to do one over her two years, but never asked any questions about it. I guess I'll see what will happen.

Sorry, but I am going to make fun of you for being afraid of the x-ray. Should you ever come to Japan, you'll be exposed to more ionizing radiation on the flight over here than a single chest x-ray. And grow up about needles too. Put on you big-boy pants and look away when the needle comes out.

As far as the piss-test goes, usually they just give you a little dropper bottle and a cup and tell you to sample your morning piss, seal it in a paper envelope and put that in a plastic bag. IIRC the only tests are sugar content and protein.

Generally you're exempted from the first year's health check because of two reasons - they're done in batches and usually around this time of the year. And usually there's only one or two days where the doctor and nurses are in your area to do them. The second reason is that you had a fairly similar check done in order to apply for the job - so there's no real reason to do another.

You'll probably have to have one during the second summer you're here. It takes all of 20 minutes unless you get there late or fuck something up. The worst bit is usually the shitty EKG thing - they need you to lie down and relax on a bench doesn't fit anyone over 170cm.

johnny
July 29th, 2015, 09:05
Yeah, there is no reason to be concerned with x-Rays for the reason web said. Just get it done and move on.

If you don't like needles, I just look away when they put the needle in and then you'll be just fine.

UPGRAYEDD
July 29th, 2015, 09:17
Took my health check every year and had no problems with anything. The stomach check where you have to drink the nasty gunk is not the most pleasant thing in the world but I value my health over 5 minutes of uncomfortableness.

Aqua
July 29th, 2015, 09:54
Everyone in my area gets one as part of their arrival bundle, and they're on top of the yearly followups. (Yay?) I can't say if anyone has successfully weedled out of one part or another. I'm horrified of needles, too, (and looking away doesn't defend against a healthy imagination) but that's life. It's worth a minute of terror to have your blood checked out once a year. No barium tests, thankfully. The only part that really threw me was that EKG... those suction cups were some bizarre, dark age mess.

Heard the tip that if you wear a sports bra, they won't make you take it off, but onsen have rid me of such modesty.

word
July 29th, 2015, 11:46
I decline the xray every other year (I know you get a higher dose of radiation from a plane ride; radiation exposure should be considered cumulatively, however). Nobody cared except for the first year that I declined at my new school and suddenly an arseload of other teachers decided they didn't feel like it, either. The school nurse got all irritated but couldn't do anything about any of us so it was kinda LOL.

Needles don't bother me. EKG doesn't bother me. Piss test doesn't bother me. The report that you get back is remarkably comprehensive. Never had a barium test.

MG had an awkward experience once when she was told to wear some loose shirt thing for an xray or something and took her pants off too and the doctor freaked out and shoved her back into the changing room.

Isola
July 29th, 2015, 11:58
I've gotten a health check every year for 4 years. In my town it consists of a blood test, pee in a cup, and x-ray.

During my second year, I found out that I had become anemic since moving to Japan (the fainting was a good hint, but the blood test confirmed it). Your body might go through changes that you are not aware of when living in a foreign country, and regular medical checks can be really important. I hate blood tests because I have small, hard-to-find veins, and every time I got one in the US, the nurse would stab me about 2-3 times before she actually got my vein. I've found the Japanese nurses to be a lot more careful about this. I've only had one Japanese nurse ever miss, and she was so lovely and apologetic and gentle about it that I was able to stay calm, even though I really hate needles.

webstaa
July 29th, 2015, 12:19
I did piss off the doctor doing the stethoscope bit on mine - he looked at some of the data from my piss/blood tests and that I had coffee with milk that morning (and had biked 130km the day before) and was a little perturbed. Probably doubled with the fact that I'm a fat-ass. The only other problem I had is that I went in with the teachers and had to wait 30 minutes for all of them to finish and then go between the teachers and the yakuba staff (seeing as I'm technically contracted through the yakuba BoE office and not the school - yay bureaucracy!)

The rest of the nurses were very pleasant. And the hearing test lady (a mid-80s baa-chan in a stereotypical nurse outfit) was really cute trying to speak English. AFAIK the doctors and nurses doing the tests are from the local public hospital too. My pred blew out his knee and had reconstructive surgery, so they knew him pretty well apparently.

uthinkimlost?
July 29th, 2015, 12:28
And the hearing test lady (a mid-80s baa-chan in a stereotypical nurse outfit)

She ain't so cute when she's your gloveless blood test lady.

My veins aren't hard to find, and it still took several hard and shaky jabs.

Jiggit
July 29th, 2015, 14:01
You have to take the blood test? I just tell them I don't want it and no one minds.

word
July 29th, 2015, 14:08
If the person taking my blood was an 80-year-old woman who wasn't wearing gloves, I'd refuse it, too.

uthinkimlost?
July 29th, 2015, 14:09
Never occurred to me to ask.

Everyone else at the school has to, afaik. We're all walking around with the bandages.

Jiggit
July 29th, 2015, 14:39
They said it's fine for me not to take it since I'm young.

soh
July 29th, 2015, 15:30
Bored at the office so I read the 2015 GIH.


Your supervisor wants you to undergo a health check including an X-ray picture of your lungs. You didone 6 months ago as part of your JET Programme application and you would rather not do this again.
Health checks are compulsory. Employers have a legal obligation to provide their employees with yearly
health checks including a urine test, blood test, weight, height, sight and hearing checks, as well as a lung Xray
to check for tuberculosis. This is especially important for those who work with children. JET participants
are therefore also required to undergo the health check as part of their work duties.

I had to do one a few weeks ago although I'll be gone before the results come out.

word
July 29th, 2015, 15:43
Huh. I had no clue. I guess if they'd pushed me, I might go along with it, but I wouldn't hesitate to insist on proper hygiene on the part of the individuals taking my blood, nor to push back on the xrays.

sourdoughsushi
July 29th, 2015, 17:39
Huh. I had no clue. I guess if they'd pushed me, I might go along with it, but I wouldn't hesitate to insist on proper hygiene on the part of the individuals taking my blood, nor to push back on the xrays.

Gosh, yeah. It's the people handling the blood and needles which scare me over the x-ray.

uthinkimlost?
July 29th, 2015, 17:52
Huh. I had no clue. I guess if they'd pushed me, I might go along with it, but I wouldn't hesitate to insist on proper hygiene on the part of the individuals taking my blood, nor to push back on the xrays.

I can pretty much guarantee they don't change gloves between patients.

In in her defense she purelled first.

singinglupines
July 29th, 2015, 23:15
Huh, guess you can see I haven't read the handbook XD

I guess I'll just say no and see what happens. The needle is more of a sensation thing so the only thing that works well for me is if I distract my senses with music and pinching. As word said, x-rays are a cumulative concern. I rather limit my exposure now. Plus chest ones are pointless, that's why the TB test exists.

Ugh, hygiene.

UPGRAYEDD
July 30th, 2015, 09:58
Plus chest ones are pointless, that's why the TB test exists.


Do you have medical training or something? That is an amazingly ignorant statement.

Do you think there is some kind of medical conspiracy out there where the vast majority of medical professionals around the world prefer chest x-rays over TB skin tests for diagnostic purposes?

If you are going to work with children, you should really check your medical ignorance at the door and listen to the professionals who actually know what they are talking about.

Naru-toes
July 30th, 2015, 10:01
Be x-rays are so dangerous! I heard so on facebook!

ambrosse
July 31st, 2015, 14:48
I'm just going with it. There's no use fussing about the radiation from the chest x-ray.

As a side note, if my nurse is 80 with an un-gloved shakey hand, I too would decline everything.

CUPS
August 1st, 2015, 14:00
Actually, the law states it is mandatory for employers to OFFER one. It is NOT mandatory for employees to take one. You are allowed to opt out of the bits that you don't want.

Ananasboat
August 4th, 2015, 01:45
If you don't like needles, I just look away when they put the needle in and then you'll be just fine.

"If I can do it so can you!" "It's all in your head!" "C'mon, it's easy when you're me!" etc. etc.

It's not that I'm afraid of needles, they just make me faint. Shoving anything into my bloodstream or taking anything (over a vial) out puts my blood pressure out of whack and out I go.

And I'm against an x-ray TB test when there's a perfectly nonradioactive alternative. It's just unnecessary.

Ananasboat
August 4th, 2015, 01:47
I can pretty much guarantee they don't change gloves between patients.

In in her defense she purelled first.

My dentist rinses off his gloves between patients.

...Huh yeah it's all making sense to me now.

Zolrak 22
August 4th, 2015, 03:39
My dentist rinses off his gloves between patients.

...Huh yeah it's all making sense to me now.
Is this the same dentist as before?

My god he'll be the death of you.