If you work in the healthcare industry in some capacity, you most likely had to make significant steps toward working in that field. Many healthcare professionals dedicate years to education, degrees, training, programs, internships, and money towards gaining the position they have. If you work in this industry, the thought of losing your license has probably crossed your mind at some point. Working in healthcare, you are dealing with patients, medical complications, difficult procedures, unknown factors, medications, injuries, and other nerve-wracking situations. Inevitably, mistakes can be made and it is always a good idea to be prepared for what would happen if you are impacted negatively by the medical examining board or an investigation into your work. You can learn more about these issues on this page.
License Suspension or Revocation
Losing your medical license or license to practice in healthcare can be one of your greatest fears because of the significant impact it can have on your life. Most likely, if the Medical Board that applies to your field has decided to take some sort of action against you, whether it be suspension or revocation of your license, they have reason to believe that there was something done that was unprofessional, improper, or risky to health, safety, or welfare of the patients in the community.
A license revocation is a severe action that could result in a lifetime ban from practicing with that license. In some cases, a professional that is under investigation or going through the disciplinary process can surrender their license and re-apply for the license at some point in the future. This decision can be a difficult one because it is not guaranteed that one will be granted their license in the future.
Sometimes, disciplinary action may result in probation, which means that the license to practice is temporarily monitored until that time period is over. Probation may also include completing training or limitations on performing work duties. A less severe disciplinary action is a license suspension which can come before or after an investigation or hearing. Other disciplinary actions could include being required to continue medical training or education, fines, and reprimands. All of these actions can be stressful and have a big impact on a person’s professional life.
What Could Cause a License Issue?
If you work in the healthcare field, you may have already experienced disciplinary action, had a colleague who has, or at least heard a story of it happening. Sometimes, the major cases of extreme misconduct and severe punishments are the only stories that the general public hears about. There are more subtle reasons for revocation and suspension of medical licenses as well.
One obvious reason for disciplinary action is a felony or misdemeanor conviction. Convictions do not always lead to a license revocation, but if the conviction is for violating a licensing regulation, a license revocation is probable. It is highly recommended that if you hold a professional license to practice in the healthcare field, you speak with an attorney immediately if you are convicted of a crime or are in violation of a licensing regulation.
Other actions or allegations could lead to revocation or other disciplinary measures. One of these is unethical behavior or malpractice. Malpractice could result in a loss of medical license because malpractice, even as a result of a small mistake, could lead to serious consequences or negative effects on the patient.
Unethical behavior that could lead to disciplinary action include false advertising, discrimination, inappropriate language, and more. Physicians, nurses, and others in the medical field are held to a high standard by the medical board as well as the community in general. Therefore, even relatively innocent mistakes can lead to big problems for the professional. Remaining ethical and professional is a key part of avoiding disciplinary action or license revocation.
Disciplinary action could also be the result of violations in prescriptions and medications. In most states, there is a prescription database that is closely monitored. Any type of abuse of the power to prescribe medication usually results in an investigation at the very least. Another serious allegation that could lead to discipline is patient abuse. Patient abuse could take shape in many different ways and can also be a result of misunderstanding or angry patients. In this type of allegation, the investigation period of the disciplinary process is critical for weeding out invalid complaints.
Lastly, allegations like substance abuse, domestic violence, sexual misconduct, and other forms of violence or personal issues could lead to disciplinary action. These allegations are often the most personal and difficult because investigations and hearings could revolve around a professional’s personal life.
The reality is that professionals that work in the healthcare industry and deal with patients, medical complications, and medications are held to a higher standard than most. Handling patients in a way that could greatly impact their health, safety, and well-being is something that should be taken seriously. At the same time, these professionals often face pressures and scrutiny that many other people do not understand. If you or someone you know is a professional in healthcare and has concerns about your professional license, call our office to see how we can help.