Physical therapy is a huge part of the healthcare industry because physical therapists not only work with patients that have injuries, but also work with those that need to rehabilitate from procedures, people with chronic pain, the disabled, the elderly population, and children. Physical therapists are essential for helping people cope with pain that holds them back from living healthy, safe, and productive lives. Physical therapists also spend a lot of time, money, and training to hone the skills necessary to provide this care. These professionals are held to a very high standard ethically and professionally. On this page, you can learn more about physical therapy license defense.
Regulations for Physical Therapists
The Department of Public Health and the Board of Examiners for Physical Therapists regulate physical therapists in Connecticut. Prior to practicing physical therapy in this state, one must be licensed by the Board of Examiners by completing the required education and examinations. Any physical therapist that has allegedly violated the physical therapy regulations or laws will be investigated by the Board. Allegations could include any unsafe or illegal practices against patients, practicing physical therapy that is outside the scope of the law, or committing various other unethical or unprofessional acts in the course of practicing physical therapy.
Physical therapy can be difficult because this specialty medical care requires therapists to work closely with physicians and other healthcare professionals. Physical therapists must rely on other medical assessments and sometimes do not have a way of knowing when improper medical assessments have been made or choose an improper method of treatment. Mistakes that are made could lead to injured and unhappy patients that either make allegations that are valid or allegations out of unhappiness or spite. This is why the investigation is vital but seeking counsel is also necessary to make sure the therapist does not lose their license because of unfounded or untrue allegations.
Physical therapists are held to a high standard so misconduct or mistakes that may not lead to discipline for some professions could have dire consequences in this field of work. Some allegations that could lead to loss of license or disciplinary action include:
Treating Patients While Under the Influence
Abuse of Patients
Unethical or Unprofessional Behavior
Practicing With a Suspended License
Violating Medical Procedure or Medication Procedures
Sexual or Inappropriate Behavior With Patients
Outcomes of Disciplinary Action
There are many different possible outcomes after facing a hearing for disciplinary action. One thing that often misleads therapists that are under investigation is that they must make statements to the investigator or voluntarily relinquish their professional license. A physical therapist that is being investigated does not need to voluntarily do either of these things, especially without seeking counsel first. Oftentimes, unrepresented therapists end up saying or doing things that they later regret because they feel that they had to. Mistakes like saying too much to the Board or the investigators could lead to misunderstandings and misinterpretations.
Sometimes, allegations and investigations lead the Board to drop the allegations and dismiss the claims. If this happens, the Board will not take further action against the licensee. Many times, the allegations do lead the Board to pursue disciplinary action. If this occurs, the Board may initiate a conference to discuss possible settlement agreements. Settlement agreements could lead to license suspensions, a damaged reputation, and inability to practice physical therapy in other states.
For physical therapists, it can be a very daunting and overwhelming experience to face allegations that they have been incompetent, unprofessional, or unethical. Physical therapists spend a lot of time and money to achieve a license to practice and a suspension or revocation of that license could result in a loss of everything that it took to achieve that license. If you are facing allegations or are at any stage in the process, call our office to speak with someone who can help you.