The Law Offices of Brian E. Quinn

Philadelphia Healthcare Licensing Blog

A variety of issues can put your health care license in jeopardy

Perhaps all you have ever wanted to do is help people. You figured out that the best way for you to do that is to work in the health care field. After spending a significant amount of time, money and effort getting the education you needed, working as an intern and going through your boards, the last thing you want is to put your hard-earned license in jeopardy.

Whether you have been working in the medical field for weeks, months or years, certain actions and behaviors could cost you your livelihood. Knowing what may bring you to the attention of a Pennsylvania medical board could help you avoid ending up in trouble. Some of the following issues may seem obvious, but that doesn't mean they aren't worth mentioning.

Tips to alleviate stress in a licensing board hearing

As a licensed professional in Pennsylvania, you likely recall how hard you studied and worked to earn your license. Whether that was more than 10 years ago or just took place within the past couple months, if an obstacle arises that calls your professionalism into question, you may worry about the future of your career. One of the most stressful experiences a doctor, nurse or other licensed professional can have is to be summoned to a licensing board hearing.  

There are any number or reasons this might happen. The bottom line is that when a complaint, not only can it have immediate negative effects on your reputation, it can also place your entire career at risk. There are several things you can do to keep stress to a minimum and prepare to defend your license.  

Prescription drugs associated with medical licensing problems

Life as a Pennsylvania doctor or nurse can be stressful. In addition to staying updated on current medical data and regulations regarding patient care, being a medical professional can pose personal challenges as well. Family life often bears the strain of mothers or fathers who must work long hours away from home, thus causing various relationship issues. Some medical workers also face serious problems concerning prescription drugs and substance abuse. In fact, misusing prescription drugs can lead to serious medical licensing problems. 

Doctors often write prescriptions to help their patients alleviate symptoms associated with pain and discomfort following injuries or during recovery from illness. Such medications often include opioids or other strong drugs that do a good job alleviating pain but can also be highly addictive. Sadly, many licensed medical workers fall under the temptation to self-treat by misusing prescription drugs.  

Licensing board investigating nurse's situation

Many Pennsylvania nurses have access to controlled substances during the normal course of their work duties. A nurse in another state is currently the subject of a licensing board proceeding and criminal investigation regarding accusations against her that she harmed her patients. Two key factors are central focuses of her situation: She is said to have inappropriately handled drugs on the job and also that she tried to infect her patients with Hepatitis C. 

The nurse tested positive for the illness some time ago. The Nursing Care Quality Assurance Commission suspended the 31-year-old's license on a recent Monday. Officials claim she took controlled substances out of a secure area and did not properly document waste materials that were associated with those products.  

Licensing board says doctor is a danger to the public

If co-workers or employees accuse a Pennsylvania doctor or unlawful behavior in the workplace, he or she may risk a license suspension. A situation that remains ongoing in another state involves a physician who has been branded as a public health threat by the medical licensing board. The doctor has apparently practiced family medicine for more than 25 years.  

Several people who worked with the general practitioner say she uttered terroristic threats against them in the workplace. She is also accused of using physical force to try to keep one particular employee from leaving the room. The workers who filed a complaint against the doctor say her threats were graphic, and threatened them with violence. 

Is substance abuse threatening your career and your life?

No one expects to become an addict. Substances like drugs and alcohol that people use to relax, ease stress or relieve pain suddenly become a powerful force that seems to control your every decision. Almost 2 million people in the United States struggle with addictions to prescription drugs, and countless others abuse alcohol and other substances.

If this is your struggle and you are a nurse, you are not alone. About 10 percent of the nurses in the country suffer from addiction to drugs or alcohol. This is not surprising since you have two critical factors working against you: high levels of stress and easy access to drugs. Nevertheless, you may already be aware of how substance abuse can affect many important areas of your life.

Licensing board places pediatrician's practice on hold

An administrative process is in place in Pennsylvania and all other states that investigates suspicious actions and complaints against physicians and other licensed professionals in the workplace. A licensing board has the power to suspend a license if it determines a particular party is a threat to public welfare. In fact, sometimes a board takes action if it thinks a person's actions may pose a threat down the line, if not in present circumstances.

Such was the case regarding a pediatrician in another state when the medical license board recently decided to suspend his license until a particular hearing takes place. Board members say that although the doctor's alleged actions may not be an immediate threat to public safety, they have chosen to suspend his license for now, anyway. At least 15 complaints have been filed against the doctor, saying he acted inappropriately with patients and other staff members.  

One mistake could jeopardize your pharmaceutical license

Whether you work in a privately owned pharmacy in a quiet corner of Philadelphia or a high-volume pharmacy at the front of a superstore chain, you likely have few moments when you are not busy taking calls, filling orders and answering questions for customers. You deal with doctors and insurance companies, and you often have to serve patients who don't feel well and just want some relief.

You know that accuracy in your job may be a matter of life and death for your customer and that a mistake could mean the suspension of your license. Nevertheless, you probably know other pharmacists who have faced disciplinary hearings before the Pennsylvania Pharmacy Board which deemed them incompetent because of a serious mistake. Perhaps you have dodged a bullet more than once, catching a mistake before it caused harm. You are not alone. There are numerous reasons for pharmacy mistakes.

Medical licensing situation focused on NICU nurse

A neonatal intensive care unit is a specialized department of hospital care in Pennsylvania and all other states that treats newborn infants suffering serious illness, infection or injury. The NICU in another state is currently under investigation regarding several infants who suffered injuries while in admittance. The situation has become a medical licensing concern for a particular nurse who works in the unit.  

Some time ago, a report was filed stating that a baby in the NICU had suffered bruising, the cause of which was unidentified at the time. Officials determined that the child's injuries had likely been caused by swaddled blankets or equipment wiring. When several more infants were injured, the situation led to a police investigation.  

An addiction could put your nursing license at risk

Like many other nurses here in Pennsylvania, you probably give more of yourself to your job than you realize. The demands of your chosen profession can be emotionally and physically exhausting. Even so, you ordinarily find the rewards of the job worth the sacrifices you make.

However, you may have needed something to help you cope. Perhaps you have one too many drinks with dinner or take something to help you sleep or to keep you awake. At some point, you either realized you have a substance abuse problem or something happened to reveal it. In any case, you may now find yourself facing disciplinary proceedings and wondering how you got where you are.

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