The Law Offices of Brian E. Quinn

Medical Licensing Archives

USE OF OPIATES AMONG NURSE ANESTHETISTS AND ANESTHESIOLOGISTS

Over the past few years, I have represented about a dozen anesthesiologists, nurse anesthetists and nurse anesthetist students who were disciplined for opiate use. When I recently read an article in the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists from April, 2012, titled Opiate Abuse Among Nurse Anesthetists and Anesthesiologists, it reinforced my findings and experience with my clients. The article noted that the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration estimates that the overall rate for substance abuse in the general population has consistently remained at 8% since 2002; however, it is estimated that anesthesiologists are five times more likely to abuse opiates than the general public. The article cited several studies, one of which concluded that Fentanyl was the most commonly abused controlled substance among faculty in academic anesthesiologist programs. In my own practice, every one of the dozen or so clients of mine in the anesthesiology field abused Fentanyl. The article also cited a recent study which indicated that Propanol abuse has increased in the past years. The article noted that once abuse of potent opiates begins, tolerance and dependence can develop quickly, and abuse can rapidly escalate out of control to the point of discovery, which typically amounts to one to one and a half years. In my own practice, I have noted that usage is often discovered through random testing, overdose which results in an emergency room visit, or discovery of drug use while at work by an employer.

The Importance of Expert Testimony In A Reinstatement Proceeding

We recently represented a medical doctor who applied to Pennsylvania for a medical license. The doctor's medical license was previously revoked by the State of New York in 1995 for inappropriately touching two patients and a technician as well as several malpractice verdicts against him. Our client reapplied for licensure in New York in 2000 but was denied. Our client applied for licensure in two other states, most recently in 2010; however, both of these applications for licensure were denied.

The Practical Effect of the October 17, 2015 Nursing Board Regulation Requiring All Pennsylvania Licensed R.N.'s To Report Arrests

I recently wrote in my blog, that effective October 17, 2015, the Pennsylvania Nursing Board rules were changed to require all Pennsylvania licensed RN's, LPN's, CRNP's, LDN's and CNS's to report any misdemeanor or felony criminal charge, regardless of which jurisdiction the charges originate in. These same practitioners must also report within ninety (90) days any discipline from another jurisdiction.

PA. OVERDOSE CRISIS WORSENS

The Pennsylvania State Coroner's Association recently released a report titled Report on Overdose Death Statistics - 2014, http://www.pacdaa.org/Documents/Pennsylvania%20State%20Coroners%20Association%20Drug%20Report%202014.pdf which stated there were over 2400 drug overdose deaths in Pennsylvania in 2014, an increase of about 20%.

What not to do when your medical license is at stake

The stakes are very high when a doctor or other medical professional is under investigation. Even if criminal charges are not likely, the accused person’s professional license could wind up suspended or permanently revoked. The damage to the health care provider’s reputation could last the rest of his or her life.

NURSES ARE NOW REQUIRED TO REPORT CRIMINAL CHARGES FILED AGAINST THEM WITHIN 30 DAYS OF ARREST

Effective October 17, 2015 The Pennsylvania Nursing Board rules now require all Pennsylvania licensed RNs, LPNs, CRNPs, LDNs, and CNSs to report being charged with any misdemeanor or felony criminal charge, regardless of which jurisdiction the charges originate. The same practitioners must also within 90 days report any discipline from another jurisdiction.

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