Arizona Respiratory Care Board Probation Attorney
Probation from the Arizona Respiratory Care Board against the licenses of respiratory care practitioners in Arizona is offered through a Consent Agreement. The Consent Agreement requires the respiratory care practitioner do certain things (drug testing, work supervision, counseling, continuing education). Or alternatively, refrain from doing things (using alcohol, prescribing schedule drugs, seeing certain patients, etc.). The Arizona Respiratory Care Board can place respiratory care practitioners on probation through:
- Stipulated Rehabilitation Agreement
- Interim Practice Restriction
- Decree of Censure with Probation
- Letter of Reprimand with Probation
- Practice Limitation
Respiratory care practitioners who hold a license in Arizona can face disciplinary actions by the Arizona Respiratory Care Board for many different reasons. If the Respiratory Care Board determines formal licensing action is necessary it will happen after the completion of an investigation. It’s the job of the Board to review any complaint alleging a violation of the Arizona Medical Practice Act and Arizona law. Thus, at an Arizona Respiratory Care Board Meeting, the Board will vote to determine the outcome of each investigation, thus, a defense attorney may be needed. The Board can vote on a non-disciplinary outcome or vote to offer the respiratory care practitioner formal discipline.
Responding to Practice Complaints and Investigations
After receiving an Arizona Respiratory Care Board Complaint or self-report, a respiratory care practitioner receives a notice from the Board requesting additional information as well as a response to allegations found in the complaint. From here, the Respiratory Care Board assigns an investigator to the complaint and they begin to collect evidence. The documents and evidence collected includes:
- Patient medical records
- Employment files from the respiratory care practitioner’s employer and business
- Criminal records
- Interviews of people associated with the Board Complaint (These interviewees can include the patient, medical director, colleagues, etc.)
Arizona Respiratory Care Board Disciplinary Actions
When a respiratory care practitioner is facing a complaint or investigation by their medical board, they may also face Arizona Respiratory Care Board Disciplinary Actions. Facing disciplinary action can have vast repercussions on a medical career. This can include license probation, suspension or revocation. It can also jeopardize employment. A respiratory care practitioner under investigation can face termination at their current job after receiving a complaint or after the Board initiates an investigation.
There are certain allegations that can cause a respiratory care practitioner to receive disciplinary action. These include:
- Improper record keeping
- Reporting false information
- Physical abuse of patients
- Sexual abuse of patients
- Criminal convictions
- Substance Abuse
- Disruptive Conduct
What Current and Past Crimes Must Be Reported by a Respiratory Therapist to the Arizona Board?
Arizona Respiratory Care Board Criminal Reporting rules hold that a felony must be reported within 10 days of being charged. The following types of misdemeanor or other criminal histories are crimes that have been determined by the Board to be reportable pursuant to the chapter in A.RS § 32-3208:
- Assault and Related Offenses
- Theft and Related Offenses
- Fraud, Deceit and Related Offenses
- Abuse, Neglect, Exploitation of a Child or Vulnerable Adult and Related Offenses
- Sexual and Related Offenses
- Drug and/or Alcohol Related Offenses
- Arson and Related Offenses
- Animal Abuse, Cruelty and Related Offenses
Failure to report a reportable criminal charge within 10 business days is a violation of the Arizona Medical Practice Act and could result in disciplinary action which could result in Arizona Respiratory Care Board’s Probation.
DUI Criminal History
Respiratory care practitioners who contact our office frequently ask our attorney’s if state law allows a respiratory care practitioner with a DUI crime or conviction to get a license with the Arizona State Respiratory Care Board? The short answer is yes. An Arizona respiratory care practitioner DUI will not necessarily prevent a respiratory care practitioner from obtaining a license or a career in the health field. However, the Board (which handles all complaints) has a public policy (updated as of September 2020) on their website which covers the details of what circumstances respiratory care practitioners with a case that resulted in a felony DUI criminal conviction can get licensed.
Professional License Criminal Consequences
This specific policy does not apply to criminal conduct involving misdemeanor DUI charges or convictions. Once a respiratory care professional applies for a license to practice to the Arizona Respiratory Care Board, they need to disclose any felony DUI criminal court convictions (from previous years) on their application. A respiratory care professional must report a felony DUI no matter how much time or how many years have passed since the time of the conviction or case. The AZ Board may also ask about past DUI misdemeanor criminal charges or cases that resulted in a conviction. This is done to ensure a respiratory care professional can perform safe patient care and can have safe direct contact with patients or other providers.
Disclosing a Criminal Record for a Professional Applicant
If a respiratory care professional license applicant is not required to disclose a legal misdemeanor DUI, the AZ Board can still initiate an investigation based upon the results of a health care fingerprint background check. The Board will then contact the professional and initiate an investigation in their practice utilizing the law of the AZ Medical Practice Act. This license investigation determines whether the respiratory care professional is a danger to the public, has any medical or mental health problems and whether the respiratory care professional has rehabilitated in the time since the criminal misdemeanor DUI or DUI charges occurred. Simply, the Board wants to know whether the applicant can provide safe care with a past criminal case involving alcohol or substance abuse.
The attorneys at Chelle Law assist respiratory care professionals with interpreting Board policy (which is generally on the Board website). Our attorneys help respiratory care professionals with their application to show the Board the professional isn’t a danger to the health, safety and welfare of the public and is able to provide safe patient care.
Respiratory Care Board Discipline Attorney
If you’re interested in learning more about our Arizona Respiratory Care Board Attorney services and how to protect your license, set up a consultation with Chelle Law today.