Monterey License Attorney


Paramedics and Emergency Medical Technicians

Becoming a professional emergency medical technician (EMT) or paramedic involves rigorous training. Obtaining a professional license is also costly, sophisticated, and tedious. The challenges in this profession continue when you acquire the right to practice. You are legally and ethically liable for every treatment you administer and must conform to all set protocols, regardless of the situation.

Because of the nature of the practice, it is easy to violate some of the protocols, resulting in negligence charges. If the ruling in the case is unfavorable, you could face disciplinary action, including practicing license withdrawal or revocation. Luckily, an allegation of negligence or inaction does not mean you will automatically lose your permit or license. You can defend yourself with the help of a license defense attorney and prevent disciplinary action.

If you find yourself in this situation, do not represent yourself. At the Monterey License Attorney, we have represented paramedic and emergency medical technicians before and can do the same for you to defend your career and reputation. 

EMTs and Paramedics Care Standards

The paramedic profession has multiple challenges because all professionals are morally and lawfully responsible for the treatment they administer. Different situations have unique algorithms or treatment compliance rules. Besides, when it comes to your roles, you must perform them within the scope of your profession and adhere to set care standards. Again, you must identify and write down the side effects of the medications you administer and maintain updated records of contraindications, changes in use, trends, and drug prescriptions.

Furthermore, you must learn, by observation, the appropriate treatments for certain patients depending on their symptoms and manifestations. The intrusive methods you apply must come naturally to eliminate uncertainty about the treatment or medication prescribed to an accident victim.

It would help if you handled dangerous and adverse situations because this is your work environment. The hazardous conditions include answering phone calls in regions susceptible to fires. You are the injured or ill party’s guardian, so you must have dedication to the work, emotional stability, and stress tolerance that comes your way. Additionally, it would be best if you had the academic and physical capacity to handle challenges that came your way.

With the scope of your duties, your practicing license is mainly left to the mercy of the Emergency Medical Services Authority (EMSA). The board can quickly bring formal allegations and lawsuits against you if they believe you have violated the laid down care standards. If your license is on the line or you find it challenging to obtain a practicing license or renewal, you need the help of an attorney.

At Monterey License Attorney, we have highly qualified and experienced health professional license attorneys with knowledge of criminal and professional licensing laws. We will analyze the allegations against you, find legal strategies to solve the problem and save your license.

The Role of EMTs and Paramedics

Medical predicaments are unpredictable, and the EMTs and paramedics primarily respond to these emergencies where lives and limbs hang in the balance.

Usually, people underappreciated the gallant and exasperating roles emergency responders play. Most people underestimate these professionals until an emergency strikes. Unfortunately, even when these experts respond, they suddenly face lawsuits, formal charges, or lose their practicing licenses.

As an emergency responder, every action you take to administer medications or treatment and your emergency decisions are lawfully and ethically binding to a higher standard of care. You must analyze hectic situations quickly, react fast, and make decisions that ensure everyone’s safety while documenting all these actions appropriately. Additionally, staying updated with the most recent advancements in drugs, treatments, and laws relating to your profession would be best.

You are risking your life to save others as you perform these duties. Yet, a simple mistake could put your license at risk of revocation or suspension, not to mention criminal charges.

The public needs to distinguish the duties of paramedics from those of EMTs. An EMT is trained solely to assist paramedics and physicians. Their scope of practice is also limited, as they can only perform particular surgeries and actions for which they have the training. Sadly, the limitations result in accusations of indecisiveness when an EMT is not authorized to act on specific procedures or do what the scope of their practice allows them to do. The roles of EMTs are:

  • Taking crucial signs.
  • Offering instant life support.
  • Moving patients to the emergency room (ER).
  • Interviewing victims.
  • Reporting their evaluations and engagements to hospital staff to quickly take over from where the EMTs left.
  • They are adjuncts to local police and fire stations.

On the other hand, paramedics are allowed to perform invasive surgeries.

Attorneys at Monterey License Attorney respect the role of emergency responders and how they risk their lives to save victims. Therefore, whatever allegation you face, we will defend you without any judgment to look after your permit and ensure that you continue serving society by retaining your license.

Discipline does not Spell Doom for your Career

Just because EMSA is investigating your professional conduct does not spell doom for your profession. Recent years have seen many claims or allegations filed against emergency responders. The primary reason for the multiple complaints is the current obligation by the DOJ and FBI to have paramedics and EMTs undergo criminal background evaluations and for any future apprehensions to be conveyed to the relevant EMS agency.

Other complaints stem from the job’s nature. Many emergency responders risk license revocation or face renewal problems because of their criminal past. Most of these cases stem from criminal convictions or accusations. 

The common violations that could result in formal complaints against you are:

  • Alcohol or substance abuse.
  • Use of unorthodox means to obtain the present license.
  • Mistreatment or mishandling of the victims.
  • Sexual misconduct at the workplace.
  • Incompetence.
  • Engaging in actions outside the scope of your practice or authority.
  • Disclosing confidential patient information.
  • Fraudulent behavior related to your pre-hospital roles.

Also, you can face charges for gross negligence when you depart from the established and recognized care standard to the extent you harm or endanger a patient’s life. To be precise, gross negligence is conducting yourself in a fashion an ordinary person under your circumstances would not.

Your lawsuit can also be based on incompetence, meaning a lack of physical capacity, skills, or knowledge to be an EMT or paramedic. You will likely face these charges without proper background education and training.

It can be quick to conclude that a charge for gross negligence, incompetence, or violating set rules for emergency medical personnel can end your occupation. You are not alone in reasoning this way. Many professionals who face complaints or formal criminal charges believe an arrest for an offense, even outside the workplace, can attract disciplinary action.

Nevertheless, being on the wrong side of EMSA does not spell doom for your profession. Investigations alone will not trigger disciplinary action. Also, even if a lawsuit is filed against you in court, your skilled defense attorney will present mitigating circumstances during the trial or negotiate with the prosecutor during or before the administrative proceeding for a fair outcome. That way, you will avoid disciplinary action, saving your career, reputation, and source of livelihood.

Conviction and Professional Discipline

Not all criminal convictions against EMTs or paramedics attract disciplinary action. Again, your past sentences will not affect your current license unless they adversely affect the permit because of the crime’s nature or circumstances surrounding it.

As a professional license holder, a criminal sentence or count will have professional behavior standards counted upon you if it is your permit under consideration or there is a significant relationship between your professional roles and the crime.

The EMSA Recommended Guidelines

The administrative judge presiding over your proceeding must follow guidelines provided by the EMSA. The rules ensure impartial and steady discipline when handling violations by EMTs and paramedics. The procedures act as the standard for resolving disciplinary matters when a professional seeks to address the allegations through negotiations. The outcome of the negotiations or settlement is what the opposing parties deem right based on the Administrative Procedure Act.

When you invoke your right to contest the allegations against you under the Act, the presiding administrative judge will use the guidelines to recommend the necessary disciplinary action to the licensing agency. The hearing will allow you to present your opinion during investigations, official filing of the allegations, settlement discussions, and administrative proceedings. Again, it helps you identify the disciplinary action you will likely face depending on the complaints.

When recommending your disciplinary action, the judge considers:

  • The severity of the conduct or offense in question.
  • The potential risk the act or crime poses to the public.
  • Your previous disciplinary record.
  • Mitigating and aggravating circumstances.
  • Evidence of rehabilitation.
  • Your overall criminal history.
  • Previous remediation or on-record warning.
  • Any disciplinary action taken by your employer for the offense.
  • Prior criminal convictions and adherence to probation or sentence conditions.
  • The duration that has lapsed since you committed the crime or violation.
  • Evidence of record expunction.

Possible Penalties or Disciplinary Actions

The EMSA can respond to criminal charges or sentences against you in various ways. They can wait until your trial's conclusion or find the accusations against you unconvincing or unrelated to your practice.

One disciplinary action the board will likely take against you is issuing a private criticism or censure, a cautionary letter concealed from the public.

Similarly, the agency can impose hefty fines and a citation that speaks negatively of your profession to prospective clients. The citation is uploaded to the EMSA website, which potential employers and clients can view. It is a low-level disciplinary action but can still hurt your career. The monetary fines range from $250 to $25,000, depending on your violation’s nature. You must settle the fines within 60 days of the agency issuing the penalties. However, with the assistance of a license attorney, you can negotiate for a longer fine repayment period. An experienced attorney can arrange to have you pay the fine in twelve months if they can prove you face financial challenges.

Another penalty the board can impose is probation. If the board puts you and your license on probation, you must comply with all the probationary terms to regain your permit. If the requirements are stringent, your attorney can negotiate to have fewer and more lenient requirements that are easy to comply with. At Monterey License Attorney, we will help you understand the program's conditions to ensure compliance and a reduction in the probationary period.

When the allegations involve substance abuse, you risk license withdrawal or cancellation. You will not be practicing for the duration of the suspension. However, after some time, your attorney can apply for license reinstatement.

Finally, your attorney can put a stay on the suspension and have your license on probation for 36 to 60 months, pending the conclusion of a sanctioned alcohol or substance abuse school. The option is better than losing the permit entirely.

Defending your Professional License

When you receive a complaint or allegation notice from EMSA, you should file a defense notice within fifteen days.

And because you must understand the paperwork that comes with the notice and follow the instructions, it is best to hire a defense attorney to explain the entire process. You must file the defense notice to settle the matter or proceed to the administrative hearing. Failure to bring the notice amounts to default, and the ALJ will issue instructions revoking your license.

Once you have filed the notice, your attorney will work with the EMSA legal representative to request discovery or evidence the board has against you.

After evaluating the evidence, your lawyer will find weaknesses and use them to craft defense strategies. An effective defense for these allegations includes proof of rehabilitation and mitigating factors. These factors are:

  • Lack of a criminal history or record.
  • The alleged victim was not hurt.
  • You cooperated with the investigation authorities.
  • You voluntarily reported the violation or incident to the EMSA.
  • You have made significant rehabilitative efforts and voluntarily restituted your victims.

Despite your criminal counts, a license lawyer will work hard to safeguard your license.

Find a Competent Health Professional License Attorney Near Me

EMTs and paramedics put their lives on the line to save others. Therefore, it causes much pain to face complaints or criminal counts while trying to save another life. A complaint or charge will result in disciplinary action, which could bar you from practicing and dent your professional reputation. At Monterey License Attorney, we can protect your practicing license to allow you to continue practicing. Call us today at 831-296-1191 to arrange a meeting.

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