Monterey License Attorney


Respiratory Care Practitioner

Respiratory care practitioners work hard to preserve the breath of life. This is done by treating patients with respiratory illnesses like pneumonia, chest infections, and lung diseases. Becoming a respiratory care practitioner takes years of education, examination, and practical application. Additionally, you will need a license from the Respiratory Care Board to practice.

Unfortunately, all your years of hard work could go down the drain if you are suspected and found guilty of a violation. A violation could be in the form of a professional error, a failure to perform your duties or a criminal offense. In this case, the Respiratory Care Board of California sends you a message to inform you that they are contemplating stiff disciplinary action against you.

When you receive this notification, you can defend your license by demanding a trial before the board. Defending your license will require extensive research and a solid defense. If you or your loved one seek legal guidance to defend your respiratory care practice license in Monetary, CA, you will benefit from our expertise at Monterey License Attorney.

Understanding the Respiratory Care Board of California

Respiratory care practitioners or therapists offer essential life-saving procedures for significant body organs. The respiratory care board must protect the public from unauthorized and unqualified respiratory care practices. The board is also responsible for doing public awareness campaigns about respiratory care as a profession.

For this reason, the Respiratory Care Board has the following functions:

  • Issuing licenses to respiratory care practitioners with the proper education and training.
  • Administering tests to RCPs before issuing practice licenses.
  • Enforcing the California Code of Regulations and the Respiratory Care Act.
  • Issuing citations and public reprimands.
  • Suspending and revoking professional licenses for misconduct by the practitioner.

Role of Respiratory Care Practitioners

Respiratory care helps relieve patients with non-functioning lungs and severe breathing difficulties. This makes the role of these professionals critical in the health sector.

Becoming a respiratory care practitioner will require you to undergo years of education and training. Additionally, you must undergo assessment and receive a license to practice in the field. The common responsibilities of a respiratory care therapist include:

  • Using life-support mechanical ventilation for assessment, monitoring, and analysis.
  • Assessment of patient symptoms to diagnose respiratory conditions.
  • Provide rehabilitative services.
  • Conducting education programs for patients with breathing complications.
  • Administering medication to patients.
  • Monitoring a patient’s reaction to different medications and treatments.
  • Measuring the volume of a patient’s lungs to detect impairment.
  • Taking blood specimens to check for carbon monoxide.
  • Maintaining artificial airways for patients with breathing problems.

Common Allegations Against Your Respiratory Care Practitioner License

If you engage in conduct that goes against the required professional code of conduct for respiratory care practitioners, the licensing board will be notified. You may risk losing your respiratory care practitioner license if you are accused of the following violations:

  • Sexual misconduct. Practicing as a respiratory care practitioner means that you will be working with vulnerable patients suffering from different respiratory conditions. Engaging in sexual misconduct involving your patients could be met with severe administrative action from the licensing board.
  • Drug abuse. Drug dependency could impact your ability to offer the quality and safety the respiratory care profession needs. You risk license suspension or revocation if you report to work while intoxicated or receive a DUI in California.
  • Criminal convictions. If you are arrested and charged with a criminal offense, your conviction will be disclosed to the Respiratory Care Board, which will take serious action against your license.
  • Unlicensed practice. All respiratory care therapists must have a valid license to practice in the state. Offering services without a license or an expired license could land you in serious trouble when reported to the RCB.
  • Professional misconduct. Before receiving your license to practice as a respiratory care practitioner, you must take an oath to do your due diligence in ensuring the safety of your patients. You will do this by following all the safety and care measures. Engaging in professional misconduct like gross negligence could be met with severe disciplinary action by the RCB.
  • Fraudulent billing and insurance fraud If you engage in insurance fraud through incorrect billing or other practices aimed at defrauding health insurance companies, your conduct will be reported to the Respiratory Care Board.

Administrative Hearing for Respiratory Care Practitioners

The board of respiratory care will not take disciplinary action against you immediately after receiving a complaint about your conduct. However, a hearing will be held where the case is presented and the board members present their findings. When you receive notice to appear at an administrative hearing, you can do the following to prepare for your hearing:

Do not panic

The thought of losing a professional license that you have worked for years to obtain and retain can be a devastating experience. You may have too much on your mind when you receive the notice for your hearing. Panicking could only make your situation worse. This is because you could be tempted to admit the violations in the hope that your honesty will cause leniency from the board.

Remaining calm as you wait for your hearing allows you to recollect your thoughts and plan how to handle your proceedings.

Seek Legal Guidance

Battling an administrative hearing to protect your license and right to practice as a respiratory care practitioner can be complicated. You will need to collect evidence and convince the board that you did not commit the violation for a chance at retaining your license.

Seeking legal insight is a critical step toward protecting your license. A licensed defense lawyer will have the knowledge and experience to deal with different situations. Your attorney will also use their expertise to negotiate a favorable settlement with the board.

Be Careful of Deadlines

The primary purpose of an administrative hearing is for the board to assess the allegations and listen to your arguments. This creates a balance between your entitlement as a professional and the right of patients and the public to be safeguarded from a dangerous specialist.

However, there are deadlines for conducting discoveries and presenting your arguments to the board. For example, you will have up to fifteen days after being notified of the allegations to request a hearing with the Respiratory Care Board.

It would help if you appeared before the board on the date of your administrative hearing. The administrative hearing is a mini-trial where evidence will be presented and witnesses called upon to testify.

Discovery Phase

Before the administrative hearing, all parties involved in the case must collect evidence. During the discovery phase, you must have access to the following materials, which will be critical to your case:

  • Names of witnesses testifying against you to the board.
  • The investigation report made by the board.
  • Copies of documents and statements that are relevant to the case.

Burden of Proof in the Administrative Hearing

Like in a criminal trial, the burden of proof at an administrative hearing lies on the prosecution. Therefore, the board must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you engaged in the alleged misconduct. Since there is no criminal conviction after the hearing, the burden of proof will be less. In cases where an existing violation prevents you from obtaining a license, the burden of proof will shift to you.

When you are allowed to present your defense, your licensed defense attorney can cross-examine the witnesses presented against you and present evidence that disputes the claims. If your license is at risk for a criminal conviction, you can present evidence showing that you have been rehabilitated from the criminal behavior.

The outcome of your hearing

You will wait up to one month after the administrative hearing for the administrative law judge to reach a decision and give their recommendation to the licensing board. The board will then have one hundred days to determine the appropriate action.

You are entitled to an appeal if the board’s decision is unfavorable. You can appeal the decision by requesting the superior court analyze and reverse the board’s decision.

Disciplinary Action Against Respiratory Care Practitioners in California

If you are accused of a violation that goes against the code of conduct for licensed respiratory care practitioners, you will undergo a trial before the board. At the end of the proceeding, the board will rule on its findings. If the allegations against you are untrue, you can continue to practice using your license, and the case will be dismissed. However, if the board finds that you committed the alleged violations, you risk facing the following forms of disciplinary action:


Minor violations reported to the Respiratory Care Board are punished through citation. This type of administrative action is not considered serious disciplinary action and does not need to be disclosed to employers and professional organizations. Unlike other disciplinary measures, a citation will not be published on the Respiratory Care Board website.

Interim Suspension

This is an emergency order issued to suspend your respiratory care practice license immediately. If allowing you to continue practicing as a respiratory care therapist could result in harm to other people, the ALJ will order your license to be suspended immediately after learning of the misconduct.

The process of an immediate license suspension takes one or two steps and is only used when the agency proves that you pose a substantial risk to the safety of your patients. If you are faced with an interim license suspension order, you must hire and retain a skilled professional defense attorney. Your lawyer could help you prepare a defense and request a change in your interim license suspension.


After your administrative hearing, the Respiratory Care Board can place you on probation. In this case, your professional license revocation could be put on hold. However, if you fail to adhere to the following probation conditions, you will suffer a license revocation:

  • Avoid violating the laws. While on professional probation, you must comply with all state and federal laws. Additionally, you should follow the regulations the Respiratory Care Board sets forth.
  • Present quarterly reports. If you are placed on probation by the Respiratory Care Board, you must make and present quarterly compliance reports. Falsifying or omitting information on your progress will result in consequences for probation violations.
  • Notify your employers. Being placed on probation will allow you to practice your respiratory care profession. However, you will remain under constant monitoring. The RCB requires you to notify your employers and supervisors about your probation by providing a copy of the probation order.
  • Notify the RCB of your location, address, and change of employment.

Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation

If you are reported to the respiratory care board for a violation like drug abuse or other violations resulting from drug use, the board could order that you undergo drug counseling and rehabilitation.

License Suspension

The Respiratory Care Board could order a suspension of your professional license if you are found to have committed a severe violation. During the license suspension period, you will not be able to practice as a respiratory care therapist. This could cause you to lose your job and livelihood.

Find a Competent Professional License Defense Attorney Near Me

The Board of Respiratory Care regulates the licensing and practice of respiratory care practitioners. This includes setting regulations that practitioners must follow to obtain and retain their licenses. Deviating from the expected code of conduct could result in severe consequences. The licensing board will launch an investigation against you if you are reported for acts like criminal convictions. Professional misconduct and unlicensed practice.

If you are found guilty of the violations for which you are accused, you risk facing harsh disciplinary actions, which could include license revocation and suspension. Fortunately, not all allegations against your license can be substantiated. With a thorough investigation and a solid defense, you can protect your license. Hiring and retaining a knowledgeable licensed defense lawyer is critical as you face the licensing board to fight for your license.

At Monterey License Attorney, we will help you investigate the facts of your case, issue requests for discovery, and subpoena witnesses and evidence. Additionally, we can present mitigating factors before your licensing board to help avoid suspension or revocation of your license. We serve clients seeking professional license defense services in Monterey, CA. Call us today at 831-296-1191 to discuss your case.

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