Monterey License Attorney


Vocational Nursing & Psychiatric Technician

As a vocational nurse or psychiatric tech, you play a critical role in the medical profession. Your primary duties are caring for patients in hospitals, schools, nursing homes, and home care agencies, meaning you must be passionate about your patients. The profession is gratifying because of your impact on people’s lives. However, the career comes with heavy responsibilities that can sometimes be grueling, resulting in errors and unmet expectations. If your patients are unsatisfied, they can file a complaint against you, threatening your vocational nursing and psychiatric technician license.

Your license is your most valuable asset as a healthcare professional since it allows you to practice and progress in your career. Therefore, you should move quickly to defend your rights and refute the accusations if this precious commodity is under threat of revocation, probation, suspension, or license denial. You should also speak with a license attorney. At Monterey License Attorney, we can defend you against the accusations to protect your practicing license and career.

Vocational Nurses' Responsibilities or Roles

Occupational nurses play the most crucial role in the healthcare profession. As one of these professionals, you must be compassionate to your patients because your part is to monitor and care for patients in various environments, including homes, nursing homes, clinics, and hospitals. You have heavy responsibilities, which include:

  • Observing and documenting vital signs.
  • Checking patients suffering from chronic illnesses.
  • Documenting patients’ progress.
  • Operating and maintaining intravenous equipment.
  • Administering medication to patients.
  • Wound treatment and dressing.
  • Giving injections.
  • Recording data on patient progress or improvement.

The responsibilities you play as an occupational or vocational nurse indicate that you hold the lives of your patients in your hands daily. Your expertise is critical and in high demand, explaining the intensive education and teaching you undergo before obtaining a practicing license. The training itself takes years to complete and is expensive.

Despite investing a tremendous amount of time and money into the training to obtain a vocational nursing and psychiatric technician license, a small mistake or complaint can dent your career. Human beings are prone to errors, but there is virtually no room for mistakes as nurses. Mistakes will attract disciplinary action like monetary fines or license suspension by the California Board of Vocational Nursing (BVN).

Thankfully, a defense attorney service like the Monterey License Attorney can defend you when you face a professional misconduct complaint or false allegation from an unhappy patient. Our attorneys will help you retain the license and assist you in obtaining one if your application for licensure has been denied.

Do not make the mistake of defending yourself in these cases because you could irretrievably forfeit critical constitutional rights because of minor errors and not knowing the procedures to follow. Without proper justification, you risk a temporary or permanent license withdrawal, hurting your career and livelihood. However, when you hire us during the early stages of the case, we will elevate the chances of a favorable outcome at the end of the proceeding.

Psychiatric Technician Roles

If you are a psychiatric technician, your responsibilities are the same but different from those of a vocational nurse. Nurses handle patients with physical medical conditions, while psychiatric technicians handle patients with emotional or psychological conditions. You can work in a mental clinic or hospital with a psychiatric tech license. Your expertise can be incorporated into patient rehabilitation or general treatment. Sometimes, as a technician, you could be assigned roles outside of mental health, like giving injections and helping patients maintain proper personal hygiene. Besides, you must follow the procedures and protocols the hospital or supervising physician sets, including administrative roles like maintaining patient files, contacting their families, or planning conferences.

You must be an empathetic caregiver to join this profession that deals with the mentally ill in society. Your regular duties include monitoring the patient's pulse, respiration, and temperature. Also, you are tasked with observing behavioral patterns in patients and reporting your observations to your supervisor. Sometimes, you could be required to lead prescribed individual or group therapy meetings.

The greatest responsibility you must shoulder as a psychiatric tech is restraining violent or suicidal patients verbally or physically as you put your safety on the line. Also, it is incredibly challenging to control a patient’s decision-making course or guarantee an outcome. Supervising suicidal patients around the clock can also be highly problematic. Therefore, you are susceptible to suits because of your work’s nature. Luckily, our license attorneys at Monterey License Attorney will skillfully defend you against all these accusations and prevent disciplinary action.

California BVN Mission

California BVN issues both psychiatric tech and vocational nursing licenses. The board expects applicants to satisfy the high values to obtain licensure. By doing so, the agency protects the community from medical malpractice.

Apart from issuing licenses and protecting the public, the board receives written complaints through their consumer affairs site or mail. After thoroughly evaluating these complaints, they follow up or investigate accusations that can be substantiated. If, after investigations, BVN discovers that some of the allegations against you are true, they will take various disciplinary actions.

This makes the board’s mission or role apparent. BVN exists not to protect nurses and psychiatric techs but to safeguard members of the public from discriminatory practices by these medical professionals. The board’s dream is to ensure high standards in the medical field and maintain safety and quality care.

That is an honorable course with the full backing of nurses and psychiatric techs. Nevertheless, this function and the need to maintain the highest standards make the board believe all allegations brought by a patient or family against a healthcare professional expose them to multiple lawsuits. Most complaints stem from misunderstandings between caregivers and their patients, while others are false accusations. In the same way, there are valid accusations. Others are false or exaggerated. The allegations you are likely to face as a psychiatric tech or vocational nurse are:

Drug Related Offenses, Drug Abuse or Controlled Substances Use

In your profession, it is easy to access controlled substances, making it easy to abuse or sell them. Therefore, you can face a genuine accusation relating to the use, abuse, or unlawful sale of these substances. If there is concrete evidence to back up these allegations, you risk prison incarceration on top of license revocation.

On the flip side, these accusations of drug use, abuse, or sale can be false. An unsatisfied patient can make absurd claims about how you administer controlled substances without valid prescriptions for their conditions. Colleagues can also inform the board about your misconduct out of jealousy or to seek revenge.

A Misdemeanor or Felony Sentence

A criminal arrest or conviction will lead to a lawsuit against your license, especially if the crime relates to your responsibilities or qualifications as a medical practitioner. An apprehension or sentence for offenses like elder abuse or drug abuse is probably going to hurt your license.

Professional Misconduct

In your profession, you spend much time interacting with patients, some even in their homes. You must be careful in your line of duty because some friendships with patients, particularly those that involve borrowing money or items, can prove costly to your career, as this is unprofessionalism.

Departure from the Standard Care Norms

Patients or their family members can feel like they are departing from expected standards of care. It could be a new treatment program you are testing on a patient from the agreed-upon treatment or any action outside the procedures provided by your supervising physician. You can face a lawsuit and possible disciplinary action, including license loss, in these situations.

Incompetence and Gross or Ordinary Negligence

Being a vocational nurse or psychiatric tech is a massive responsibility, and a minor error can cost a patient’s life or lead to severe injuries. When incompetence or negligence results in a patient's harm or death, you will have a claim against you.

Violating Probation Conditions for a Previous Violation

BVN takes several disciplinary actions, including placing your license on probation for a specified duration. The probation terms typically bar you from practicing during the probationary period. However, you could be tempted to practice while on probation because of your passion for your career or need to make a living. If this claim can be proved, your license risks total revocation.

Other reasons for complaints are sexual or bodily abuse and fraudulent conduct. If you face these accusations, BVN will investigate the matter, and their findings will inform the disciplinary action you will face. However, allegations or formal complaints are not entirely hopeless. An experienced license lawyer can help you prevent a license loss or harsh penalties.

Possible Disciplinary Action by BVN

The board licenses qualified healthcare professionals and discipline members who violate the profession’s code of conduct. One of the disciplinary actions you can face is revoking your permit. However, corrective action is taken against members who engage in severe violations, ignore their allegations, and fail to respond to the board’s notice.

Alternatively, the agency can suspend your license, meaning you cannot practice for a specific duration. Practicing after a license suspension can see the board take further disciplinary action, which is license revocation.

Similarly, BVN can impose hefty fines or cite you. This is not a severe punishment compared to revocation, but it still affects your career because it appears on your record, and prospective employers can see it when running background checks. Therefore, even when you face a minor accusation, you must hire the best attorney to keep your record clean.

The board can also publicly reprimand you, adversely affecting your employability and reputation. Again, your clients and potential ones will think twice before contacting you for your services.

Lastly, when the board revokes your license, you can appeal the decision for a lighter one, like probation. With probation, your permit will be suspended temporarily, after which you will resume practice. Nevertheless, you must adhere to probation conditions during the probation period. Otherwise, you risk a revocation.

It is not always the case that you will face disciplinary action after a lawsuit. Sometimes, the board can choose a contentious settlement allowing you to keep the license if you promise not to engage in the same conduct and adhere to a set of rules. Do not let the BVN suspend your permit without a fight or representing yourself.

When you receive a notice of a claim, you should hire an attorney immediately to prepare a timely response. After that, an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) will arrange a hearing to listen to both sides and decide on the most suitable action. The factors that influence the ALJ’s decision are:

  • The kind and severity of your violation.
  • Whether the person sustained any harm.
  • A disciplinary action record.
  • Criminal history relating to your vocation.
  • If you have multiple complaints.
  • Proof of reform.
  • Whether you liaised with the investigations.

The ALJ does not impose disciplinary action. The judge only comes up with recommendations, and it is up to the board to evaluate the proposals and decide.

The Process Involved From Complaint to Decision

When a public member writes a complaint against you to the BVN, the board reviews it and decides if it is worth pursuing. Investigations only continue in cases with merit.

If the board chooses to investigate your claim, they will send a formal complaint notice to let you know they are investigating you. When you obtain the news, contact your lawyer to formulate a response and enhance the chances of a fair outcome.

The BVN will likely temporarily bar you from practicing during the investigation, which is a big blow, considering the investigations can take a long time. An attorney will step in to contest the decision and allow you to continue practicing.

In the hearing, your attorney will present proof against the accusations and call witnesses to contest the opposing side’s testimony. Our goal at Monterey License Attorney is to dismiss your case or negotiate a favorable outcome.

Find a Competent License Attorney Near Me

At Monterey License Attorney, we can help you during the California Board of Vocational Nursing investigations or after a formal complaint. Whether you are applying for a license or a complaint has been filed against your existing permit, we have the expertise to protect your rights and career. Call us today at 831-296-1191 for a no-obligation consultation.

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