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4 Types of Conduct That Can Affect a Physical Therapist’s License

Posted on in Medical license defense

Untitled---2023-09-11T141055.468.jpgPhysical therapists play a crucial role in helping people recover from injuries, manage chronic conditions, and improve their overall physical well-being. As licensed healthcare professionals, they are held to high standards of ethics and conduct. Any violation of these standards can have serious consequences on their professional license.

The Indiana Professional Licensing Agency (IPLA) oversees the licensing and regulation of physical therapists. The IPLA has established guidelines that outline the types of conduct that can lead to disciplinary action against a physical therapist's license. Those who have been accused of engaging in unprofessional conduct can work with an attorney to determine what steps they can take to defend against disciplinary action. Some issues that could lead to discipline include:

1. Unprofessional Conduct

This type of conduct may include any behavior or actions by a physical therapist that deviates from accepted ethical standards within their profession. This may include:

  • Failing to maintain patient confidentiality

  • Engaging in inappropriate relationships with patients

  • Misrepresenting qualifications or credentials

  • Breaching boundaries with patients

  • Engaging in fraudulent billing practices

2. Substance Abuse or Dependency Issues

A physical therapist who struggles with addiction to alcohol or drugs may be unable to provide the services patients deserve. In some cases, they may even pose a risk to patient safety and welfare. If evidence suggests that a physical therapist is unable to perform their duties effectively due to drug or alcohol use, they may face disciplinary action against their license.

3. Criminal Convictions

Accusations of certain types of crimes can have severe implications for a physical therapist's license. Offenses such as fraud, theft, assault, or drug-related charges may be considered grounds for disciplinary action by the IPLA.

4. Negligence or Malpractice

Physical therapists are expected to provide a certain standard of care to their patients. Any act of negligence or malpractice that results in harm to a patient can lead to disciplinary action against the therapist's license. Examples of negligence or malpractice may include:

  • Failing to properly assess and diagnose a patient's condition

  • Administering incorrect treatments or exercises

  • Not adequately monitoring a patient's progress

  • Ignoring signs of potential complications

  • Failing to obtain informed consent from patients

Types of Discipline a Physical Therapist May Face

The disciplinary action that may be taken against a physical therapist can vary depending on the nature and severity of the alleged misconduct. Here are some common forms of discipline:

  • Reprimand - A formal written statement may be issued by the licensing board notifying a physical therapist that their conduct or actions have violated ethical or professional guidelines. While a reprimand does not typically involve any loss or restriction of licensure, it serves as an official warning and may be considered during future disciplinary proceedings.

  • Probation - In cases where misconduct is more serious, a physical therapist’s license may be placed on probation for a specified period of time. During this probationary period, the physical therapist must comply with certain conditions set forth by the licensing board, such as completing additional training or education courses, regularly reporting to a supervisor, or undergoing treatment for substance abuse.

  • Suspension - A person’s license and ability to practice as a physical therapist may be suspended for a predetermined period. This could range from several weeks to months or even years depending on the severity of the alleged offense. Once the suspension period is over, reinstatement can only occur after meeting specific requirements outlined by the licensing board.

  • License revocation - The most severe form of discipline that can be imposed upon a physical therapist is the complete termination and permanent withdrawal from practicing as a licensed professional. Regaining a license that has been revoked can be very difficult.

Contact an Experienced Indianapolis Physical Therapy License Defense Attorney

If you are facing allegations that could potentially affect your physical therapy license, it is crucial to seek legal representation from an experienced attorney who can assist with professional license defense. At The Law Offices of Joseph J. Bogdan, Inc., we can review your case, protect your rights, and provide representation in disciplinary hearings. We will work diligently to help you protect your license and ensure that you can continue working as a physical therapist. Contact our Indiana physical therapist license defense lawyer at 463-219-2612 for a free consultation.

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