Blog

Category Archives: Texas Board of Nursing

Texas nursing license defense lawyerAddiction is experienced by individuals of all ages, in all walks of life, and of all professions; it does not discriminate. Yet, when it comes to the nursing field, the consequences of addiction are usually higher. That is because nurses have more than just their health and emotional and financial well-being on the line; they could also lose their right to practice. Thankfully, it is possible to mitigate against the risk of a suspended nursing license while seeking treatment for an addiction. Learn more in the following sections, including how the experienced assistance of an attorney can improve the outcome of your case.

Understanding the Risk of Addiction

Though they have access to controlled substances, the rate of addiction for nurses is no higher than the general population’s. That suggests that the nurses who suffer from an addiction might have dealt with the issue, regardless of their profession. Sadly, their career does complicate the recovery process. If caught diverting or using drugs by the Texas Board of Nursing (BON), they could be investigated and reprimanded. Consequences can include everything from mandatory drug testing and temporary suspension to the permanent revocation of one’s license.

Seeking Treatment Can Jeopardize Your Nursing License

Seeking treatment for drug or alcohol addiction might seem like the most straightforward way to protect one’s license, but this is rarely the case. Instead, it sometimes tips off the BON and sparks an investigation. If evidence of an infraction is found - anything from drug diversion to endangering the life of a patient while allegedly under the influence of drugs or alcohol - one could experience the very same consequences as an actively addicted nurse. Thankfully, nurses who wish to recover from their addiction can do so without further jeopardizing their license. An experienced nursing license defense lawyer can explain how.

Contact Our Seasoned Texas Nursing License Defense Lawyer

With nearly 30 years of experience in the medical-legal arena, Oscar San Miguel, Attorney at Law, is the firm to call. Able to advise as you seek treatment for addiction, and capable of protecting your nursing license if you are investigated, our skilled Texas nursing license defense lawyer will work hard to ensure you are not punished for trying to recover. No matter what the situation, we will aggressively pursue the most favorable outcome possible. Call 512-228-7946 and schedule your free and personalized consultation with us today.

Source:

 

https://www.ncsbn.org/SUDN_11.pdf

Texas nursing license defense lawyerThe Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) was put in place to protect the private health information of patients in the United States. Sadly, violations and breaches are still far too common – and if one occurs in your practice, it could place your nursing license at risk. Thankfully, by learning and avoiding the most common HIPAA violations, you can decrease your risk of an investigation and subsequent disciplinary action. Learn more, including how an experienced attorney can help protect your nursing license during an investigation with the Texas Board of Nursing (BON).

Technology and HIPAA Violations

The world is becoming increasingly reliant on the digital storage and transmission of information. While, in many ways, that has made it easier to provide prompt, quality care to patients, there is always the risk of a data breach. Information that is transmitted via non-secure methods (i.e. texting vitals over a cellphone or accessing patient records from a home computer) can create cyber-theft opportunities. Lost and stolen devices can be hacked and accessed for information. To protect the information of your patients, nurses are encouraged to use only approved and encrypted sources to transmit information, and all suspected security breaches should be reported and handled promptly.

Employees Are a Common Source of HIPAA Breaches

Employees are one of the most common causes of HIPAA breaches. Some simply are not trained properly and make honest mistakes, such as sharing patient information in a setting where it can be overheard by non-employees. Others may fail to practice their due diligence when asked for information over the phone. Still, there are others who may not understand the severity of their actions, and they may make poor choices in the handling or disclosure of private patient information. To protect your practice, ensure all employees are thoroughly trained on all HIPAA practices and protocols.

Failure to Obtain Proper Authorization

Patients may need to disclose their information to their employer, their child’s school, or another party. Typically, this is done through an authorization of release. Failure to obtain this release prior to releasing information may be considered a breach of HIPAA. If you or an employee is ever unsure as to whether an authorization is required, either ask an upper member of management or obtain the release to be safe.

HIPAA Breaches May Spark a BON Investigation

If you or an employee breaches HIPAA’s rules and regulations, you could face an investigation by the Texas Board of Nursing (BON). Should they find evidence that a breach has, in fact, occurred, your license could be at risk of suspension or revocation. Thankfully, an experienced attorney can help protect your license and your right to continue practicing medicine.

With nearly 30 years of experience in the medical-legal arena, Oscar San Miguel, Attorney at Law, is the firm to call. Dedicated to your best interests, our Texas nursing license defense lawyer will fight for the most favorable outcome possible for your situation. Schedule your free and personalized consultation by calling 512-228-7946 today.

Source:

http://www.bendbulletin.com/localstate/5806757-151/lawsuit-claims-bend-nurse-shared-confidential-medical-records

Texas nursing license defense lawyerHaving your nursing license suspended can place your very livelihood at risk, but it does not have to be forever. You can have it reinstated, once you meet certain conditions. Unfortunately, the process of reinstatement is both complex and time-consuming. Learn how an experienced nursing license defense attorney can help you through it, and how having one on your side can improve your overall chances of a favorable outcome.

Meeting the Conditions of Reinstatement

Before your nursing license can be reinstated, you must meet certain conditions – namely your ability to safely practice. That can mean providing proof of a drug diversion or treatment program after having your license suspended for an addiction, or it might mean taking additional continuing education units (CEUs) to show you have made the effort to rectify any alleged lapses or shortcomings in the care you provided to patients. Keep in mind that there may be more than one requirement and that each case is unique. Speak with an experienced attorney to determine what measures you will need to take before your nursing license can be reinstated.

Attending the Informal Conference

Nurses who have had their license suspended must also go before the Texas Board of Nursing (BON) for an informal conference hearing. Composed of peers in the nursing industry, the BON is the same authority that oversees the licensing of all nurses in the state. They are also responsible for disciplining nurses who have violated the Nursing Practice Act or otherwise compromised patient care or safety. They are also the ones who made the decision to suspend your Texas nursing license, and they will decide if it can or should be reinstated.

Sadly, far too many nurses do not recognize the gravity of their situation – even after a suspension has occurred. They wrongly assume that their peers will understand why a mistake occurred and that they will be empathetic to the challenges that you face in your everyday practice. This simply is not the case. Though the BON is comprised of nurses, their primary concern is to protect the safety of the public, and if they have questions regarding your ability to safely practice medicine, they may not reinstate your license.

How Our Texas Nursing License Defense Lawyer Can Help

Reinstating your license may be a difficult and stressful process, but Oscar San Miguel, Attorney at Law, can help. Dedicated and experienced, our Texas nursing license defense lawyer can handle all the administrative aspects of your case, and we can represent you in front of the Texas BON to improve your chances of a favorable outcome. Get the help you deserve. Call 512-228-7946 and schedule your free consultation with us today.

Source:

https://www.bon.texas.gov/pdfs/discip_and_compl_courses_and_compl_res/j.pdf

Texas nursing license defense lawyerNursing is full of opportunities and positive, career-advancing opportunities. It is also filled with potential risks that can place your license in jeopardy. Thankfully, there are some strategies that you can use to decrease your chances of an investigation from the Texas Board of Nursing (BON). Learn more about them, and discover how an experienced nursing license defense attorney can help protect your license, should you find yourself the subject of an investigation.

Mitigate Against Medication Errors

Of all the potential risks to your nursing license, those related to medication errors are the ones that you are most likely to experience. That is because they happen far more often than most practicing nurses realize, and you are at the level at which they are most likely to occur. Mitigate against them by following all medication protocols, practicing effective communication, and by ensuring you administer only what is prescribed to the correct patient at the right dose.

Stay Current on Developments in Your Field of Practice

Medicine is constantly and rapidly evolving – so much so that it can be difficult for even the most diligent of nurses to stay current on developments within their practice. Yet, by doing so, you can reduce your risk of an investigation from the Texas BON. Staying current also improves patient safety, and it can improve the quality of care that they receive from you.

Advance Your Degree and Stay Current on CEUs

While you may not be required to advance your degree, doing so can improve your critical thinking skills and problem-solving skills, while also expanding your knowledge of the practice. Nurses are also encouraged to stay up-to-date on their continuing education credits, as well as their licensing credentials for any state in which they practice.

Know When and Where to Ask for Assistance

If you have made a mistake in your practice, or if you believe that you may be at risk for an investigation, it is critical that you take immediate steps to protect your nursing license. If you are a union worker, review your rights to determine if they can help. Also, contact an experienced nursing license defense lawyer, as this not only ensures your license is skillfully protected, but it can also reduce the stress you experience while working through the investigation process.

With nearly 30 years of experience in the legal-medical arena, Oscar San Miguel, Attorney at Law, is the firm to trust. Skilled and experienced, our Texas nursing license defense lawyer can take swift and aggressive action to defend your right to practice. No matter what the circumstance, we fight for the most favorable outcome possible. Call 512-228-7946 to schedule your free and personalized consultation with our office.

Sources:

http://www.nursingworld.org/MainMenuCategories/ThePracticeofProfessionalNursing/NursingEducation/ContinuingEducationforNurses

http://www.nursingworld.org/MainMenuCategories/EthicsStandards/About/Tools-You-Need/Code-of-Ethics-For-Nurses.html

 

Texas nursing license defense lawyerOf all the errors that nurses make in their practice, those related to medications are some of the most common. Sadly, when a nurse makes such a mistake, it can place their license in jeopardy. Learn how to reduce your risk of medication errors, which can ultimately decrease your chances of an investigation with the Texas Board of Nursing (BON), and discover how an experienced attorney can help protect your nursing license if an error and investigation do occur.

Understanding How Medication Errors Occur

Most medication errors begin with a failure to document or failure to properly document.  Even if the case is truly only a documentation error, the Board raises the allegations to include possible diversion of medications by the nurse. Even though, technically, the Board has the burden of proof, in practical terms the nurse is obligated to try to prove he or she is not a drug abuser!

Another concerning issue is that, when medication errors do occur, hospitals and the BON tend to take a punitive approach. Yet, when looking at the real reason why medication errors occur, it becomes clear that individual practitioners are merely vehicles in a complex and broken system.

As an example, consider an emergency room situation: an unconscious patient is suffering from suspected anaphylactic shock. To save the life of the patient, the doctor gives a verbal order for epinephrine. The nurse who is supposed to administer the medication hears the order, but a sick and screaming baby distracts them, which then causes them to hear the order incorrectly. The patient then receives too much or too little medication, which could place their life at risk.

Communication and distractions are not the only potential causes of medication errors, however. Lack of knowledge about the drug prescribed or how it interacts with other drugs, limited patient history, transcribing errors, and automatic medication dispensing practices that cut out the last safety check are all factors that increase the risk of a medication error. Thankfully, diligent nurses can use a few strategies to reduce their overall risk.

Reducing Your Risk of a Medication Error

Nurses typically have the most contact with patients, and that makes them more prone to medication errors – but it also gives them more power in preventing them. Of course, some strategies do rely on the facility or practitioner (i.e. root-cause analysis, computerized order entry systems, barcoding systems, etc.). However, a nurse can make a difference, even without the support or acknowledgment of his or her superiors and facility. Examples can include:

  • Repeating orders to ensure you heard them correctly;
  • Charting the order at the time it is given;
  • Using handoff strategies when changing shifts;
  • Recognizing which patients have the greatest medication error risk;
  • Follow right patient-right medication-right dose protocol;
  • Take a full patient history to the best of your capabilities in any given situation;
  • Check the order for potential oversights (i.e. prescribing a medication to which the patient is allergic); and
  • Educating new nurses on the protocols and strategies that reduce medication errors.

Dealing with a BON Investigation

Almost all medication errors result in a referral to the Texas BON for investigation. In such situations, nurses are encouraged to protect themselves and their licenses from possible suspension or revocation. Contact Oscar San Miguel, Attorney at Law, for assistance. Dedicated and experienced, our Texas nursing license defense lawyer can take swift and aggressive action in your case. Call 512-228-7946 to schedule your free consultation today.

Source:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4753984/

Archives

Austin, Texas Professional License Defense Attorney Oscar San Miguel represents clients who are located in Austin, Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, El Paso, Fort Worth, Arlington, Amarillo, Lubbock, Brownsville, Laredo, Harlingen, McAllen, Round Rock, Longview, Travis County, Harris County, Dallas County, Tarrant County, Bexar County, Fort Bend County, Montgomery County, Cameron County, Nueces County, El Paso County, Potter County, Lubbock County, Grayson County, Collin County and throughout Texas.
© 2019 Oscar San Miguel, Attorney at Law
505 West 12th Street, Austin, TX 78701 | 512-228-7946
OVC, INC.