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illinois medical license defense lawyerLast year, Hulu produced the limited series, “Dopesick.” The show revealed how the opioid epidemic that has gripped the U.S. started and how it has affected people. One of the characters in the show, Dr. Samuel Finnix, is a doctor in a small town who is persuaded by an OxyContin salesperson to prescribe the drug to his patients. Not only do many of his patients become addicted to the drug, but the doctor also develops an addiction. Sadly – although the character is a fictional one – he is based on many true-life stories that have found themselves in the same place the character does.

Addiction in Medical Professionals

According to national statistics, more than 100,000 medical professionals – including physicians, nurses, therapists, technicians, and other health professionals – are struggling with abuse or addiction to Oxycodone, Fentanyl, or other narcotics. One in 10 doctors will abuse or become addicted to drugs or alcohol during their career, while 20 percent of nurses struggle with some form of addiction.

Although anyone can become addicted to narcotics, the unique issue with medical professionals is they have easier access to these drugs.

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illinois nursing license defense lawyerIt takes strong dedication to be a hospital nurse. The majority work long shifts, with hours that go into the double digits, dealing with lack of sleep and heavy workloads, all while trying to provide patients with the best care possible. The hospital work culture can – and often does – leads to errors that can ultimately put a nurse’s license at risk.

Hospital Work Culture

Several years ago, the Vickie Milazzo Institute in Houston conducted a survey of nurses throughout the country. The results found that most of them were overworked and stressed, as well as feeling underutilized and underappreciated.

More than half of the nurses surveyed said that the shifts they work make it impossible to get enough sleep during the week. Between the double-digit shift hours and the on-call availability they are required to work, it is not uncommon for a nurse to pull a 24-hour or even a 36-hour shift.

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illinois professional license defense lawyerIn many criminal cases, the person who has been charged will often enter into a plea agreement with the prosecutor’s office instead of going to trial and letting a jury decide their guilt or innocence. If it appears that the prosecutor has enough evidence to convict them, a defendant agrees to a plea bargain in order to receive a lesser sentence than what they would receive if convicted.

For most people, agreeing to a plea bargain will conclude the legal process for them. However, for a person who holds a professional license, agreeing to a plea bargain in a criminal case could jeopardize that license and their future.

Professional License Holders and Criminal Charges

The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) oversees multiple state licensing boards, including medical, nursing, dental, and real estate. Not only do these boards address professionals who have been accused of improper business practices, but they also investigate those who have been charged with criminal offenses. If a board concludes that the professional violated the rules and regulations that the state requires of them, it has the authority to suspend or even permanently revoke that professional’s license and their ability to earn a living in their chosen profession.

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illinois license defense lawyerIt takes years of education, training, and dedication to become a successful psychologist in Illinois. Not only is there grinding coursework to get your degree, but there are also stringent requirements to obtain your license to practice in the state. Unfortunately, all it takes is one accusation of wrongdoing and a dedicated psychologist can find his or her career in jeopardy.

All licensure issues are handled by the Illinois Clinical Psychologists Licensing and Disciplinary Board, which falls under the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR). If you have been contacted by the board that you are under investigation, contact an Illinois professional license defense attorney immediately.

What Types of Complaints Can Trigger an Investigation?

There are many reasons why a patient may file a complaint against a psychologist. Some of the most common allegations filed with the board include:

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illinois license defense lawyerIn every state in the country, there are certain professionals who are required to hold a professional license that is issued through the state. In this state, the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) is the state agency that has regulation over all the different professional boards that issue these licenses and are in charge of oversight. Some of these boards include the Illinois Medical Board, Illinois Board of Nursing, Illinois Board of Pharmacy, the Illinois Dental Board, and Illinois Board of Clinical Psychologists/Social Workers.

When there is an issue with a professional license holder, the board that issued that license will begin an investigation into the allegations made and then make a decision on what – if any – action should be taken against the license holder. The following are some of the more common reasons why investigations take place. If you have been notified that you are under investigation, contact an Illinois professional license defense attorney immediately.

Alcoholism or Addiction

Addiction is one of the most common complaints that are made against a professional license holder that can result in an investigation and subsequent license suspension or revocation. Whether that addiction is to alcohol, drugs, or both, the impact that the addiction can have on the quality of care the individual can provide can be devastating.

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