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IL license lawyerPsychologists provide an important service for their patients, who rely on their expertise for therapy and treatment of a wide range of mental and behavioral health issues. Psychologists who breach their patients’ trust may face serious consequences, including the loss of their license. In some cases, they may even face medical malpractice lawsuits.

What Is Medical Malpractice?

Medical malpractice occurs when a healthcare professional breaches his or her duty of care to a patient, resulting in the patient’s injury or harm. For physical healthcare providers, some of the most common forms of malpractice are surgical errors, improper medication or prescriptions, misdiagnosis, and misinterpretation of test results or patient history.

While psychologists may not have a medical degree, they do provide a form of healthcare, and prescribing psychologists are licensed to prescribe medical treatment. Therefore, they may face medical malpractice claims related to improper prescriptions, misdiagnoses, or failure to diagnose a mental health condition. According to the American Psychological Association (APA), some psychologists also face claims of malpractice due to emotional abuse or sexual misconduct with their clients.

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IL license defense lawyerIn the state of Illinois, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of people who have careers as licensed professionals. These professions can range from the obvious, such as doctors and nurses, to the not-so-obvious, like architects and engineers. The one thing that all of these careers have in common is the need to become licensed in the state they practice. The state of Illinois has also put into place certain requirements for license renewal for many professions, one such requirement is continuing education. This requirement exists for the sake of maintaining a knowledgeable and up-to-date workforce. One such profession that requires continuing education is social work.

Understanding Social Work Licensure

In Illinois, there are two types of licenses you can receive in the social work profession: a licensed social worker (LSW) and a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW). These two types of licenses are very similar, though they have separate qualifications and requirements, mostly depending on your experience as a social worker. No matter the type of license, social work licenses expire on November 30 of every odd-numbered year. Despite these differences, the continuing education requirements are the same for these licenses.

Maintaining Continuing Education Requirements for Social Workers

The first time a social worker goes to renew their license, they do not have to have completed any continuing education requirements, though they must still submit an application for renewal. The second time a social worker renews their license, they must certify that they have completed 30 hours of continuing education. These 30 hours of education must be related to the practice of social work but they must also consist of:

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Il license defense lawyerIn the state of Illinois, many different professions are regulated by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR), from architects and detectives to accountants and engineers. Nearly all medical professionals, including psychologists, are also licensed by the IDFPR and must meet certain requirements to legally practice in the state. These requirements are put in place in order to maintain a certain level of safety for the public. Illinois issues two types of licensure for psychologists: clinical psychologist and prescribing psychologist. Each type of license has its own requirements, which are important to understand if you plan to apply for a license.

Clinical Psychologist

A clinical psychologist can be found in a variety of settings. Many clinical psychologists have their own practices and see various types of patients about various issues. Clinical psychologists have the ability to diagnose and treat patients with a variety of issues and work with primary care physicians and psychiatrists to control patients’ conditions with medication. To become a licensed clinical psychologist in Illinois, you must:

  • Be at least 21 years old
  • Be a graduate of a doctoral program that is accredited by the American Psychological Association
  • Complete a minimum of two years of supervised experience, one of which being an internship and the other being postdoctoral experience
  • Pass an examination given by the IDFPR
  • Provide all of the required documentation, including proof of completion of required education and work experience

Prescribing Psychologist

A prescribing psychologist is a clinical psychologist who is permitted to prescribe certain medications to his or her patients. Because prescribing psychologists are given this ability, they must meet different requirements than the ones set forth for clinical psychologists. To become a licensed prescribing psychologist in Illinois, you must:

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IL license lawyerThere are laws governing all sorts of professions, from doctors and nurses to cosmetologists and architects. When it comes to professions such as social work, there are certain things that are explicitly spelled out as being inappropriate and not tolerated in the Illinois Clinical Social Work and Social Work Practice Act. The Act contains information about what is expected from Illinois social workers and what is considered to be unprofessional conduct. If you are accused of unprofessional conduct as a social worker, you could face disciplinary action such as a license suspension or revocation, probation or reprimand.

Examples of Unprofessional Conduct

If you are a person who works in a profession that is regulated by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR), such as social work, there are certain standards of behavior that you must abide by or face the consequences. Here are a few ways you can be subject to disciplinary action as a social worker:

  • Misstatements when providing information to the IDFPR or other state agency or to an insurance company when filing a claim on behalf of a client or patient
  • Being convicted of a felony or misdemeanor in which an essential element of the offense was dishonesty or directly related to social work
  • Fraud or misrepresentation when applying for a social work license
  • Professional incompetence
  • Gross negligence when practicing social work
  • Aiding or assisting another person in violating any rules set forth by the Social Work Act
  • Habitual or excessive use of drugs or alcohol
  • Violating the terms of probation, if your license has been placed on probationary status
  • Abandoning a client without cause
  • Failing to report suspected child abuse or neglect
  • Making or filing false records or reports relating to your practice
  • Being named as a perpetrator in a child abuse or neglect case
  • Physical or mental illness, impairment or disability that could cause you to be unable to practice with reasonable judgment, skill or safety
  • Soliciting services through false or misleading advertising
  • Violating the Health Care Worker Self-Referral Act

Talk With an Illinois Social Work License Defense Attorney Today

If you are facing disciplinary action because you have been accused of violating any of the above terms, you should immediately contact a skilled Illinois social work license defense lawyer. At the Law Offices of Joseph J. Bogdan, LLC, we can help you figure out the best course of action to defend against any charge you may be facing. To schedule a consultation, call our office today at 630-310-1267.

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IL license defense lawyerThere are many professions in Illinois and across the country that require you to hold a license to practice your trade. The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) is the governing body that oversees all of the licensing in the state, including the licensing of clinical psychologists and prescribing psychologists. A prescribing psychologist is a licensed clinical psychologist that has been granted permission to prescribe mental health medication in certain circumstances. A clinical psychologist is an individual who holds a doctorate degree, has completed years of supervised experience and an internship to practice in Illinois. A prescribing psychologist has to go through specific schooling and training in order to practice.

The Reason for Prescribing Psychologists

Most people who take medication for mental health issues have gone through the usual process. They see a psychologist on a regular basis for talk therapy, but the psychologist suggests that the addition of medication may help, though they are unable to prescribe it. Most of the time, a person’s primary care physician is who prescribes medication for mental health issues, though they do not have nearly as much training in the specialized field of psychology and mental health disorders. The creation of prescribing psychologists helps to ensure the patient has both the therapy and medication that they need and takes an integrated approach to solving that issue.

Licensing Requirements

To be a prescribing psychologist, you have to meet a certain set of educational and professional requirements. To get a prescribing psychologist license, you must:

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