Kansas Respiratory Therapists: Know What Actions Could Cost You Your License

The Kansas Board of Healing Arts (“Board”) is the licensing authority for many different healthcare professionals in the state of Kansas, including respiratory therapists. In addition to licensing respiratory therapists, the Board also functions to protect the health, welfare and safety of the general public from wrongdoings by a respiratory therapist. Conduct by a licensee that endangers the public is likely to be deemed “unprofessional conduct”. Unprofessional conduct can refer to a multitude of actions that are unbecoming to the profession. Such actions can result in a respiratory therapist having his or her license revoked or suspended and receiving public or private censure. Additionally, the Board also has the power to fine a licensee for each violation, which can be up to $5,000 for a first violation and $15,000 for a third violation. The most common examples of actions that are deemed to be unprofessional conduct, include the following:

  • Conviction of a felony: A felony conviction can result in a licensee receiving discipline by the Board if the conduct which resulted in the felony is determined by the Board to directly impact whether the licensee can be entrusted to continue as a respiratory therapist.
  • Drug and/or alcohol addiction: Being addicted to alcohol and/or illegal or prescription drugs or any other substances, can not only interfere with a licensee’s ability to properly perform his or her job duties, it is also considered to be unprofessional conduct. If you are a licensee who is struggling with addiction, you need to seek assistance as soon as possible.
  • Making false or misleading statements to a patient: Examples of such statements include:
    • representing to a patient that an incurable disease or medical condition can be cured through treatment(s);
    • using advertising that is deceptive; and
    • misrepresentation of licensee’s skill level.
  • Charging improper fees: A licensee risks disciplinary action by the Board if a licensee is found to have charged a patient a fee that is excessive or if the licensee obtains a fee through fraudulent acts.
  • Physical or sexual abuse or mistreatment of a patient: Acts of sexual misconduct are not only criminal in nature but also are in violation of a licensee’s professional code of conduct. A licensee can also endanger his or her licensee if he or she provides respiratory therapy to a patient without that patient’s consent (or the patient’s legal guardian). In some jurisdictions, this type of action is also grounds for a criminal charge of assault.
  • Failure to keep proper patient documentation: It is imperative that all licensees maintain detailed records that justify the course of treatment for each and every patient. Failure to do so can be grounds for disciplinary action by the Board.

As a respiratory therapist you worked hard to obtain your license. If you are facing disciplinary action by the Kansas Board of Healing Arts, contact the Sanger Law Office today at today at 785-979-4353 to schedule your free and completely confidential consultation. We at the Sanger Law Office understand how it feels when your livelihood comes under attack. Trust the knowledgeable and professional team at the Sanger Law Office to provide you exceptional legal services.