If you aspire to become an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) or are already working in the field, learning about the various factors that could jeopardize your career is crucial. With this knowledge, you can avoid engaging in the activities or find ways to correct and re-align yourself to meet requirements set by the regulatory board.
In striving to regain your career as an EMT, you may face several challenges, including meeting all the board’s expectations on time. Therefore, we recommend partnering with a legal professional who specializes in representing healthcare professionals. With his/her help, you will receive the legal support and guidance required when facing the EMT regulatory board to protect your rights and career.
The Nature of EMT Services and Why You May be Disqualified
As an EMT professional, you are tasked with responding to medical emergencies that may occur in any location within your work region. Subsequently, you should remain alert and demonstrate competence in your actions because your involvement could mean the difference between saving lives and losing patients.
Due to the high pressures and demands from work, your competence is paramount to the admitting board. You are likely to experience more scrutiny for having a previous criminal record, because the actions may reflect your productivity.
Moreover, being responsible for a victim’s well-being demands that you show compassion, mindfulness, and professionalism in what you do. Thus, the certification allowing you to work as an EMT is only available after verifying your ability to uphold these virtues. Therefore, disqualification from practicing in the profession is not uncommon, especially if your case includes the various factors leading to your disqualification.
Factors Leading to Disqualification from Being an EMT
All professionals should work in a fair environment, including reasonable administrative procedures before dismissal or disqualification from work. Thus, an EMT should not face unfair dismissal from his/her line of work unless he/she was involved in prohibited work conduct and criminal activities. The various factors that may disqualify you from becoming an EMT are:
Demonstrating Incompetence While Performing your Duties
As discussed, an EMT’S duties are delicate and quite significant on a patient’s well-being because he/she makes the first contact before reaching the hospital. Subsequently, you are likely to handle emergencies involving severe injuries, high-risk situations like fires, and situations demanding your active participation.
While providing first aid, CPR, or any other form of assistance to the victim, your competence in these medical procedures should be verified and applicable to the patient. This is because wrong techniques could potentially cause further medical complications or even endanger the victim’s life. Thus, reported cases of incompetence could jeopardize your ability to work and lead to your disqualification.
Often, you will work in a team that includes your supervisors and other superior officers. They are tasked with training new EMTs and ensuring that rescue operations are completed. Since they are in close contact with you, they could be the ones to report your case to the relevant board and recommend your dismissal or investigation.
Intoxication During Working Hours
Going to work while intoxicated can put your career at risk. Being drunk during working hours shows incompetence and irresponsibility towards your duties. Since your line of work leads to interactions with patients in traumatic situations, being drunk or high is more likely to cause errors or further accidents in the ambulance.
As a result, you may receive a notice of suspension from work, meaning that you could be under investigation. In some cases, the suspension ends in disqualification from undertaking your roles as an EMT, including license revocation.
The consequences might be more severe if your intoxication caused irreversible effects for an accident victim. In adverse cases, you may also be answerable for professional negligence while at work. Additional charges may include DUIs that can lead to a criminal record. Eventually, these records may be detrimental to your career image by hindering your chances of advancement in the field.
Minor Criminal Charges
Although having a criminal record may be a serious factor leading to disqualification from work, having previous convictions for minor charges does not always result in dismissal. Often, the NREMT board will consider the seriousness of the offense before determining whether disqualifying you is fair. For example, a first-offense DUI does not cause disqualification from being an EMT, especially if you have reformed since your conviction.
Serious Offenses that Result in Automatic Disqualification
Although engagement in minor offenses can be permissible in determining your fate as an EMT, participating in serious criminal offenses may lead to automatic disqualification. This is because most of these offenses are harmful to the victims and could demonstrate a likelihood of endangering patients that you interact with while at work.
Moreover, since criminal records are accessible to the general public, details involving a conviction for a felony offense may make patients reluctant to receive help from the emergency service they work in. Consequently, some patients risk facing extreme health risks for refusing assistance from you based solely on your criminal record. To avoid all these mishaps, the NREMT is strict on allowing people with felony criminal records to undertake professional duties.
The offenses considered to be serious and may automatically disqualify you are:
Murder or Attempted Murder
Naturally, committing murder or attempted murder can be detrimental to your career based on the serious nature of the offense. The willful deprivation of another’s life is parallel to an EMT’s primary duty, so the chances of your disqualification are high.
The detrimental effects of murder or attempted murder criminal record may affect your career in two ways. Firstly, you may lose out on the chance to practice in the field as a new applicant without prior experience as an EMT. This may occur upon submitting to avoid all these mishaps in your application letters, leading to a search conducted on your criminal history.
Moreover, the NREMT criminal conviction policy also requires you to present your criminal history to avoid the concealment of crucial facts. As a result, your previous involvements are available for scrutiny and could significantly reduce your employment chances.
The other instance involves an EMT convicted of murder or attempted murder while on the job. Doubtless, you will face a long conviction that is likely to extend for long, meaning that your chances of completing your sentence and looking for work are few. Nevertheless, if you are released from jail on parole, the criminal record will still pose various challenges when seeking to return to work.
The Use of a Dangerous Weapon
Using a dangerous weapon is another serious offense considered to pose risks in the workplace or elsewhere. Consequently, the NREMT takes the criminal record seriously and is less likely to allow you to work with the record in your name.
Most past offenders will have used dangerous weapons like guns to harm others or to inflict fear and coercion when committing a crime. As a result, your actions are detrimental to people’s safety and evoke apprehensive feelings even years after completing your sentence. It is important to note that the NREMT aims to uphold a safe working environment, so you could easily be disqualified from working.
Committing Burglary or Theft Amounting to a Felony
Intentionally depriving others of their possessions without their consent leads to numerous inconveniences to the victims. Moreover, the actions may be accompanied by violence that inflicts severe harm to the affected person. Thus, committing burglary or theft amounting to a felony in the past may cost you a chance to work as an EMT.
The rationale behind disqualifying you from joining the professional may stem from worries about your trustworthiness while on duty. Further, the previous involvement in unlawful activities may put you in a lower-ranking compared to other applicants without criminal records. Subsequently, your disqualification may be imminent, depending on the factors considered before reaching a decision.
Assaulting Victims Physically
Another serious offense is committing physical assault, especially when it results in harm to the victim. Any expression of physical aggression is generally frowned upon despite having justifiable reasons for retaliating. Therefore, refraining from committing the offense is advisable, especially if you intend to work as an EMT.
Sexual Offenses Mentioned in the Penal Code
Finally, committing sexual offenses is a severe offense that can cause life-long consequences for the accused. Even after serving your sentence, your reputation may be tarnished based on the specific misconduct you engaged in previously. Due to this, previous sex offenders have difficulty securing most jobs, including working as an EMT.
Furthermore, the mandatory regulations requiring sex offenders to register will make your records more accessible for use against you. However, you may still have a chance to present your reasons for non-disqualification. The outcome greatly relies on the severity of your offense, as some are viewed as more serious compared to others.
The Board Responsible for Disqualifying EMT Professionals
The National Registry on Emergency Medical Technicians is mandated with rendering the final decision on disqualifying EMT professionals from working. The body follows various administrative rules in promoting fair dismissal, including undertaking the necessary investigations into the allegations against you. As a result, you may need to provide your details to the body upon request for assessment before learning the outcome.
Factors for the NREMT to Consider Before Deciding to Disqualify an EMT Professional
Since upholding impartiality is necessary before disqualifying an EMT, the appointed members of the NREMT will conduct their investigations and consider various factors informing their final decision. They include:
The Duration After Your Criminal Involvement
If the type of offense you faced conviction for happened a long time ago, the board members may consider applying more lenient regulations. For example, facing retribution for an offense committed about twenty years ago may be unfair to you, especially if it was not classified as a felony.
Additionally, a longer duration since the crime was committed can provide enough time for you to participate in reformative programs. For example, if your criminal record involved burglary charges, you can pay retribution to the victims and undertake therapy sessions to deter you from repeating the offenses. This way, you have an advantage when persuading the NREMT not to disqualify you.
The Severity of Your Offense
As discussed, the likelihood of disqualification from becoming an EMT depends on the type of crime you committed and its severity. Naturally, more severe penalties lower your chances of facing a lenient process when deciding on your outcome. As a result, you need to discuss several factors with your attorney to ensure that you can rightfully request a consideration before being disqualified from being an EMT.
Whether Your Offense Involved any Minor
If your criminal activity involved a minor as the victim, you might face harsher restrictions based on the sensitive nature of afflicting children. Often, criminal records involving minors are viewed as aggravating factors for most offenses. Consequently, if your previous criminal activities did not harm any minors, you are in a better position to request leniency compared to previously convicted persons who caused harm to children.
If You Followed Court Directives After Conviction
Assessing whether you followed court directives during and after your conviction can be a good indicator of your chances of evading the disqualification process for EMTs. Normally, people whose records show recurrent trends in defying probation orders or post-conviction requirements can indicate a lack of reform even after incarceration.
Due to this, the NREMT will be less likely to consider your non-disqualification, as the board proposes to allow only professionals to take on the demanding tasks. Nevertheless, some documents may include inaccurate details that exaggerate your failure to observe court orders. Your living circumstances in the past may also have made it difficult to follow all regulations issued after conviction. By presenting these justifiable reasons, the responsible board members can assess your case from a different angle and make a fair determination.
Possible Avenues to Help you Avoid Disqualification as an EMT
Even though the odds may be against you, you can still explore other options to help you avoid facing disqualification from being an EMT. While the chances of success are not always guaranteed, exploring these options puts you in a better position compared to settling for the dismissal. In some cases, fighting off a disqualification notice can also be valid, especially if you strongly believed that you underwent an unfair dismissal process.
As a previously convicted offender, your chances of qualification or higher compared to EMTs involved in professional misconduct. Thus, you will have to convince the relevant officials in the NREMT of your reformed behavior and your intentions to remain professional.
An experienced lawyer can provide invaluable support and representation for your case if you decide to question your disqualification notice. Firstly, you need to obtain the necessary documents to prove your reforms and ability to work without causing harm to workmates and patients.
For example, if you were convicted of physical assault during the undertaking of professional duties, you may provide a letter from your psychologist advocating for your improved anger management skills. In the letter, the therapist should also include the types of treatment activities you have participated in to ensure that your previous behavior will not recur in the future.
Other relevant officials who can provide letters of recommendation include your probation officer and former employers. The details availed by your probation officer are sufficient to prove that your conviction created a positive change in conduct, meaning that you no longer pose a threat to society. Similarly, gaining work experience immediately after incarceration is a good indication of your ability to reintegrate into society, so your former employers’ letters are important.
Overall, these sources of proof may be pivotal in showing that you deserve to retain your job as an EMT. However, you should note that although your attorney will do his/her best to relay the information, the NREMT members have discretion in deciding on your case.
Find a Healthcare Professional License Attorney Near Me
When your history threatens the likelihood of success in your current endeavors, it is important to work towards redeeming yourself. Upon convincing the NREMT of your reformed behavior after involvement in criminal activity, you can successfully reclaim your right to work as an EMT and continue saving the lives of patients. However, taking this step requires you to prepare adequately because the board is very strict about allowing you to work again.
Therefore, we recommend working with a reliable attorney specializing in defending licensed medical professionals accused of crimes. At The Legal Guardian, we dedicate our services to all clients in Long Beach, California, looking to secure their work licenses after facing charges. We understand the intense training that EMT professionals undergo before being certified. Thus, we work hard to provide a fair fighting chance before the NREMT board to help you have a better chance of going back to work. If you have faced or are likely to face disqualification from being an EMT, call us today at 888-293-0396 for legal assistance.