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How to work in the medical field after a misdemeanor conviction

A criminal conviction can alter your life in various ways, including hurting your chances to remain in the medical industry. Even misdemeanor offenses can affect your career path. Fortunately, you may have options to return to the field.

Types of convictions that could bar you from the medical field

Most hospitals and other healthcare facilities perform extensive backgrounds on their applicants to protect the safety of their patients. Although this clearly applies to physicians and nurses, even those who work as a home healthcare worker, Certified Nurse Assistant, janitor, food staff or personal care aid, may have barriers limiting the ability to work within the healthcare industry.

Convictions that can limit your ability to work in this field include:

  • Assault
  • Domestic battery
  • Criminal trespass
  • Theft
  • Unlawful use of a weapon

Although these convictions can pose a hurdle, the growing demand for professionals within the healthcare industry may help level the playing field. The United States Department of Health and Human Services estimates a need of over 2.4 million healthcare workers in the next decade. Hospitals are using more advanced screening measures to get information about these convictions. Instead of just ruling out applicants whenever a criminal record is present, they can look more closely and hire those who can provide quality care. This has led the system one step closer to removing an unnecessary hurdle.

Those who already have a position within healthcare and are concerned that a new conviction could have a negative impact on a professional license are wise to gather more information. There are certain convictions that can result in an automatic exclusion of employment and denial of license while others are left to the state board’s discretion. An attorney experienced in this area of law can review your case, discuss the nuances of the law and tailor a defense strategy to your situation.

Attorney John Rivas is responsible for this communication