In the course of providing medical care in Austin, there are many instances when you may receive complaints serious enough to trigger an administrative hearing from the Texas Board of Nursing. While such a hearing is not as grave as facing criminal charges, it is certainly nothing to take lightly.
No matter what brought about the hearing, it is important that you do everything you can to treat it with a level of importance that demonstrates your respect for the power of the Board.
First and foremost, you should seek out the best legal counsel you can acquire, from an attorney who understands the nuances of administrative hearings in the Lone Star State and can help you navigate this tricky territory.
By acting professionally, respectfully, and enlisting the help of proper legal counsel, you have a much better chance of surviving the hearing with few lasting effects on your career as a nurse.
Show up to your hearing as prepared as possible
The circumstances of each hearing differ, so you should always tailor your preparation to fit the situation. However, after securing strong legal representation, it is best to get to the bottom of why exactly you are subject to the hearing.
Whatever the inciting incident was, it is always best to do your homework and gather as much documentation as you can. Especially if you believe that you are innocent in the complaint, it will be much easier to argue your case with proper documentation. Your attorney can help you interpret the documentation and create a strong case in your favor.
It is also wise to present yourself professionally when you appear to your hearing. The hearing is not a time to appear clad in wrinkled scrubs. Assemble a nice, professional outfit, like you would wear to a dignified business event (although not a tuxedo or dinner dress). While this may seem silly, it is often a crucial element in demonstrating to the court that you take your responsibilities as a medical care provider seriously.
Your counsel can help you decide the best way to approach your charges, and, in some cases, you may need to be willing to admit some degree of fault in the inciting incident. If you and your counsel believe that you are truly without fault, then it may still be useful to express to the Board that you can understand other views on the matter, while maintaining your innocence. Of course, this will depend on the situation.
Build a strong team for strong results
It may be tempting to consider facing the administrative board on your own, especially since you are not facing traditional criminal or civil charges. However, this is not a position of wisdom. With proper legal guidance from an experienced attorney, you can rest assured that your rights and your professional future are in good hands.