Can a Felon Work in the Medical Field? -
Finding Employment

Can a Felon Work in the Medical Field?

Can a felon work in the medical field

Felons became accustomed to the medical care offered by the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) while incarcerated.

There may be mixed feelings about the quality of care received.

Many felons can recall their own medical treatment when going to sick call and being greeted by a friendly, compassionate nurse.

They may also recall the quality treatment they received from their doctor with the able assistance of that physician’s assistant.

This blog post addresses the issue of whether a felon is allowed to work in the medical field.

  • The Challenge Felons Face
  • Why Work in the Medical Field?
  • Important Factors
  • A Success Story
  • Supporting a Felon Working in the Medical Field

The Challenge Felons Face

As felons know all too well, getting a job in any field is a challenge.  The medical field is actually more difficult to successfully pursue.

Felons before their conviction often had a career in the medical field in mind.  That conviction may have put an end to many of those aspirations.

Occupations involving not only the personal care of people but having access to sensitive personal information can leave felons out due to their criminal record.

As some stories from those who have tried to work in the medical field indicate, to be in the medical field requires one to be honest and ethical.

These are traits which many felons lack.

Even if they do not lack these traits, they may be rejected in their efforts at entering the field because of the common negative attitude toward felons whether it is fair or not.

Occupations involving not only the personal care of people but having access to sensitive personal information can leave felons out due to their criminal record.

That doesn’t have to be the case, however.

Why Work in the Medical Field?

The medical field is extremely rewarding.  There are many benefits from a career in the healthcare field.

Statistics show that eight of the top 20 professions are in the healthcare industry.  There are more than 13 million working in that field.

This means there is a strong future with more job security, which is very important to felons who have difficulty finding any type of employment.

It is an area that allows for changing lives and impacting individuals and families.  This is important to felons who thought they would never be permitted to be in a position like this.

Society is not so welcoming to felons regardless of what their crime was.

Another attractive feature of a career in the medical field is that there are jobs available for those with all educational levels.

Those in this industry don’t have to have an advanced medical degree.  Those with a college degree, a Bachelor’s or even an Associate’s degree can find employment.

There are many popular career choices in the medical field.

These include physician, nurse, physician assistant, nursing assistant, therapist, dental assistant, and more.

Important Factors

A factor in any felony conviction is the nature of the crime.

There is a general reluctance on the part of medical schools, nursing schools, or physician or dental assistant programs to admit students who may later not be able to become licensed or obtain necessary credentials to perform their specialty.

Crimes that tend to be most problematic for potential students involve crimes of moral turpitude: lying, cheating, or fraud.

Other crimes typically not accepted are related to the professional care patients might receive.  Among these offenses are drug related ones, sexual crimes, or ones involving violence.

There is always a concern of public perception to any type of felony for future medical care professionals.

A Success Story

There are success stories of felons who did become medical professionals.

One particular example is of a felon who, after his release from prison, wanted to become a nurse.

So, he completed a reentry drug treatment program.

He gathered his case records, police reports, and character references together along with having his record expunged.

He obtained letters of recommendation from his doctors, counselors, instructors, his employer, and the dean of the school he was attending.

He documented everything positive he had accomplished after his release from prison.

In spite of the long odds, he succeeded in being allowed to take the nurse licensing exam and passed.

What were the keys for him in his pursuit of becoming a nurse?

First, he was honest every step of the way.  He disclosed all aspects of his criminal record to the nursing faculty and school administration.

He didn’t try to hide anything, and he didn’t downplay the seriousness of what he had done that earned him a felony conviction.

He was open about what he had done to rehabilitate himself after prison.

He had the advantage of time on his side.  It had been seven years since his last conviction with his criminal behavior happening when he was 18.

Then he went through the process of preparing his case.

For him, he spent two years collecting the information he needed.  He contacted a lawyer and had a background check completed on himself that revealed a clean record since prison.

He had satisfied all of the requirements of his conviction, paid all fines, and restitution.  He collected all court documents and relevant police reports.

A very significant part of his case for himself was to change his life.

He no longer associated with those from his criminal past.  He had new friends who sincerely wanted him to succeed.

He strengthened the relationships with his family and had their support.

As a part of his lifestyle change, he regularly did volunteer work with a 12-Step program and other community projects.

The most important thing he did was to not give up whatever happened along the way.  He kept his spirits up, remained positive, and persevered until he achieved a successful outcome.

Supporting a Felon in Working in the Medical Field

For families of felons wanting to pursue a dream of working in the medical field, encourage your loved one and support their efforts to live an honest life, change their lifestyle, and keep their dreams alive.

Your family member is worth making the effort for, if they are sincere in their desire to become that caring, compassionate medical professional they encountered at sick call when they were in prison.

Help them realize their ambition no matter how difficult the road might be.

What do you think about this blog post?  Are you or someone you know been in the situation of trying to work in the medical field with a felony?  What was like for them, and how did they achieve success?  Please tell us in the comments below.

2 responses to “Can a Felon Work in the Medical Field?”

  1. Jason Friedman says:

    Hi. I am a felon. I do not lack good morals and/or ethics. I am highly honorable in all intentions. I was setup on a sting as a middleman, the person who introduced one person to another, and then charged with 6 felonies, so naturally I had to accept a plea deal or face dozens of years behind bars…for introducing one person to another so they could buy some weed. Weed, man. Where it happened…ITS LEGAL NOW. It would take have even been a crime if it happened just 10 years later. If it isn’t a crime now…does that mean it wasn’t actually a crime then? Also…why can’t I get my record expunged if it’s legal now? Because of people who have stigmatized all felons and lumped them all into the same category, which I, and any other rational person, would deem DISCRIMINATION on the basis of personal choice. It is not moral, or ethical, or even intelligent, to disqualify everyone convicted of a felony level crime, not unless we change the way we prosecute and write the law. Maybe we need to eliminate low level felonies so that those charged with lower level offenses aren’t lumped into the same category as murderers and rapists. Maybe we should change the federal laws governing the length of time that your record is visible to prospective employers? Maybe we should stop judging people based on lifestyle choice differences and personal preferences? Maybe our country could use REAL ethics, instead of the pseudo-ethics, of which the author of this article seems to be an advocate. It is unethical to tell a person that a mistake they made decades ago can still effect their employment chances. It is unethical to force people into work they do not wish to do based solely on their criminal record. It is unethical to have a criminal record visible to prospective employers after a reasonable amount of time has passed and rehabilitation is essentalially guaranteed. It is unethical to lump murderers, rapists, armed robbers, wifebeaters, carjackers, junkies, meth-heads, animal abusers, pedophiles, and drug traffickers with low level pot smokers like me. I am appalled at the severity in which the state of Colorado has completely destroyed my life and future, and based completely on an illegal entrapment THAT, if I had the money when I was arrested, WOULD’VE BEEN DESTROYED IN COURT. But I was poor and looking for a few bucks for gas, so apparently I deserved to go to jail and have my life ruined.

  2. Wendy Root says:

    I am a recovering alcoholic. I unfortunately received 3 DUI’s in a 10 year period therefore I am now a felon. My training is in the medical field and I long to get back to it… this possible? Seeking answers and direction. Much appreciate any help

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