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Washington Considers Surgical Technologist Certification Requirement

Publish Date: 8/1/2012

The Washington State Department of Health is examining whether surgical technologists in the state should be required to maintain national certification from the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting.  Under existing law, surgical technologists in Washington must register with the state, but certification is not currently required.

The Department of Health is undertaking a formal examination, referred to as a Sunrise Review in Washington.  The Department is accepting written comments through August 10, 2012, and will be conducting a hearing on August 14, 2012 from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.  The Department is specifically looking at whether the proposal to increase the requirements for surgical technologists from registration to certification meets state criteria to justify the increased level of regulation.

AORN will be submitting comments with the Washington State Council of Perioperative Nurses.  AORN is supportive of education and certification requirements for surgical technologists, but believes that any codification of the surgical technologist functions under state law should be clear that the surgical technologist performing in the scrub role functions under the delegated authority and under the direct supervision of the registered nurse circulator in the room.  If you are interested in seeing AORN’s comments or attending the hearing, please contact AORN’s director of government affairs, Amy Hader, at ahader@aorn.org or (303) 338-4891.

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