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New York Governor Vetoes Certification Bills

Publish Date: 10/10/2012

On October 2, 2012, the surgical technologist and central service technician certification bills along with a certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA) bill were vetoed by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.

Assembly Bill 9303-A would have required surgical technologists to be either certified or complete an appropriate U.S. military training program in order to work in a health facility. The bill would have exempted surgical technologists employed on or in the two years prior to the effective date of the law. Surgical technologists would have also been required to complete 15 hours of continuing education annually. The bill also would have required hospitals to only hire certified personnel unless an effort was first made to find a certified individual but was unsuccessful. If a facility hired a person who did not meet the requirements, that person would be required to meet the requirements within two years of starting employment. This is the second time Governor Cuomo has vetoed a surgical technologist certification bill.  AORN worked with the bill sponsors and stakeholders to ensure that the explanatory memorandum accompanying the bill included a reference to existing supervisory requirements for New York surgical technologists. 

Assembly Bill 8620-C related to the certification of central service technicians and was intended to prevent and control the spread of infection. In order to work as a central service technician in a health care facility, central service technicians would have had to either hold and maintain the certified registered central service technician credential, be employed on or in the two years prior to the effective date of the say, or be a student or intern performing the functions of a central service technician under the supervision of a licensed or certified health care professional. All central service technicians who did not meet one of those requirements would have had one year from the date of hire to become certified. All central service technicians would have also had to annually complete 10 hours of continuing education.  AORN supported this bill and sent a letter of support to Governor Cuomo.

AORN believes that skilled and competent allied health care providers and support personnel such as surgical technologists and materials management personnel are valued members of the perioperative team and should be graduates of accredited education programs or hold specialty certification. All should have documented competency required to perform the defined role functions. AORN’s full position statement on Allied Health Care Providers can be found here.

In addition to the surgical technologist and central service technician certification bills being tracked by AORN, Governor Cuomo also vetoed Senate Bill 5356-D a title protection bill for CRNAs.

Governor Cuomo specified that his reason for vetoing all three bills was that they all failed “to clearly address critical issues such as scope of practice, supervision, and the oversight role and regulatory jurisdiction of the affected agencies, namely the State Education Department and the Department of Health.” The veto memo states that the Governor fears the absence of these could result in inconsistent standards and confusion. Governor Cuomo also indicated his administration would work with the bill sponsors to address the issues.

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