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New York Introduces Surgical Technologist Certification Bill

Publish Date: 5/29/2013

Senate Bill 5185/Assembly Bill 7419, a surgical technologist certification bill, has been introduced in New York. In addition to defining surgical technologist, the bill sets forth the tasks and functions surgical technologists would be allowed to perform. Similar to past years, the bill would also require the certification of surgical technologists. To fulfill this requirement, a surgical technologist would be required to either:

  • Successfully complete a nationally accredited educational program for surgical technologists and hold and maintain a certified surgical technologist credential administered by a nationally accredited surgical technologist credentialing organization;
  • Complete an appropriate training program in the United States Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard or Public Health Service Commissioned Corps;
  • Provide evidence that they were employed as a surgical technologist for two of the preceding four years prior to the effective date (which will be 18 months after the bill is signed into law); or
  • Currently be performing surgical technologist duties in the service of the federal government.

Surgical technologists will also be required to complete 15 hours of continuing education annually to remain qualified to practice as a surgical technologist.

Hospitals and ambulatory surgical centers will also be required to verify that employed surgical technologists meet one of the above requirements and the required continuing education requirements. However, the bill would allow for a health care facility to contract with a person who does not meet the requirements to function as a surgical technologist if, after a thorough effort is made, the facility is unable to employ or contract with a sufficient number of qualified surgical technologists, a written record of its efforts is made, and the person meets the requirements within two years of the start of employment or contracting for the performance of surgical technology.

Surgical technologist certification bills have been vetoed twice in New York; first in 2011 and again in 2012 for failing to clearly address critical issues such as scope of practice, supervision and the oversight role and regulatory jurisdiction of the affected agencies.

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