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AORN comments on Minnesota surgical technologist bill

Publish Date: 3/3/2014

AORN provided comments regarding a surgical technologist bill, House File 1993, in Minnesota. It requires qualifications and continuing education for surgical technologists. According to Minnesota House File 1993, a health care facility would not be able to employ, contract, or retain the services of an individual that performs surgical technology tasks unless the individual has:

  • Successfully completed an accredited education program and maintains the certified surgical technologist credential.  

Individuals already working as surgical technologists, and surgical technologists working for the federal government and the military would not be required to have completed an accredited education program or to maintain certification.  Such grandfathered and military surgical technologists would be required to complete 15 hours of continuing education annually going forward.

Waivers are available if a health care facility is unable to employ a sufficient number of individuals with the required training after making a thorough effort.

Generally, AORN supports education and certification of allied health care personnel working in the operating room, provided any bill language includes appropriate supervision language AORN’s comments to the Minnesota Health and Human Services Policy Committee emphasized the need for RN supervision language in the bill.  Because of the crucial responsibilities of the circulating nurse and the fact that 1993 would codify operating room procedure, AORN recommended the language in H.F. 1993 be amended to reflect current best practices in Minnesota hospitals, which is that the surgical technologist in the scrub function work at the direction of the surgeon and under the supervision of the registered nurse circulator who is in the operating room for the duration of the procedure. 




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