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Tennessee Surgical Technologist Education Bill Signed by Governor

Publish Date: May 21, 2013

Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam has signed Senate Bill 623, a surgical technologist continuing education bill, into law.

Surgical technologists in Tennessee are already required to complete an accredited surgical technology program and hold certification. SB 623 adds a continuing education requirement. Effective July 1, 2013, surgical technologists in Tennessee must complete sixty (60) continuing education credits as defined in the Association of Surgical Technologists (AST) Continuing Education Participant Policies. The CE credits must be earned on a four-year cycle. Surgical technologists will be required to provide confirmation of certification renewals with CE credits from the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting to their employers.

The perioperative RN is responsible for coordinating care, including delegated technical functions under his or her direct supervision to unlicensed individuals based on the individual’s level of training and competency. Existing law in Tennessee provides that surgical technologists are supervised during surgical procedures according to institutional policy.

Your facility may be revisiting its policies and procedures relating to surgical technologists because of this new CE requirement. If so, now is a good time to make sure your facility’s policy is consistent with AORN policy and the Medicare Conditions of Participation for Hospitals, which provide that surgical technologists serving in the scrub role do so under the supervision of a registered nurse. Facility polices should ensure the RN circulator’s supervisory authority over the surgical technologist and make it clear that the surgical technologist works under the supervision of the RN circulator in the room.

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