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Surgical Technologist Certification Bill Passes in Oregon

Publish Date: June 22, 2015


On June 11, 2015 Oregon Governor Kate Brown signed House Bill 2876, which prohibits hospitals and ambulatory surgery facilities from allowing persons without certain qualifications to function as surgical technologists in their facilities. The bill goes into effect July 1, 2016. There is an exception for facilities which operate in rural or medically underserved communities. The effective date for those facilities is July 1, 2017.

Under the new law, Oregon hospitals and ASCs may only employ or contract with surgical technologists who have completed an accredited education program and hold and maintain a surgical technologist certification.  Surgical technologists trained in the military and those who have worked as surgical technologists for two of the three years between January 1, 2014 and December 31, 2016 are exempted from the new certification requirements but must complete 16 hours of continuing education every two years going forward.  The law does not include a continuing education requirement for certified surgical technologists, although those individuals must complete 60 hours of continuing education every four years in order to maintain their certification.

Facilities may also hire uncertified surgical technologists who have completed an accredited education program as long as the technologist obtains certification within 12 months of hire.  In addition, facilities serving rural and underserved medical communities may hire surgical technologists who are currently in school, as long as the technologist obtains certification within three years from the date of hire.

HB 2876 directs the Oregon Health Authority to adopt rules necessary to carry out provisions of the bill relating to surgical technology. AORN Government Affairs will closely monitor the proposed rules and provide updates.