Publish Date: June 30, 2016
In 2014, Virginia passed a law allowing the Board of Medicine to register surgical technologist or surgical assistant applicants that present satisfactory evidence that s/he hold a current credential from the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting, all military surgical technologist training program graduates, and currently working surgical technologists and surgical assistants. It is important to note, that the bill was only title protection and not a requirement for certification. Individuals not registered with the Board may simply not use the title "registered surgical technologist” or “registered surgical assistant." The initial bill grandfathered in surgical technologists who practiced before July 1, 2014, as long as they registered by July 1, 2015.
House bill 738, which was introduced in mid-January 2016, extended the deadline, from July 1, 2015, to December 31, 2016, by which individuals who practiced either as a surgical technologist or a surgical assistant prior to July 1, 2014, may register with the Board of Medicine to become a registered surgical technologist or registered surgical assistant.
HB738 passed both the House and Senate and was signed by the Governor on March 1, 2016. The bill does not make any other changes to the 2014 title protection law for surgical technologists and surgical assistants. If you experience questions about this title protection bill in Virginia or would like to share any changes in your facility policy as a result of this bill, please contact AORN government affairs at [email protected].