Publish Date: March 15, 2017
North Carolina Representative Greg Murphy recently introduced legislation requiring certification of surgical technologists. H199, would require that North Carolina hospitals and ASCs 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, those who practicing work as a surgical technologist for the federal government, and those who were employed as a surgical technologist on, or during the two years immediately preceding, December 31, 2017 would be exempted from the proposed certification requirements but must complete 15 hours of continuing education annually going forward. 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. Facilities would be responsible for verifying that surgical technologists with whom they contract or employ maintain certification and/or complete their continuing education requirements. The bill does provide an exemption for facilities that make a diligent effort to employ or contract with certified surgical technologists, but are unable to do so.
House bill 199 does not address the need for RN supervision of surgical technologists. The bill passed the North Carolina House earlier this month and is currently in the Senate Rules Committee.
AORN Government Affairs will closely monitor this bill and provide updates as it progresses. If you are interested in learning more about how AORN fights for perioperative nurses at state capitols across the nation visit, the AORN Government Affairs webpage. For more information on how to get involved in the policymaking process, contact Danielle Glover, AORN Government Affairs Manager.