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Senate Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: December 4, 2018 01:30 PM
From: Senator Judy Ward
To: All Senate members
Subject: Surgical Technologists Education and Certification Act
I am reintroducing House Bill 1805 of last session, legislation that provides for the practice of surgical technologists in health care facilities across the Commonwealth. The bill would create a Certified Surgical Technologist (CST) standard for newly practicing surgical technologists. The measure would grandfather those who were practicing surgical technology prior to the enactment of the law.

Surgical technologists are essential members of the operating room team – responsible for setting-up and managing complex surgical equipment, instruments and supplies throughout the surgery; managing specimens such as skin grafts and organs; and overseeing the sterile integrity of the operating room, including hundreds of instruments that are used in even the most basic surgery. Remarkably, despite their critical role during surgeries, surgical technologists are the only member of a surgical team who are not required to meet minimum threshold competency requirements.

According to the Association of Surgical Technologists, 10 states (Idaho, Indiana, Massachusetts, Nevada, New York, New Jersey, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas) have passed laws related to the education and certification of surgical technologists. In addition, Colorado, Washington, Arkansas, Illinois and Virginia have surgical technologist registration laws.

The American College of Surgeons has issued a formal statement supporting accredited education and certification of surgical technologists. The measure is also supported by the Association of Surgical Technologists.

During surgery, it is the surgical technologist who is ultimately responsible for preventing surgical site infections and adverse surgical events. As such, the training, education and experience of a Certified Surgical Technologist would serve to arrest and abate these surgical site infections, protect patients and save lives.

Please join me in co-sponsoring this important legislation.

Introduced as SB1066