The legislation will require that surgical technologists in the operating rooms be appropriately credentialed and certified. The rationale for passage of this important patient safety bill includes the following:
- Surgical technologists are an integral and valuable member of the surgical team.
- They are responsible for ensuring that the supplies, equipment and instruments needed for surgical procedures are available and in operational order, and that the surgical field is and remains sterile.
- Beyond that, they have a vast knowledge of anatomy and pathophysiology and their relationship to both the surgical patient and the surgical procedure.
- Their ability to anticipate the sequential order of surgical procedures and the needs of surgeons contributes to successful outcomes and the quality of care that the patient receives.
- Patients assume that all personnel caring for them are properly educated and have appropriate clinical experience; however, surgical technologists remain the only members of the surgical team who are not required to meet threshold educational and certification criteria in order to practice in their area of expertise.
- Passage of a surgical technologist credentialing bill will obviate this alarming disparity and ensure that all personnel caring for patients undergoing surgery are appropriately educated and meet minimum continuing education standards.
- Surgical patient care is enhanced when all members of the surgical team work collaboratively and in concert.
- Threshold competency requirements for surgical technologists will help achieve this goal.
Both the American College of Surgeons (ACS) and the Association of Perioperative Registered Nurses (AORN) support the education and credentialing of surgical technologists by formal resolution and official documents.