Relates to the practice of surgical technology and surgical technologists; defines terms.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the public health law, in relation to surgical technology and surgical technologists
PURPOSE: The bill amends Article 28 of the public health law by adding section 2824 to establish certain requirements for surgical technologists working in health care facilities.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Section 2824(1) defines the terms health care facility, surgical technologist, surgical technology and health care professional.
Section 2824(2) requires surgical technologists functioning in health care facilities to be certified or complete an appropriate training program for surgical technology in the U.S. military. A health care facility cannot employ or contract with a surgical technologist unless the person meets the listed requirement. Section 2824(2)(c) provides an exception for individuals who are employed as surgical technologists on or in the two years prior to the effective date of this Act.
Section 2824(3) requires surgical technologists to annually complete fifteen hours of continuing education to remain qualified to practice surgical technology.
Section 2824(4) allows a health care facility to employ or contract with an individual who does not meet the requirements of this bill if the facility can demonstrate diligent and thorough efforts to be in compliance. It also requires the employer to demonstrate that the individual has met the requirements of subdivision 2 of this section within twenty-four months.
Section 2824(5) allows a health care professional to perform surgical technology tasks if such tasks are within the scope of his or her individual license. It further clarifies that nothing in this section shall allow for an unlicensed individual to perform tasks or functions limited to the scope of practice of a health care professional.
Section 2824(6) states that a health care facility who employs or contracts with a surgical technologist shall verify the dates of employment or contract at the request of the employee.
Section 2824(7) requires enforcement by the New York State Department of Health.
Section 2824(8) grants the Commissioner of New York State Department of Health the authority to adopt, promulgate and enforce rules and regulations.
Section 2 sets the effective date.
EXISTING LAW: There is no existing law regulating the training or skills required of surgical technologists in health care facilities. As to the practice environment for surgical technologists, 10 CRR-NY §405.12 (a) (1) states: "The operating room shall be supervised by a registered professional nurse or physician who the hospital finds qualified by training and experience for this role." The regulation speaks specifically to the supervision of surgical technologists in the performance of certain duties in (iii) as follows: "Licensed practical nurses and surgical technologists may perform scrub functions and may assist in the circulating duties under the supervision of a circulating nurse who is present in the operating room for the duration of the procedure." 42 C.F.R. §482.51(a) (1) states: "The operating rooms must be supervised by an experienced registered nurse or a doctor of medicine or osteopathy. (2) Licensed practical nurses (LPNs) and surgical technologists (operating room technicians) may serve as "scrub nurses" under the supervision of a registered nurse. (3) Qualified registered nurses may perform circulating duties in the operating room. In accordance with applicable State laws and approved medical staff policies and procedures, LPNs and surgical technologists may assist in circulatory duties under the supervision of a qualified registered nurse who is immediately available to respond to emergencies." Nothing in this bill is intended to impact these existing state and federal supervisory requirements in any way.
JUSTIFICATION: Surgical technologists have a vital role in creating and maintaining a sterile surgical room, ensuring that surgical equipment is functioning properly and safely, and assisting surgeons during surgical procedures. Because surgical technologists are directly responsible for patients' well-being and safety, they are expected to possess a certain level of competence and skill. Furthermore, surgical technologists must be cognizant of surgeons' needs while performing an operation and this type of knowledge requires specific training and continuing education.
While surgical technology is an established field with accredited programs, health care facilities are not required to employ or contract with credentialed individuals.
This law requires hospitals to hire only certified personnel, or individuals falling within the exceptions of the bill. Hospitals that contract for and hire surgical technologists to practice in their operating rooms must ensure that these professionals are competent and adequately skilled to perform the job.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2011 - Similar bill (S.4563A/A.6539B) Passed Senate and Assembly Unanimously. Vetoed (#75).
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.
The act shall take effect on the first day of the eighteenth month after it shall have become law.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 6511--A IN SENATE February 17, 2012 ___________Introduced by Sen. SAVINO -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Health -- committee discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to said committee AN ACT to amend the public health law, in relation to surgical technolo- gy and surgical technologists THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. The public health law is amended by adding a new section 2824 to read as follows: S 2824. SURGICAL TECHNOLOGY AND SURGICAL TECHNOLOGISTS. 1. DEFI- NITIONS. AS USED IN THIS SECTION, THE FOLLOWING TERMS SHALL HAVE THE FOLLOWING MEANINGS: (A) "HEALTH CARE FACILITY" MEANS A HOSPITAL AS DEFINED BY SUBDIVISION ONE OF SECTION TWENTY-EIGHT HUNDRED ONE OF THIS ARTICLE SUBJECT TO THE OVERSIGHT AND REGULATION OF THE DEPARTMENT OR AN AMBULATORY SURGICAL CENTER ISSUED AN OPERATING CERTIFICATE PURSUANT TO THIS ARTICLE SUBJECT TO THE OVERSIGHT AND REGULATION OF THE DEPARTMENT. (B) "SURGICAL TECHNOLOGIST" MEANS A PERSON WHO PERFORMS SURGICAL TECH- NOLOGY OTHER THAN IN THE COURSE OF PRACTICING AS A HEALTH CARE PROFES- SIONAL. (C) "SURGICAL TECHNOLOGY" MEANS SURGICAL PATIENT CARE THAT INCLUDES, BUT IS NOT LIMITED TO, THE FOLLOWING TASKS OR FUNCTIONS: (I) PREPARING THE OPERATING ROOM FOR SURGICAL PROCEDURES BY ENSURING THAT SURGICAL EQUIPMENT IS FUNCTIONING PROPERLY AND SAFELY; (II) PREPARING THE OPERATING ROOM AND THE STERILE FIELD FOR SURGICAL PROCEDURES BY PREPARING STERILE SUPPLIES, INSTRUMENTS, AND EQUIPMENT USING STERILE TECHNIQUE; (III) ANTICIPATING THE NEEDS OF THE SURGICAL TEAM BASED ON KNOWLEDGE OF HUMAN ANATOMY AND PATHOPHYSIOLOGY AND HOW THEY RELATE TO THE SURGICAL PATIENT AND THE PATIENT'S SURGICAL PROCEDURE; AND (IV) AS DIRECTED, PERFORMING TASKS AT THE STERILE FIELD INCLUDING: (A) IDENTIFYING AND CORRECTING BREACHES IN ASEPSIS; (B) PASSING SUPPLIES, EQUIPMENT OR INSTRUMENTS;EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD14349-04-2 S. 6511--A 2
(C) PREPARING AND CUTTING VISIBLE SUTURE MATERIAL; (D) TRANSFERRING AND IRRIGATING WITH FLUIDS; (E) TRANSFERRING, BUT NOT ADMINISTERING, DRUGS WITHIN THE STERILE FIELD; (F) HANDLING SPECIMENS; (G) HOLDING RETRACTORS AND OTHER INSTRUMENTS THAT ARE PLACED ON OR WITHIN THE PATIENT'S BODY BY A SURGEON OR OTHER HEALTH CARE PROFES- SIONAL; (H) CONNECTING DRAINS TO SUCTION APPARATUS; AND (I) PERFORMING SPONGE, NEEDLE, SUPPLY, AND INSTRUMENT COUNTS WITH THE REGISTERED NURSE. (D) "HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONAL" MEANS A PERSON LICENSED, REGISTERED, CERTIFIED OR AUTHORIZED TO PRACTICE A HEALTH CARE PROFESSION UNDER TITLE EIGHT OF THE EDUCATION LAW, ACTING WITHIN THE SCOPE OF HIS OR HER PRAC- TICE. 2. MINIMUM STANDARDS FOR CERTIFICATION OF SURGICAL TECHNOLOGISTS. A PERSON MAY NOT FUNCTION AS A SURGICAL TECHNOLOGIST IN A HEALTH CARE FACILITY, AND A HEALTH CARE FACILITY SHALL NOT EMPLOY OR OTHERWISE CONTRACT FOR THE SERVICES OF A SURGICAL TECHNOLOGIST, UNLESS THE PERSON MEETS ONE OF THE FOLLOWING: (A) HAS SUCCESSFULLY COMPLETED A NATIONALLY ACCREDITED EDUCATIONAL PROGRAM FOR SURGICAL TECHNOLOGISTS AND HOLDS AND MAINTAINS A CERTIFIED SURGICAL TECHNOLOGIST CREDENTIAL ADMINISTERED BY A SURGICAL TECHNOLOGIST CREDENTIALING ORGANIZATION ACCREDITED BY THE NATIONAL COMMISSION FOR CERTIFYING AGENCIES AND ACCEPTABLE TO THE COMMISSIONER; (B) HAS COMPLETED AN APPROPRIATE TRAINING PROGRAM FOR SURGICAL TECH- NOLOGY IN THE UNITED STATES ARMY, NAVY, AIR FORCE, MARINE CORPS, COAST GUARD OR PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE COMMISSIONED CORPS; (C) PROVIDES EVIDENCE THAT THE PERSON WAS EMPLOYED AS A SURGICAL TECH- NOLOGIST IN A HEALTH CARE FACILITY ON OR IN THE TWO YEARS IMMEDIATELY PRIOR TO THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THIS SECTION. IN FURTHERANCE OF THIS CLAUSE, ANY EMPLOYER OF PERSONS PERFORMING SURGICAL TECHNOLOGY ON THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THIS SECTION SHALL CONFIRM IN WRITING TO SUCH EMPLOYEE HIS OR HER EMPLOYMENT IN A CAPACITY PERFORMING SURGICAL TECHNOLOGY IN A HEALTH CARE FACILITY AS OF THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THIS SECTION; OR (D) IS IN THE SERVICE OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, TO THE EXTENT THE PERSON IS PERFORMING DUTIES RELATED TO THAT SERVICE. A PERSON MAY BE EMPLOYED OR CONTRACTED TO PRACTICE SURGICAL TECHNOLOGY DURING THE TWELVE MONTH PERIOD IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWING SUCCESSFUL COMPLETION OF A SURGICAL TECHNOLOGY PROGRAM UNDER PARAGRAPH (A) OF THIS SUBDIVISION, BUT MAY NOT CONTINUE TO BE EMPLOYED OR CONTRACTED WITH BEYOND THAT PERIOD WITHOUT DOCUMENTATION THAT THE EMPLOYEE OR CONTRACTOR HOLDS AND MAINTAINS A CERTIFIED SURGICAL TECHNOLOGIST CREDENTIAL REQUIRED IN PARAGRAPH (A) OF THIS SUBDIVISION. 3. A PERSON WHO QUALIFIES TO FUNCTION AS A SURGICAL TECHNOLOGIST IN A HEALTH CARE FACILITY MUST ANNUALLY COMPLETE FIFTEEN HOURS OF CONTINUING EDUCATION TO REMAIN QUALIFIED TO PRACTICE AS A SURGICAL TECHNOLOGIST. A HEALTH CARE FACILITY THAT EMPLOYS OR CONTRACTS WITH A PERSON TO PRACTICE SURGICAL TECHNOLOGY SHALL VERIFY THAT THE PERSON MEETS THE CONTINUING EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS OF THIS SUBDIVISION. 4. A HEALTH CARE FACILITY MAY EMPLOY OR OTHERWISE CONTRACT WITH A PERSON WHO DOES NOT MEET THE REQUIREMENTS OF SUBDIVISION TWO OF THIS SECTION TO FUNCTION AS A SURGICAL TECHNOLOGIST IN A HEALTH CARE FACILITY IF: (A) AFTER A DILIGENT AND THOROUGH EFFORT HAS BEEN MADE, THE HEALTH CARE FACILITY IS UNABLE TO EMPLOY OR CONTRACT WITH A SUFFICIENT NUMBERS. 6511--A 3
OF QUALIFIED SURGICAL TECHNOLOGISTS WHO MEET THE REQUIREMENTS OF THIS SECTION AND THE HEALTH CARE FACILITY; (B) THE HEALTH CARE FACILITY MAKES A WRITTEN RECORD OF ITS EFFORTS UNDER PARAGRAPH (A) OF THIS SUBDIVISION AND RETAINS THE RECORD AT THE HEALTH FACILITY; AND (C) THE PERSON MEETS THE REQUIREMENTS OF SUBDIVISION TWO OF THIS SECTION WITHIN TWO YEARS OF THE START OF EMPLOYMENT OR CONTRACTING FOR THE PERFORMANCE OF SURGICAL TECHNOLOGY. 5. NOTHING IN THIS SECTION SHALL PROHIBIT ANY HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONAL FROM PERFORMING SURGICAL TECHNOLOGY TASKS OR FUNCTIONS IF THE PERSON IS ACTING WITHIN THE SCOPE OF HIS OR HER PRACTICE. NOTHING IN THIS SECTION SHALL MEAN THAT ANY INDIVIDUAL NOT LICENSED PURSUANT TO TITLE EIGHT OF THE EDUCATION LAW MAY PERFORM TASKS OR FUNCTIONS LIMITED TO THE SCOPE OF PRACTICE OF A HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONAL UNDER SUCH TITLE. 6. A HEALTH CARE FACILITY WHICH EMPLOYS OR CONTRACTS WITH A SURGICAL TECHNOLOGIST SHALL, UPON REQUEST OF A SURGICAL TECHNOLOGIST EMPLOYED BY, FORMERLY EMPLOYED BY OR CONTRACTED WITH TO PERFORM SURGICAL TECHNOLOGY TASKS AT THE HEALTH CARE FACILITY, VERIFY THE DATES OF EMPLOYMENT OR CONTRACT OF SUCH PERSON. 7. ENFORCEMENT. THE DEPARTMENT SHALL ENFORCE THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SECTION. 8. RULEMAKING AUTHORITY. THE COMMISSIONER SHALL MAKE, ADOPT, PROMUL- GATE AND ENFORCE SUCH RULES AND REGULATIONS AS HE OR SHE MAY DEEM APPRO- PRIATE TO EFFECTUATE THE PURPOSES OF THIS SECTION. S 2. This act shall take effect on the first day of the eighteenth month after it shall have become a law.