The Association of Surgical Technologists recognized the need for CSTs and CSFAs to have a comprehensive publication focused on evidence-based Guidelines for Best Practices. The Guidelines were researched and developed, in order to aid in legislative efforts for state assemblies and to provide readily available answers to questions asked by operating room supervisors.
The AST Guidelines for
Best Practices in Surgical Technology establish evidence-based surgical technology practices and, in some instances – due to the broad nature of a guideline – for the operating room. They are statements of the minimum expectation of the profession, designed to be references in establishing safe practice guidelines in individual healthcare facilities that employ CSTs and CSFAs. The Guidelines have been developed based on position statements that reflect a stance, viewpoint and/or perspective; and are statements of the minimum expectation of the profession, designed to be references in establishing safe practice guidelines in individual healthcare facilities that employ CSTs and CSFAs.
All AST Guidelines are approved by the AST Board of Directors.
Now, as part of the development of a guideline, AST is adding an important step to the process – you, the CST. Every CST will now have the ability to actively participate in the development and review of these guidelines. The comments will help strengthen the guidelines
because they are coming from educators and practitioners that represent various sizes of healthcare facilities and schools; surgical specialties; and demographics.
Currently, there are 32 published guidelines that are divided into four topics: surgical technologist responsibilities, surgical attire, aseptic technique, and disinfection and sterilization. The EPSC is the in process of revising the majority of the guidelines as well as continuing
work on new guidelines such as a guideline addressing patients with Cruetzfeldt-Jakob disease.
In order for a comment to be accepted, the participant must meet the following requirements:
Tips for Commenting
A professionally presented comment with a focus on the guideline – and not extraneous issues – increases the chance it will be reviewed. This is an important opportunity for the participant to have an impact on the development of guidelines by providing relevant information. The comments should use clear,
uncomplicated language that is objective and not subjective; for example, use words that are objective and measurable such as annual,
most (not majority), must, should. Must means that a statement is required; for example, “the CST must perform the surgical scrub prior to donning the gown and gloves”; whereas, should is a recommendation. Most of the time the guidelines use should since
guidelines are recommendations, not requirements. The participant should provide supporting evidence-based information/research that has been published in a peer-reviewed journal to support each comment. Statements such as “this is how it is done at our facility” is not evidence-based information. Comments
should be as concise and be provided as statements, not questions.
Each guideline will be posted on the AST website for a period of 30 days. The comments will remain anonymous, confidential and secure, to be reviewed by the AST Education Department and EPSC to determine whether to accept, accept with revisions or not accept a comment, and revise the guideline based on the