AST advocates for quality patient
care through the enhancement of the profession of surgical technology before
state and federal regulatory and legislative bodies. AST State
Assemblies, in coordination with the AST Government Affairs Department, drive
grassroots outreach at the state level with the goals of fostering participation
in the legislative process and passing legislation.
It is easy for hiring managers of surgical technologists to be in compliance with state law as it relates to education and certification. With the exception of six states, if employers hire a person who is a graduate of a CAAHEP-accredited or other nationally accredited surgical technologist educational program AND who holds current Certified Surgical Technologist (CST) certification from the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA), they are in compliance with state law. Not any certification will do, as many bogus certification bodies exist. The Association of Surgical Technologists and the American College of Surgeons only endorse the NBSTSA, which grants the CST credential to surgical technologists. Similarly, many state surgical technologist laws only recognize the NBSTSA credential. The NBSTSA requires graduation from a CAAHEP-accredited or other nationally accredited surgical technology educational program to grant the CST credential to a surgical technologist. Thus, if an employer verifies that the surgical technologist holds the CST credential through the NBSTSA database, the employer can rest assured that the individual is also a graduate of a CAAHEP-accredited or other nationally accredited surgical technology educational program. For long-term employees, employers should periodically check for current CST certification through the NBSTSA, to make sure their surgical technologists' CST certifications have not expired. Ensuring current CST certification from the NBSTSA also helps meet accreditation and Medicare standards.
As for the six states with additional requirements, Colorado, North Dakota and Washington also require registration of surgical technologists such as through the Department of Health or Department of Regulatory Agencies. Indiana, New Jersey and New York have educational and certification requirements and also require 15 hours of continuing education per year. For more detailed information, please visit the AST Map of State Laws in the Public Policy section of the AST website.
As determined by the House of Delegates, it is the position of the Association of Surgical Technologists that surgical technologists are an important part of the surgical team, and that patients are best served when all members of the team are appropriately educated and work in concert for positive patient outcomes. AST affirms that every surgical patient deserves a surgical technologist who is a graduate of an accredited program in surgical technology and who holds and maintains the Certified Surgical Technologist credential administered by the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA).
AST believes every patient deserves a surgical technologist who has attended a post-secondary surgical technology educational program to earn a certificate or Associate's Degree and certification as a Certified Surgical Technologist.
AST advocates before state legislatures
for the passage of an "Entry to Practice" law that:
This credentialing bill does not create
a complicated state licensing structure for surgical technologists. It is
entry-to-practice minimum competency legislation only.