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Virginia Surgical Technologist Bill Dies in Committee

Publish Date: 2/20/2013

Senate Bill 858, a surgical technologist and surgical assistant bill has died in committee. The bill would have added definitions of “surgical assistant” and “surgical technologist” to the Code of Virginia as well as provisions defining the practice of surgical assisting and surgical technology. Additionally, it would have created the Advisory Board on Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting which would have been tasked with assisting the Virginia Board of Medicine in the regulation of surgical technologists and surgical assistants. 

Had the bill passed, surgical technologists would have been required to become certified. Applicants for certification as a surgical technologist would have been required to submit evidence to the Board of Medicine that they either:

  • Held a current credential as a certified surgical technologist from the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting
  • Successfully completed a surgical technologist training program during the applicant’s service as a member of a branch of the US armed forces, or
  • Practiced as a surgical technologist in the six months prior to July 1, 2013

Surgical assistants would have been required to become licensed. Applicants for licensure as a surgical assistant would have had to submit evidence to the Board of Medicine that they either:

  • Held a current credential as a surgical assistant or surgical first assistant issued by the American Board of Surgical Assistants, the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting, or the National Surgical Assistant Association
  • Successfully completed a surgical assistant training program during the applicant's service as a member of a branch of the US armed forces, or
  • Practiced as a surgical technologist in the six months prior to July 1, 2013

On January 3, 2013, SB 858 was introduced in the Senate and Referred to the Committee on Education and Health. The Committee on Education and Health assigned it to a Subcommittee on Health Professions on January 9. This subcommittee reviewed the bill on January 24 and made recommendations to the Senate Education and Health Committee. On January 31, the Senate Education and Health Committee voted unanimously to pass by indefinitely.  This is the second year this legislative initiative has failed to gain traction in Virginia.

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