AN ACT ESTABLISHING STANDARDS FOR SURGICAL TECHNOLOGY CARE IN HOSPITALS AND AMBULATORY SURGICAL FACILITIES.
Enacts new GS 131E-79.3, pertaining to hospital standards for surgical technology care, and new GS 131E-147.10, pertaining to ambulatory surgical facility (facility) standards for surgical technology care.
Sets forth identical provisions in each statute to prohibit hospitals and ambulatory surgical facilities from employing or otherwise contracting for the services of a surgical technologist in that hospital or facility unless the individual meets one of four qualifications listed in subsection (b) of each statute. Provides definition for surgical technologist and surgical technology. Allows a hospital or facility to employ or contract with an individual to practice surgical technology during the 12-month period immediately following successful completion of a surgical technology program as specified in subdivision (1) of subsection (b), but prohibits continued employment beyond the initial 12-month period without documentation that the employee or contractor holds and maintains the certified surgical technologist credential as specified in subsection (b). Authorizes a hospital or facility to employ or contract with an individual who qualifies to practice surgical technology under subdivisions (2) or (3) of subsection (b) as long as that individual annually completes 15 hours of continuing education approved by the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting or its successor. Subdivision (2) of subsection (b) qualifies an individual who has successfully completed an appropriate training program for surgical technology in the US Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, or Cost Guard, or in the US Public Health Service to practice as a surgical technologist. Subdivision (3) of subsection (b) qualified an individual who was employed to practice surgical technology in a hospital or facility licensed as specified on December 31, 2017, or an individual who was employed to practice surgical technology during the two years immediately preceding December 31, 2017, to practice surgical technology. Provides in subdivision (4) of subsection (b) that an individual who is in the service of the federal government is qualified to practice surgical technology to the extent the individual is performing duties related to that service.
Requires the hospital or facility that employs or contracts with an individual to practice surgical technology to verify that the individual meets the continuing education requirements of subsection (d), or that the individual holds and maintains the Certified Surgical Technologist credential described in subdivision (1) of subsection (b), as applicable.
Allows a hospital or facility to employ or contract with an individual who does not meet the qualifications specified in subsection (b) if (1) the hospital or facility makes a diligent and thorough effort, but is unable, to employ or contract a sufficient number of qualified surgical technologists and (2) the hospital or facility makes and retains, at the hospital or facility, a written record of its efforts to employ or contract with a sufficient number of qualified surgical technologists.
Clarifies that nothing in these statutes prohibits a licensed practitioner from performing surgical technology tasks or functions if the practitioner is acting within the scope of his or her license.
Allows the Department of Health and Human Services to take adverse action against a hospital under GS 131A-78 or against a facility under GS 131E-148 for a violations of their respective statute.
Effective January 1, 2018.
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