Hello NYAST members,
Things have been busy since you elected me President of NYAST in March. The biggest project, and the one that we have all been working on for three years, is the legislative effort toward an education and certification law for surgical technologists in New York. I am happy to report that Governor Cuomo signed our legislation on July 31, 2013, and we have a law that will be effective in 18 months. I am extremely proud of the work done by the GAPA committee and the many NYAST members who collectively obtained nearly 200 letters from non-surgical tech people, which were delivered by our lobbyist to Governor Cuomo in July. We could never have achieved this monumental goal without the amazing efforts put forth by our members. I also want to thank Catherine Sparkman, AST Director of Government Affairs and Vanessa Hannemann, AST Government and Public Affairs Manager as well as our amazing lobbyist Jessica Schafroth from Malkin and Ross, and the sponsors of our bill Senator Diane Savino and Assemblyman Kevin Cahill.
NYAST was represented by 6 delegates at the AST National Conference in New Orleans in May. The delegates, elected by the membership in March, were Sue Jeffery, CST/CSFA, Kathleen Pascal-Faletta, CST, Olalekan Olekanmi, CST, Gemma Fournier, CST, RN, FAST, Lisa Osborne, CST and Beth Applegate-Debo, CST. We elected a new AST president, vice president, treasurer, and 3 board members. The conference was educational and enlightening, just at it is every year. It is an event that every CST should experience at least once. Any active member of AST can be a delegate, so if you are interested please contact a board member to get on the delegate ballot for next year!
Your board of directors is working on other things as well. The website ny-ast.org has been updated and is a constant work in progress. Please check it regularly for updates. There is a new Conference Info page, and a
new JOBS page with a link to the NBSTSA Career Center site where you can view job postings from all over the country, or post your resume for potential employers to view.
There will be a fall conference at Kingsborough Community College in Brooklyn on September 28th which will be one you don’t want to miss. In addition to 6 excellent speakers, Senator Diane Savino will be there as well as AST President Roy Zacharias, ASA President Dennis Stover, and Catherine Sparkman, to celebrate the passage of our bill into law! The information is on our website as well as attached to this newsletter.
We have decided to do some community outreach at our fall conference and will be collecting items that are on the wish list of the Coney Island Lighthouse Mission. You can find the wish list in this newsletter as well as on our website, so if you are attending the conference please bring an item to be donated. We thank you for your generosity.
We are also asking NYAST members to participate in “career days” at local high schools to promote the profession of surgical technology. We feel it is important to let students know that it is a career path that is available to them, and express the importance of finding a properly accredited program to attend. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you wish to do this and we will help you.
I thank you for allowing me to serve as your president. I will continue to work for the members of NYAST, our patients and our profession.
Beth Applegate-Debo, CST
NYAST GAPA Report
NYSAST is pleased to announce that on July 31, 2013 Governor Andrew Cuomo signed and approved Bill S5185-2013 which requires Surgical Technologists functioning in healthcare facilities to be certified (or complete an appropriate training program for surgical technology in the U.S. military). The bill states clearly that a healthcare facility cannot employ or contract with a Surgical Technologist unless the person meets the listed requirement.
Section 2824(4) of the bill provides an exception for individuals who are employed as Surgical Technologists for a cumulative period of two years on or in the four years prior to the effective date. Section 2824(5) denotes the requirement that Surgical Technologists must annually complete fifteen hours of continuing education to remain qualified to practice Surgical Technology.
The justification of this bill includes the fact that Surgical Technologists play a vital role in creating and maintaining a sterile surgical room, ensuring that surgical equipment is functioning properly and safely, and performing many critical tasks during surgical procedures. Because Surgical Technologists are directly responsible for patients' wellbeing 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. 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.
Effective date: The act shall take effect on the first day of the eighteenth month after it shall have become law. Feel free to contact NYAST should you have any questions and/or concerns about the requirements or language of this bill.
You may also view additional demographics of this bill at: http://open.nysenate.gov/legislation/bill/S5185-2013
Linda Kerwin CST, RN, MA, MSN, Ed.D.
Chair NYAST GAPA Committee
Becoming part of the team!
On March 9, 2013, The New York State Assembly of Surgical Technologists held its spring meeting and elections in Syracuse. As always, it was full of important information and had very informative guest speakers. These conferences are great for networking and are a valuable resource for staying on top of the technological changes that are constantly occurring in our profession. What made the meeting even more special personally was the privilege of being elected to the Board of Directors. I look forward to being part of this all-volunteer team dedicated to maintaining high ethical and professional standards, while raising the public profile of Surgical Technologists across the State. Some of the work being done by our organization includes the promotion of surgical conscience, and lobbying the various bodies of the New York State legislature and executive branch. It was an honor to put my hand up, become inducted, and join this team. Teamwork is important, as we exchange ideas and may help as we work with surgical technologists both in our region and from all over the country. Whether in the operating room or a board meeting, it should be the goal of every surgical technologist to be a team member.
On September 28, 2013, the NYAST fall conference will take place in Brooklyn, NY. Brooklyn is my home, where I was born and work. The Kingsborough based NYAST members are excited and proud to host this event. It takes a lot of hard work to coordinate a conference such as this; securing the date, getting speakers, fundraising, and so much more, but in the end, it is well worth it. We have the opportunity at every meeting to meet and inform others, exchange ideas, learn, and be part of an amazing group of people.
This meeting will also have instructive speakers, industry representatives, some prizes, fundraising, and lots more. Join us as we celebrate the game changing passage of law. What an accomplishment! Everyone who helped during the three year campaign should be extremely proud and be thanked. This new law states how very important our role is in the operating room. Now anyone that wants to enter the field of surgical technology has to graduate from an accredited surgical technology program, pass the CST exam, and keep up with continuing education credits. This law ensures the high level of professionalism we promote and will benefit patients all over the state of New York. More detailed information can be found on the AST or the NBSTSA web sites.
Attending meetings and keeping up with educational credits are just some of the ways to keep informed. Knowledge and networking is never a waste. Be a part of the NYAST team and see you in Brooklyn and don’t forgetaboutit………..
Nancy Rowland, CST
NYAST Board of Directors
We feel that it is important to give back to the community in which we are holding our conference, especially since the community is still recovering from Superstorm Sandy. We have contacted the Coney Island Lighthouse Mission, which is an organization that hosts a soup kitchen and offers after school programs with homework help, tutoring and arts and crafts, etc. for children of all ages. They are just recovering from Sandy as well and are grateful that we have chosen them as the organization to reach out to. We ask that you please bring an item or two on the following list to our fall conference at Kingsborough Community College. If you are not attending, but still wish to contribute, contact Beth Applegate-Debo at email@example.com. The items that would best serve the needs of the Coney Island Lighthouse Mission at this time are:
*Staples gift cards to purchase printer ink cartridges
*Costco or BJ’s gift cards for food and paper products
*arts and crafts supplies
Paints and paint brushes
Glue (Elmer’s or glue sticks)
Construction paper/colored paper/tissue paper
Pipe cleaners in colors
Pom poms/google eyes
Fancy edge scissors/regular scissors
Stickers of all varieties
These are just some ideas…use your imagination along these lines! THANK YOU!!!
PLEASE SEE THE CONFERENCE INFO PAGE OF THIS WEBSITE FOR ALL FALL CONFERENCE INFO AND REGISTRATION!!