Virginia Commonwealth State Assembly of the Association of Surgical Technologists (VCSA)
Sandra Luthie, VCSA President
Who Is Behind The Mask?
Richmond, VA September 1, 2011 – Thousands of surgical technologists around the country will be celebrating National Surgical Technologist Week September 18 - 24, 2011. In recognition of National Surgical Technologist Week, local Certified Surgical Technologists are putting on mock surgeries across the state to demonstrate the crucial responsibilities of all surgical team members, particularly the role of the surgical technologist.
Surgical technologists are specifically educated to work in the operating room. They anticipate the needs of the surgeon and patient and are the surgical team’s experts in aseptic technique, having primary responsibility for maintaining the sterile field. To become certified in surgical technology, an individual must graduate from an accredited surgical technology program to earn a certificate or Associate’s Degree and pass the rigorous national board exam.
The group is calling on lawmakers to establish educational and certification requirements for surgical technologists, a profession comprised of 1,700 individuals in Virginia. The profession is expected to grow 25 percent by 2018. Dr. Troy Glembot states, Director of the Winchester Medical Center Bariatric Program, states, "Every day in operating rooms throughout Virginia thousands of surgeries are being performed. Surgical procedures are complicated, and require extensive use of highly technical equipment. The proper education and training of all team members is vital to the successful outcome of all surgical patients. Surgical technologists are a critical part of this team to ensure the safe delivery of surgical care to our patients." Surgical technologists are the experts in the operating room on sterility and preventing surgical site infections, yet most states do not require surgical technologists to have any education or certification. Several states have passed legislation to require that surgical technologists graduate from an accredited surgical technology program and earn the Certified Surgical Technologist credential.
On September 20, 2011 at noon the public will get an up close look at a laparoscopic gastric bypass surgical procedure in the William H. McCoy Theatre at Lord Fairfax Community College at 173 Skirmisher Lane in Middletown, Virginia. The public is welcome to attend.
Sandra Luthie, VCSA President, states, "Patients assume everyone in the operating room is credentialed, yet surgical technologists remain the only member of the surgical team not required to meet minimum education and certification standards. Requiring certification will decrease surgical site infections, enhance patient safety and ensure surgical team competency."
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Virginia State Assembly of the Association of Surigcal Technology represents 1700 Certified Surgical Technologist in the state. CST's are a essential member of the surgery team in hospitals, clinics, outpatient centers and more. They are trained in an accredited school and take a national exam, continue to learn new procedures and most important, protect the patient at the surgical field.