Dear Florida State AST Members,
I would like to bring an update you on the work of your Board and Officers. In August 2013, the business workshop will be in Orlando, Florida at the Rosen Hotel. We will elect delegates for the Denver Convention in May, 2014. Four representatives of Florida participated in the Habitate for Humanity project at the National Convention in May 2013. Three newly elected officers and board members attended the State Assembly Leadership Forum to learn about their offices and how to be effective representatives for you in May 2013.
Our Legislative Committee is actively working now for the passage of a bill. Our lobbyist is working to garner multiple sponsors for this year. We are encouraged that the bill will go forth as we try a new approach. Current Sponsors include Senator Garcia among others who are working behind the scenes to evolve certification as a minimum entry requirement to function as a surgical technologist or surgical first assistant. We will still have some challenges to overcome, but be prepared to work hard during this Spring Term. If you have any stories that support our bill that we need certified individuals in the operating room, please send them to anyone on the board. We do not need names or even hospital names, just the description of the incident and the part of Florida located in (City, County, or Region).
In the meantime, what can you do to facilitate the recognition by our state legislators that this is a profession just like nursing and not “unlicensed assistive personnel” who assist other professions?
- Contact your local legislator representatives who are running for office, let them know that this is an important issue to you and your profession. Tell them you want confirmation of their support for the requirement of certification for Surgical Technologists and Surgical Assistants to improve the quality of surgical health care for all Floridians.
- Quality issues as identified by the World Health Organization include Creating a Culture of Safety with a focus more on safety, debriefing for issues/cases, and addressing human factors issues in the healthcare setting that lead to medical errors and stress in the workplace.
- Finally, I would like to take this time to confirm to those of you who are not certified, that we understand your concerns and will continue to work to incorporate grandfather clauses which will protect you. In addition, there are avenues such as the Accelerated Alternate Delivery Program for those of you who are young to expand your opportunities within the profession by getting certified. In the State of Florida, a requirement to be certified is considered the same as “licensure”. Becoming board certified and licensed can greatly enhance your credibility and your status with the operating room team. Thereby, increasing your marketability.
Libby McNaron, Florida State Assembly President
Libby(Mary) McNaron, CST, CSFA, RN, CNOR, MSN, MSHRM, FAST
Elected Terms: August 2011 – August 2015
Please feel free to call or look me up any time that I can be of assistance to you. firstname.lastname@example.org,
850-873-3551 or 850-773-8350.