Hello and Welcome to the Florida State Assembly of the AST Webpage!!
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I would like to update you on the work of the Florida State Assembly Board and Officers.
- In March 2013, we elected delegates for the Denver 45th Annual AST and ASA National Convention in May, 2014. Six representatives including myself, George Sasser, Marixa Ortiz, Wendy Hughes, Jane Fisher, and Lucille Alvarado plus two past presidents James Bell and Deborah Pearson represented Florida proudly.
- Three officers and board members attended the State Assembly Leadership Forum to learn about their offices and how to be effective representatives.
- Our next meeting is on August 2nd, 2014. This business meeting and workshop will be in Tampa, Florida at St. Joseph’s Hospital. Please plan to attend. Education CE’s will be 5-6 depending on the number of speakers we can get.
Our Legislative Committee continues to actively work for the passage of a bill in the upcoming 2014-2015 session. In the 2014 spring session, our bill was attached to HB7105 and passed the senate, but was stripped from the bill deliberately by the house. For more information, see the legislation page. Our lobbyist is working to garner multiple sponsors for the upcoming year. 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 making calls, visiting your representatives and writing letters when the call for action comes. 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.