By Bob Katzen
The House approved a Senate-approved measure that requires standardized certification of an estimated 1,800 Bay State hospital technicians by a nationally accredited organization. These 1,800 technicians are responsible for ensuring that surgical instruments are safe and sanitary to protect patients from possible infection.
The proposal also requires the technicians to complete an annual continuing education curriculum. It was filed as a response to several high-profile incidents across the state in which surgical tools used in operations on patients may have been improperly disinfected.
Supporters said that technicians are currently allowed to work with a high school diploma or equivalent degree and without additional relevant training, despite being required to keep up to date with the latest practices for over 37,000 different surgical instruments.
Sen. Anne Gobi (D-Spencer) said she co-sponsored the bill in order to make sure that central service technicians have proper credentials. “The reason is that they are responsible for the sterilization and packaging of surgical equipment,” said Gobi. “That is a critical duty and improper sterilization can lead to infection and could lead to death.”
Only final approval is needed in each branch prior to the proposal going to Gov. Baker.