NEBRASKA LEGISLATURE
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Sen. Mark Kolterman

Sen. Mark Kolterman

District 24

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Weekly Column: January 25th

January 25th, 2019

As the first week of legislative committee hearings draw to an end, I’d like to highlight one of the bills I introduced in front of the Health and Human Services Committee.  On Wednesday, January 23, I had the pleasure of introducing LB 205 – Adopt the Surgical Technologist Registration Act.

For background, surgical technologists are a critical part of every surgical team and are trained in setting up sterile environments and the preparing of the equipment and surgical instruments.  During surgery, a surgical technologist takes direction from the surgeon on handling instruments, holding retractors and suctioning wounds.  While the surgical techs are an integral part of every single surgery, they are the only member of the surgical team not required to prove minimum competency standards, something I find unsettling.

I believe there is a significant need for surgical technologists to be regulated by the state for the safety of our citizens, which has been recommended twice by the state Department of Health and Human Services.  LB 205 establishes a first time registry under the Board of Medicine and Surgery for surgical technologists and provides for competency and education standards.

If a surgical technologist graduates from an accredited program, all they need to do to register is to show their documentation and pay a nominal fee.  LB 205 also allows for on the job training so individuals who do not have a college degree can become a surgical technologist as long as the individual is certified after successfully completing a competency assessment completed by a licensed health care professional.

LB 205 has been brought to the Health and Human Services after about six years of discussions, negotiations, and compromises between many stakeholders, including physicians, hospitals, and the Department of Health and Human Services.  LB 205 has the support of the Nebraska State Assembly of the Association of Surgical Technologists, the national Association of Surgical Technologists, the Nebraska Hospital Association, and the Nebraska Medical Association.

I look forward to continue working with the Health and Human Services Committee, the Nebraska Legislature as a whole, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Surgical Technologists in order to finally adopt this legislation in order to ensure greater patient care in this state.

As always, if we can be of assistance to you in any way, please do not hesitate to contact my office. My door is open and I have made it a goal to be accessible to the constituents of our district. Please stop by any time. My e-mail address is mkolterman@leg.ne.gov, and the office phone number is 402-471-2756. Tyler and Katie are always available to assist you with your needs. If I am not immediately available, please do not hesitate to work with them to address any issues that you may need assistance. Please continue to follow me on Facebook at Kolterman for Legislature and on Twitter at @KoltermanforLegislature.

Sen. Mark Kolterman

District 24
Room #2004
P.O. Box 94604
Lincoln, NE 68509
Phone: (402) 471-2756
Email: mkolterman@leg.ne.gov
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