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SENATE DOCKET, NO. 263        FILED ON: 1/19/2011

SENATE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 1069


The Commonwealth of Massachusetts



Stephen M. Brewer


To the Honorable Senate and House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in General
              Court assembled:

              The undersigned legislators and/or citizens respectfully petition for the adoption of the accompanying bill:

An Act relative to surgical technology.






Stephen M. Brewer

Worcester, Hampden, Hampshire, Franklin

Anthony W. Petruccelli


Jeffrey Sánchez

15th Suffolk

James Arciero

2nd Middlesex

Benjamin B. Downing

Berkshire, Hampshire, and Franklin

Michael R. Knapik


Thomas A. Golden, Jr.

16th Middlesex

Harold P. Naughton, Jr.

12th Worcester

Gailanne M. Cariddi

1st Berkshire

Harriette L. Chandler


Gale D. Candaras


Carolyn C. Dykema

8th Middlesex

Angelo J. Puppolo, Jr.

12th Hampden

Richard J. Ross

Norfolk, Bristol, and Middlesex

Frederick E. Berry


David Paul Linsky

5th Middlesex

Vincent A. Pedone

15th Worcester

Michael F. Kane

5th Hampden

SENATE DOCKET, NO. 263        FILED ON: 1/19/2011

SENATE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 1069

By Mr. Brewer, petition (accompanied by bill, Senate, No. 1069) of Stephen M. Brewer, Anthony W. Petruccelli, Jeffrey Sánchez, James Arciero and other members of the General Court for legislation relative to surgical technology [Joint Committee on Public Health].


SEE HOUSE, NO. 4809 OF 2009-2010.]


The Commonwealth of Massachusetts



In the Year Two Thousand Eleven



An Act relative to surgical technology.


              Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:

              SECTION 1. Chapter 111 of the General Laws, as so appearing, is hereby amended by inserting after section 218 the following new section—

              Section 219. Surgical Technologists.

              (a) For purposes of this Section, the following terms shall have the following meanings:

              (1) “Surgical facility” means any organization, partnership, association, corporation or trust, however named, or the commonwealth or any subdivision thereof, or any person or group of persons that provides surgical health care services, whether inpatient or outpatient and whether overnight or ambulatory, including but not limited to any hospital, clinic, or private office of a health care practitioner or practitioners, whether conducted for charity or for profit and whether or not subject to the provisions of section 25C of chapter 111 of the general laws.

              (2) “Health care practitioner” means any person licensed or registered under the provisions of chapter 112, Secs. 2, 16, 74, or 74A of the General Laws including any intern, resident, fellow, or medical officer, who may conduct or assist with the performance of surgery.

              (3) “Operating room circulator” means a licensed registered nurse who is educated, trained, and experienced in perioperative nursing. A person who may be employed or otherwise retained to practice surgical technology in a healthcare facility may assist in the performance of circulating duties under direct supervision, limited to clinical guidance, of the registered nurse circulator, who shall be in the operating room for the duration of the procedure (i) consistent with the person’s education, training, and experience; and (ii) as assigned by a registered nurse circulator.

              (4) “Surgical technologist” means any person not a health care practitioner who provides surgical technology services.

              (5) “Surgical technology” means surgical patient care that may include, but is not limited to, one or more of the following activities:

                            (i) collaborating with the registered nurse circulator prior to the surgical procedure to carry out the plan of care by preparing the operating room, gathering and preparing sterile supplies, instruments and equipment, preparing and maintaining the sterile field using sterile and aseptic technique, and ensuring that surgical equipment is functioning properly and safely;

                            (ii) intraoperatively, anticipating and responding to the needs of the surgeon and other team members by monitoring the sterile field and providing the required instruments or supplies;

                            (iii) as directed in an operating room setting, performing tasks at the sterile field, including: (1) passing supplies, equipment, or instruments; (2) sponging or suctioning an operative site; (3) preparing and cutting suture material; (4) transferring and irrigating with fluids; (5) transferring but not administering drugs within the sterile field; (6) handling specimens; (7) holding retractors; and (8) assisting in counting sponges, needles, supplies, and instruments with an operating room circulator.

              (b) A surgical facility shall not employ or otherwise retain the services of any person to perform surgical technology tasks or functions unless the person: (1) has successfully completed an accredited educational program for surgical technologists and holds and maintains a certified surgical technologist credential administered by a nationally recognized surgical technologist certifying body accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies and recognized by the American College of Surgeons and the Association of Surgical Technologists; (2) has successfully completed an accredited school of surgical technology but has not, as of the date of hire, obtained the certified surgical technologist certification required in subsection (b)(1) above, provided that such certification is obtained within twelve months of the graduation date; (3) was employed as a surgical technologist in a surgical facility on January 1, 2010; (4) has successfully completed an appropriate training program for surgical technology in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, or Coast Guard of the United States or in the United States Public Health Service; or (5) is in the service of the federal government, but only to the extent the person is performing duties related to that service. (c) Nothing in this section shall prohibit a registered nurse or other health care practitioner from performing surgical technology tasks or functions if the person is acting within the scope of his or her license. (d) The provisions of this Section 219 of Chapter 111 do not repeal or modify any law or regulation relating to the supervision of surgical technologists, including provisions of the Medicare Conditions of Participation established under 42 CFR 482.51. (e) The department shall enforce the provisions of this section and shall adopt and promulgate such rules and regulations as are necessary to carry out the purposes hereof.

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