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Surgical technologists play an important role in the operating theater before, during and after surgical procedures. In the state of Washington, the Washington State Department of Health makes sure that surgical techs are qualified to carry out their duties. Those duties include sterilizing and setting up instruments and equipment, handing supplies to surgeons during operations, transferring patients to and from the operating room, maintaining inventory and cleaning up. Registering with the State of Washington as a surgical technicians is mandatory to work in the state, but the requirements for registration are simple and the process is straightforward.
The State of Washington does require a minimum of seven hours of training dealing with HIV/AIDS. There are fees for the seven hours of courses that deal with topics like causes and symptoms of HIV and AIDS, and with workplace safety. Courses are taken through state-approved facilities. Depending on county of residence, the facilities can be local American Red Cross chapters or health care clinics. Video courses are also available and acceptable for fulfilling requirements. A surgical technology program offered through a college or vocational school is considered a desirable qualification for surgical techs, but is not absolutely required by the state. On the job training without a formal upper level education is acceptable.
A surgical technician who has been licensed or applied for a license in a state other than Washington must submit that information with the Washington state registration application provided by the Washington State Department of Health. A personal statement is included with the application that covers topics like health status and professional history. A criminal background check is run on all applicants that may include a fingerprint check for applicants from out of state. The application and registration fee are sent to the Washington State Department of Health. Licensed practical nurses, registered nurses and physicians can work as surgical technologists without registering with the state.
Every year, surgical technologists are required to renew registration with the state. Surgical technicians send a renewal card and a renewal fee to the Washington State Department of Health to cover this requirement. The registration year begins and ends on the surgical tech's birthday.
Since 1997, Maria Christensen has written about business, history, food, culture and travel for diverse publications. She ran her own business writing employee handbooks and business process manuals for small businesses, authored a guidebook to Seattle, and works as an accountant for a software company. Christensen studied communications at the University of Washington and history at Armstrong Atlantic State University.