On January 30th, 2016, 75 SEIU-UHW members in 4 offices attended the Kaiser Workforce committee meeting. We heard from management, labor partners and our internal leaders about how the workforce is changing and the need for more SEIU-UHW members to step up and help with these changes. We want to make sure that the Jobs of the Future are good jobs that we help create! If you want to be a part of the committee contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Recently, state legislators got a better view of what really happens in the operating room.
SEIU-UHW members, along with Dr. Lenita Williamson and other health care professionals, performed a mock total knee replacement surgery at the State Capitol as part of efforts by SEIU-UHW Professional and Technical members urging Governor Jerry Brown to support legislation (AB 2062) that would help reduce patient infections and other complications.
SEIU-UHW members Lane Holmes from St. Josephs Medical Center and Jacey Ahrenholtz from Doctors Medical Center in Modesto played the role of surgical technologist and surgical assistant, respectively. Yitskhaq Abraham, a certified surgical technologist at Kaiser West L.A., narrated the surgery as media and lawmakers observed.
Assembly Bill 2062, which is currently moving through the State Senate, will mandate that all newly hired surgical technologists attend an accredited school and maintain their certification. AB 2062 was written by SEIU-UHW, and surgical tech members have also testified and lobbied legislators to build support. The bill has yet to receive a “no” vote, showing the power of SEIU-UHW members when we stand together.
“A lot of people think that we just pass surgeons instruments. They don’t realize how important we are to preventing infections,” said Brianna Maynard, a Surg Tech student at Carrington College. “Knowing that my mom or family member can go in for surgery, I want to know that the surg tech is certified. It’s very important to me.”
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[Aug. 19, 2014] SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Hundreds of California surgical workers rallied to improve operating room safety by staging a mock procedure at the State Capitol and urging Gov. Jerry Brown to support legislation that helps reduce patient infections and other complications.
“Our goal is to ensure the highest quality of care and safety for our patients and that starts with everyone at the operating room table being appropriately educated and credentialed,” said Yitskhaq Abraham, a certified surgical technologist at Kaiser West L.A. “Another advantage is that the costs would be paid for by the workers and their employers – none of it would come from taxpayers.”
To illustrate the need for greater operating room safety, workers staged an hour-long mock knee replacement procedure, led by an actual surgeon and assisted by surgical technologists, the employees who prepare patients, ensure the operating room is sterile and assemble all surgical equipment and confirm that it is working properly.
Under AB 2062, legislation introduced by Assemblymember Roger Hernandez (D-West Covina), all newly practicing surgical technologists would be required to be certified after Jan. 1, 2015. The measure unanimously passed the Assembly in May and is awaiting a vote in the Senate. In 2012, Gov. Brown vetoed similar legislation.
Currently, the State of California has no minimum education or certification requirements for surgical technologists, making them the only professionals working in operating rooms without a license or certification. Nearly 9,400 surgical technologists work in California.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, operating room infections are the second-most common type of hospital-acquired infections, and the most costly.
Pro & Techs are making their voices heard at the Capitol
SEIU-UHW Pro & Techs member Yitskhaq Bar Abraham testified before the Senate Health committee on June 18th on AB 2062, the Certified Surgical Technologist Act.
Yitskhaq, Ashley Clay and Kelly Scanlon also made their voices heard in Sacramento by speaking directly to the members of the Assembly Health and the Senate Business and Professions committee on AB 2062 and SB 993, Dietitian Update.
Testimony on AB 2062 (Surgical Technologist Yitskhaq Bar Abraham)
Testimony on SB 993 (Dieticians Ashley Clay and Kelly Scanlon)
Both pieces of legislation were voted out of committee without a “NO” vote. SEIU-UHW members’ excellent testimony made all the difference.
Email email@example.com to be a part of changing healthcare in California like these SEIU-UHW Pro Tech members.
Pro Tech Tele-Town Hall
Get ready, our next Pro Tech Tele-Town Hall is on July 15th at 7 p.m.!
Sign up now and mark your calendar.
If you weren’t able to join in on the March Telephone Townhall for Pro/Techs, you don’t have to miss out!
Listen to the recording:
Professional and technical healthcare workers face unique challenges in the changing healthcare environment. Now we have a chance to discuss how we can meet these challenges in order to protect our families and ourselves. Join the Pro Tech Telephone Townhall on March 26, at 7:00 p.m. RSVP today
Though vital to quality care, there is no government recognition for Surgical Technologists, who are responsible for ensuring operating rooms stay safe and sterile and that the operating room team is efficient with the correct tools to perform the job.
AB 2062 (Hernández):
Yitskhaq Abraham, an SEIU-UHW Executive Board member and surgical technologist at Kaiser West Los Angeles, testified at the State Capitol on behalf of AB 2062 (Hernández):
The preliminary Assembly Floor Vote for AB 2062 (Certified Surgical Technologists) was 73 AYE – 0 NO.
This is an opportunity for Dietitians and DTRs to come together to talk about improving care in our hospitals & issues that we face as dietitian professionals. If you are outside the Bay Area, you can call into the meeting at (877) 336-1831 passcode: 8857286#.
We will discuss:
Dietitians are vital to quality patient care. We ensure patients get the appropriate nutrition and make informed choices about their diet.
Currently under California law, dietitians are required to go back to the doctor if a patient needs to alter their diet (i.e. ordering food to be ground up if the patient cannot chew, changing a diet so that it is culturally sensitive to the patient’s needs, etc.). Dietitians are qualified and trained to make these changes, and requiring
doctor approval increases patient cost, lowers quality of care and decreases the patient’s satisfaction when their dietary needs are delayed.
SEIU-UHW dietitians are taking the lead to change healthcare in California by providing high quality of care at a lower cost. Help us pass SB 993 (Mitchell).
Watch the entire hearing on SB 993 (12 minutes):
I’m joining the call because its time to take off our masks and be recognized. Everyday we (Surgical Techs) impact the success of a surgery with our knowledge and skills. Its time for our education and efforts to be recognized. We ARE professionals. – Erika Whatley, Certified Surgical Technician, Kaiser West L.A.
I think that healthcare is changing so dramatically and specifically for dieticians in the preventative health side, important to be on top of the changes and how we can work with them in our hospitals. Statewide when it comes to diff policies and laws that affect what we can do. Being able to work statewide with issues that affect our professions to make sure they align with what we are trained to do and the laws we’re pushing for reflect that. We all have scope of practice laws and we need to support each other during challenging times so we can maximize what we do within the hospital and our communities and patients. Taking responsibility for the changes that are important to you and being on the call is one way to give your input. Take action for what you think is important and join the call. – Jennifer Jusinski, Registered Dietician, Kaiser Fremont