Tennessee Central Service technician law FAQ

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What follows are frequently asked questions regarding the Tennessee Central Service (CS) technician law. The full document may be found at https://www.iahcsmm.org/images/Advocacy/Certification_Bills/TNFAQ.pdf.

Q What does the Tennessee Central Service technician law require?

The Tennessee Central Service technician law requires new CS technicians to be certified and all CS technicians to maintain continuing education credits. Certain individuals are grandfathered in and do not have to be certified (“grandfathering” is a provision in which an old rule continues to apply to some existing situations, while a new rule will apply to all future cases). The law requires 10 hours of continuing education for all practicing CS technicians annually (even for those who were grandfathered).

Q Which healthcare institutions are required to have certified CS technicians?

Hospitals and ambulatory surgical treatment centers are required to have newly-hired CS technicians certified; however, these healthcare institutions are subject to other conditions. Please see other questions below.

Q May a person who was employed as a non-certified CS technician prior to January 1, 2017, switch facilities without having to become certified?

Yes, provided the non-certified CS technician meets the grandfathering clause requirement. To be grandfathered as a CS technician, a CS technician must provide a written request to his/her existing healthcare institution to obtain evidence that he/she was employed as a CS technician in a healthcare institution prior to January 1, 2017. Therefore, individuals who had different job titles may not switch facilities by being grandfathered in as CS technicians. He/she must be certified as a CRCST or CSPDT to switch facilities and work as a CS technician.

Q May healthcare institutions require CRCST or CSPDT as a condition of employment, even if an individual is grandfathered?

Yes.

Q Who may healthcare institutions hire as CS technicians?

A CS technician must provide evidence to his/her employer of meeting one of the following requirements:

  1. a. Successfully passed a nationally accredited CS technician exam, and holds and maintains CRCST or CSPDT; or
  2. b. Provides evidence of employment as a CS technician in a healthcare institution prior to January 1, 2017.
  3. c. As of January 1, 2017, when the law went into effect, a healthcare institution may employ a person who has not passed the certification exam for two years from the date of hire. By the two-year anniversary of the individual’s hire date, he/she must obtain the CRCST or CSPDT.

Q May a healthcare institution hire a person who has not yet passed the certification exam?

Yes. As of January 1, 2017, when the law went into effect, a healthcare institution may employ a person who has not passed the certification exam for two years from the date of hire. By the two-year anniversary of the individual’s hire date, he or she must obtain the CRCST or CSPDT.

Q May a healthcare institution hire a person who is not certified, but has been employed as a CS technician in a healthcare institution prior to January 1, 2017?

Yes. A healthcare institution may hire someone as a CS technician if he/she was employed as a CS technician in a healthcare institution prior to January 1, 2017. Healthcare institutions may require CS technicians to hold CRCST or CSPDT credentials.

Please note: The International Association of Healthcare Central Service Materiel Management (IAHCSMM) and Josephine M. Colacci, Esq., provide the information in this document for informational purposes only and do not offer legal advice. IAHCSMM and Colacci recommend that individuals or healthcare facilities consult with their attorneys for answers to legal questions. The information in this document should not be considered complete or exhaustive and may not reflect the most current information. As a result, IAHCSMM and Colacci do not represent that the information in this document is complete, accurate and up-to-date.

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