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Washington State Assembly - Association of Surgical Technologists
Newsletter 2016
Meet your WSA Board: 
President-Ronda Armstrong, CST 
Vice President-Monica Seneker, CST
Treasurer-Libby McRae, CST  
Secretary-Valerie Smith, CST
Board of Directors:
Douglas Hughes, CST/CFA 
Sherridan Poffenroth, CST

Total Membership of WSA: 742
  • 42 new members in the past 120 days!
  • 43 military members
    • KING-264
    • PIERCE-167
    • SPOKANE-153
President's Message

Assembly Members, Board of Directors and Students,

Hello everyone! I hope you have enjoyed your summer.  We have had an exciting year in Washington!
Congratulations to all of our new Surgical Technologist graduates this year.  A BIG thank you to all the instructors and preceptors that help produce amazing techs. There are 7 Colleges in Washington: Bellingham Technical College, Clover Park Technical College, Columbia Basin College, Renton Technical College, Seattle Central Community College, Spokane Community College and Yakima Valley College.  

We held elections for officer and board of director positions in October 2015. There are some positions still open and I would like to request now for you to think about running for a Board of Director position in the Fall 2016. We will be electing a Secretary and 3 Board of Directors. We will also have elections for national delegates to conference in New Orleans June 6-10, 2017. Six (6) delegates will be elected as well as 6 alternates.

Your elected delegates went to the AST National Conference in San Diego, CA in May, 2016! We were able to meet up with other states and find out what they are doing new in their state assemblies. There were excellent learning opportunities to take advantage of as well.
The Washington State Assembly had 5 delegates attend this year and we heard your concerns and brought them forward to the national committee and national AST Board members. 

I look forward to seeing old friends and meeting new ones at the Fall workshop in Yakima this October! Please come join us on Saturday, October 22, 2016. There are 6 CE opportunities for you.  Watch our Facebook for updated information. If you have not joined the Facebook group you can find us at the "Surgical Technologists of Washington State" group.

Every year, AST has a theme for National Surgical Technologists' Week. This year it's "Get Hooked". You deserve recognition!  The Washington Proclamation regarding National Surgical Technologists' Week has been signed by your governor for 2016!  The state recognizes the vitality of this profession to our public. 
Surgical Technologists' Week is September 18-24, 2016.
Please reach out to your communities and educate the public about who we are and be proud of what you do.

Ronda Armstrong, CST
WSA-AST, President, 2015-2017
10th Annual Scrub Bowl

A great time was had by all! Congratulations, you've earned it!




That hard work sure helps with CST examinations!

National Conference Updates from your DELEGATES~~~San Diego, CA~~May, 2016

It was so wonderful going to beautiful San Diego at the beginning of June to attend the 2016 AST Conference - "Forging Ahead".

The Conference started off with a bang with the first day's Keynote Address - "Laugh-O-Nomics" by Brad Montgomery.  I went to the Keynote Address before it started and watched Brad walking up and down the aisles, smiling and acting rather silly.  I thought to myself, "Who is this guy?  He thinks he's so funny!"  But by the end of the address Brad had reeled us all in and netted us with his special brand of humor.  

The Conference's Education Sessions contained subjects for everyone - Surgical Technology students, currently employed Surgical Technologists and Surgical First Assistants, Surgical Technology teachers, LPN's, RN's and those who are retired from the field but still want to keep in touch.

The Education Sessions offered subjects ranging from Transplant Surgery to Cardiothoracic Surgery to Prostate Surgery to accessing surgery after being injured while in the line of duty to our country.  There's the potential to receive around 15-16 CE credits in 3 days.  Not bad for a trip away from town to a beautiful location, in this case   the place of my birth!

But after having been to many AST Annual Conferences I enjoy making new friendships with others in our field from around the country.  We learn how surgery is where they are from and what their experiences are.  And of course, having made new friends at one Conference it's nice to renew friendships over many Conferences.  Plus every AST Annual Conference has two parties, the Opening Night Reception and the Closing Night Reception, where just the right atmosphere is created to enjoy each other's company.  The Receptions are also an opportunity to meet AST Board Members - those who are at the helm of our profession - up close and personal.

This year it was my desire to be a Washington State Delegate.  So I applied to the Washington State Assembly of the AST to be given a chance to get this opportunity.  I gave a speech at a WSA of AST Workshop describing why I wanted to be a Delegate, and was voted in!  Yeah!  Delegates attend Business meetings at the AST Annual Conference.  They review, discuss and vote on proposed updates to the AST Bylaws.  Delegates also meet and vote on candidates running for positions on the AST Board.  It's a very awesome and important responsibility and I'm so glad I had the opportunity to serve as a Delegate!

Where will the AST Annual Conference be next year?  New Orleans!  Plan now and come join us in The Big Easy!


I have truly enjoyed every national conference I have attended. I have not been a delegate at every one, but the ones I have been, always stand out. I was originally elected as an alternate, but as plans changed, I was moved up to fill a vacancy. Thank you for letting me represent you once again at National Conference! This year was different as I also went as a representative of a national committee. I think I thrive on the activity and the busy-ness that comes with being involved.

This year was a big year for elections and policy changes. It was the first time I have witnessed so much heated discussion on so many potential changes. It was a good experience to sit and listen to the debate and watch and participate in the voting that affects us all. We voted to keep our current hierarchy in place with a national Vice President and President rather than change to a "President-elect" format.  We also voted to discontinue the military assembly as each of those members are already a part of their individual states. We elected a new secretary and four board of directors. I appreciate each of my fellow delegates and am proud to have served with each of you.

San Diego was a beautiful place. We took advantage of Uber many times and tried fresh seafood, local Mexican food and experienced an amazing dueling piano bar while dressed in a Navy costume!

We stayed right on the water and I was able to take a short run down the walk and back.

I will report that, had I checked the schedule earlier, I would have attended the Mariner's game there adn faithfully represented you all, but I was late and learned that I missed both the worst loss of the year and the greatest comeback, too! GO  M'S!

Thank you again for allowing me to represent. Next time it is YOUR turn!

I've had the opportunity to be a delegate twice now and would like to encourage others to step forward and learn of the process and the happenings at the National conference while being a delegate.Not only is the national conference a wonderful experience, but also an opportunity to network with other industry specialists who share the same interest and goals in the operating room, a chance to learn more about your profession, the latest and greatest techniques, and be part of the voting voice for Washington State!

It is also a time when Surgical Technologists come together and learn from each other: the happenings of different state's legislation and of our continued growth. The conference for me is an experience, both fun and rewarding, and when all is said and done, I earn continuing education credits toward my National Certification requirement. It's a WIN-WIN! I hope you consider taking the step to be one of Washington's next delegates and learn about the experiences at National Conference in 2017!

Libby McRae, CST:

I have been blessed with the ability and the honor of attending AST National Conference for several years as a delegate and an attender. I take the delegate duties seriously by making sure I get to know all of the candidates running for office so that I can make a fair decision about who I think would best represent the future of AST, especially as it pertains to our great state.  I also like to engage in the discussion surrounding the potential revisions to our bylaws.  What?? Well, it is interesting to note that what occurs on the national level does often affect the state bylaws and it is absolutely imperative that you all have a voice speaking on your behalf and taking the time to pay close attention to everything that may affect every surgical technologist in the state of Washington, for the better or for the worse.  When it comes right down to it, we all have similar goals, every CST across the nation desires to serve their patients and communities. Whatever enables us to achieve these goals without getting distracted from patient safety is what I will continue to argue for on every level. (Can you tell there was a lot of debate during this year's national bylaws forum?!) :)

I absolutely love networking with my friends from across the nation. And I love coming home with new contacts. I can reach out to surgical technologists in all corners of the nation to ask their help, their opinion, or for advice on restaurants in their area, should I go!! Speaking of restaurants, oh, boy, did we enjoy some awesome food in San Diego! Afghani food, Mexican food, sushi, fresh fish, you name it, we ate it!  I went to my first Whole Foods grocery store, stayed with other WA delegates on a boat for the week, and attended many fantastic workshops and presentations.

Thank you for allowing me to serve you as a delegate.  I encourage you who have not done so, please consider this great opportunity. You matter. You are experts.  Your voice is needed within your profession.

Community Outreach Update FALL 2015

Washington State Assembly collected money toward a donation for Caring Bridge, an on-line site thatallows patients and family to keep journals and update friends during treatments. . . thus sparing the family from constant calls and visits during recuperation or at end of life preparation.

The table was "womanned" by Katie Patshkowski, a 2016 grad of Spokane Community College ST program and her daughter.

Collected from WA: $70. Donated from Spokane's CPR club: $30. Amount donated online on behalf of WSA of AST: $100.

Thanks to all involved in the coordination and in the donation process.
Saturday, OCTOBER 22, 2016

You may be thinking: ????
But START thinking: !!!!

LOCATION:Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital (in the main auditorium)
                   2811 Tieton Dr.
                   Yakima, WA 98902
(parking will be across 28th avenue in guest parking "A" on the map found in the link below, or across 30th avenue behind the heart center in "L" parking lot found in the link below.)

Here's a floor plan of the hospital. You can find the auditorium in the Basement (B), directly off the elevators by the pharmacy. See this link for reference: 

Oxford Inn
1603 E Yakima Ave. 
Yakima, WA 98901
$73 Single queen/$76 Double queen
Breakfast supplied-ask for times

Oxford Suites (located next to Inn)
1701 E Yakima Ave.
Yakima, WA 98901
$94 Single Queen/$99 Double queen
Full hot breakfast supplied-ask for times
5pm-10pm reception with free food/drink vouchers

WORKSHOP:  6 CE~$65 (lunch included)-members
Emphasis~"Orthopedic open and endoscopic techniques, Diabetic patients, hands-on training"

ONLINE REGISTRATION:  Click on this link or check your email inbox for the invitation  

COMMUNITY OUTREACH Fall 2016-WSA is endeavoring to sponsor special needs folks in the Yakima Valley through the Pegasus Project: . We will collect donations of money toward sponsoring this project. Check out the website to see this unique opportunity!

 The following positions will be elected this fall:
Board of Director~3 positions
All positions are 2 year terms, with 2 term limits.  We would love to have you on the board or helping in a committee!  Information can be found on the AST website or by contacting any board member.  Nominees must be current active members for at least one year and have a CV and Consent to Serve completed by the time elections occur.
Need forms so you can help out on your state assembly? Here they are:


National Surgical Technologists' Week
Let us know how YOU'RE CELEBRATING!

Celebrate Your Profession

National Surgical Technologists Week
September 18-24, 2016
Theme: Get Hooked
Find tech week products here: 

2016 Spring Workshop and 11th ANNUAL SCRUB BOWL

Look for information about this exciting event coming to you through your email!
Washington State Legislative Update

Though Washington State is not actively pursuing another legislative push at this time, we are working to develop and implement a PUBLIC AWARENESS CAMPAIGN that will naturally lead into legislation within the next 10 years.  We will keep you updated on developments as well as how you may be involved.  Call us, email us, attend our workshops and corner us for a chat, Face Book us!!
WSA of AST | Surgical Technologists  |