Sterile Processing Technician Career Specialty
Sterile Processing Technician Programs
In a fast-paced medical setting, it is essential for doctors and surgeons to have the tools they need. However, these tools have to go through a careful and strict sanitation procedure before they can be used, since the same tools are used on a variety of patients.
As a sterile processing tech, you can develop your knowledge of these sterilization procedures and ensure that every area of the hospital has the tools it needs. In your daily work, you may clean tools as well as distribute them throughout the hospital or medical facility.
To thrive in this field, you need a strong sense of time management and the ability to work efficiently and safely under pressure.
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Sterile Technician Program Information
There are several ways you may meet sterile processing certification requirements. Short-term programs last between six months and one year, leading to a certificate or diploma. They are similar to associate degree programs, but associate degree programs are generally closer to two years in duration.
Although there are differences in these programs, they have many similarities. Required courses tend to be very similar across programs of different levels.
Becoming a sterile processing tech requires a unique set of skills and training. These programs are distinct from medical assistant associate degree programs and other MA training options.
Commonly Required Courses at Sterile Processing Tech Schools
- Anatomy and Physiology
- Medical Terminology
- Microbiology and Infection Control
- Decontamination Procedures and Practice
- Sterilization Procedures and Practice
- Medical Equipment
- Surgical Terminology
- Principles and Practices of Sterile Processing
To truly be ready for the workforce, you need hands-on experience with sanitation equipment and medical tools. Try to select a program that offers plenty of laboratory hours. The more time you spend practicing sterile processing techniques, the more confident you can be when you start working independently in a medical facility.
By checking out learning outcomes at different schools, you can get a strong picture of what you need to do to succeed in a sterile processing program. Many schools focus on appropriate sterilization techniques, tools used in different hospital wings, teamwork in medical settings, disinfection standards, and equipment distribution.
Licensing and 2017 Job Outlook for Sterile Processing Techs
Once you have completed your education, you may be ready to pursue certification. Certification is a foolproof way to show potential employers what you know and give them confidence in your abilities. This can make your job search much easier.
Certification goes through the Certification Board for Sterile Processing and Distribution. You may take the exam if you have at least 12 months of employment in sterile processing or a diploma, certificate, or degree from an approved training course.
You must pay a $125 fee to take the licensing exam. Once you are certified, your certification lasts for five years.
Across the country, sterile processing is a growing field. After you complete your sterile processing tech training, you may benefit from a predicted 14% increase in job openings through 2024 (O*Net, 2017). Across the United States, the average salary for a medical equipment preparer is $34,950 per year (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2017).
The work you do is valuable to professionals in every medical specialty and department. For that reason, sterile equipment technicians typically work in a centralized area of the hospital, rather than working for one specific department or wing. Plan on spending most of your time in a sterile processing lab. However, you may spend a significant portion of your day delivering equipment to various parts of the hospital or clinic.
If you are ready to explore your options in the world of healthcare, this is the time to learn more about sterile processing tech online courses and in-person courses. Discover which training program is best for you by reaching out to sterile processing technician schools today.