If you’re considering a career in healthcare that allows you to work behind the scenes to promote patient health and safety, becoming a sterile processing technician may be the right choice for you. In this article, we’re going to come clean about what sterile processing technicians do, as well as how to enroll in sterile processing technician schools and what your course of study will probably look like.
What Do Sterile Processing Technicians Do?
Sterile processing technicians are usually responsible for:
- Cleaning and sterilizing medical equipment
- Preparing instruments and instrument trays for surgery
- Testing autoclaves and related equipment and reporting any problems
- Transporting, maintaining and storing medical equipment
- Ordering supplies
- Keeping detailed records of sterilization procedures
Other names for sterile processing technicians include:
- Certified registered central service technicians
- Medical equipment preparers
- Sterilization technicians
- Sterile processing and distribution technicians
What Does Sterile Processing Training Online Look Like?
Sterile processing technician schools cover all the material you need to succeed on the job. Coursework begins with the basics and progresses to more in-depth study. Consider some of the courses you can expect to take in a sterile processing program:
- Medical terminology
- Bloodborne pathogens and HIPAA regulations
- Decontamination, disinfection, and surgical instruments
- Regulations and infection prevention
- Quality assurance, inventory management, and roles of central service
- Risk management, communication, personal and professional development
In addition to comprehensive coursework, you will have access to a variety of learning resources, plus personalized career services.
How Do I Enroll in Sterile Processing Technician Schools?
If you’d like to enter this field, you’ll need to do some research on sterile processing technician schools. It’s important to locate a program that fits your needs and lifestyle. If you’re working full- or part-time, you may want to find a school that offers night classes. If you’re looking for flexible, self-paced study, sterile processing technician training online is another practical option. Also consider tuition costs and possible financial aid resources.
Once you’ve selected a program, you usually need to complete an application, which may ask you to provide transcripts from other schools you’ve attended, and information about your employment history if you have previous experience in healthcare. Once you’ve been accepted, find out about enrollment deadlines (if applicable) and register for classes.