Sterile Processing Technicians (also known as a Central Service Technician or Instrument Technician) plays a vital role in keeping patients healthy and happy.
What Is a Sterile Processing Technician?
You’ve most likely never heard about it before, and this job title might sound a little mysterious. In actuality, it’s one of the most important positions in the healthcare industry. There are a variety of names for sterile processing techs, depending on where they work and the specifics of their job description.
Some titles you might see are:
No matter what they’re called, these meticulous individuals are in charge of instrument and medical device decontamination, organization, and packaging. Their job is to prevent the spread of infection by ensuring all instruments are disease-free.
It’s not all about cleaning though. The job necessitates detailed documentation and inspection of materials. Everything that goes through the department must be sterilized and inspected, and the whole process is thoroughly cataloged. Only then can the equipment be distributed as needed.
Demand in the Field, you are wondering?
Healthcare is a booming industry, thanks to the growing needs of the Baby Boomer generation. According to The Atlantic, the healthcare industry is the largest employer in the US.
The growth of the entire industry – and the demand for Medical Equipment Preparer – makes this a fantastic career option. The need for sterile processing techs is projected to grow 10% to 14% between 2016 and 2026.
Steps to becoming a Sterile Processing Technician
To get started on your way to becoming a sterile processor, you’ll need a high school diploma or GED. This allows you to enroll in The Ramirez Institute of Sterile Processing.
How to apply
The Sterile Processing Technician certificate program provides students with the knowledge and skills required to work as an entry-level sterile processing technician (also known as a surgical processing technician or central service technician). The primary responsibility of a sterile processing tech is to ensure that a clean and sterile healthcare environment is maintained at all times. This is primarily achieved through the process of decontaminating and sterilizing all surgical instrumentation and equipment.
Students enrolled in this program will learn various sterilization techniques, including the proper method for decontaminating and sterilizing surgical instruments and equipment. They will also gain a solid understanding of microbiology and infection control. Other topics covered in this program include surgical terminology, human anatomy, surgical instrumentation, sterile processing, and safety & risk management. Students will also learn about federal and state guidelines, including HIPAA.
Sterile processing techs are employed in the Sterile Processing, Central Supply, and Sterile Supply Departments of hospitals. Employment opportunities can also be found in surgical centers, outpatient clinics, and physicians' offices. Some employment possibilities include sterile processing technician, central supply technician, and central service manager.