Sterile Processing Technician Career Path: 3 Things to Know - MedCerts

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Are you looking for a career change? Do you see yourself working in hospitals, clinics, surgical centers, or other healthcare facilities? Your future could be in the sterile processing tech field. A sterile processing technician works behind the scenes to ensure proper maintenance of medical equipment hygiene. Here is further insight into the three key things you need to know about the sterile processing technician career path.

What Does a Sterile Processing Technician Do?

An ideal hospital or healthcare center uses and reuses countless medical instruments. Despite loads of the supplies being disposable, some are not, especially the surgical tools. These reusable supplies come with exact and rigorous instructions for proper cleaning and maintenance.

As a sterile processing technician, you prepare, inspect, install, clean, and sterilize medical equipment with precision. In addition, you verify and record missing instruments, ensure equipment is in optimum working condition and sanitize operating rooms. Sterile processing technicians are crucial to medical settings and ensure every surgical instrument is safe for future use.

What Are the Characteristics of a Successful Sterile Processing Technician?

Here are some unique traits that enable you to execute your duties correctly and successfully:

  • Attention to detail. A good technician is detail-oriented to ensure proper completion of each stage in the sterilization process. The well-being of patients and medical staff is in your hands. You have to be vigilant while collecting and disposing of material contaminated with blood or body fluids. In addition, you will also take careful inventory to account for all instruments, medical supplies and lab equipment. You’re also often tasked with purposefully verifying the expiration dates to warrant the safety of sterile supplies.

  • Critical thinking. This job sometimes requires analytical reasoning and problem-solving skills. For instance, you might be in the middle of sterilizing an operating room when an emergency arises. In this situation, you must analyze the risk factors and make crucial decisions on sterilizing equipment and assigning resources. Showcasing your expertise in these upsetting scenarios will help you succeed in this field.

  • Collaboration and communication. Often, sterile processing technicians work in teams. The technicians often maintain contact, provide status reports, schedule repairs for equipment and prepare operating rooms. When you are comfortable working and communicating with the surgical team, operations run seamlessly.

How Do You Become a Sterile Processing Technician? Choose MedCerts

The sterile processing technician career path involves rigorous training during which your pick up different crucial skills. Before you can qualify for any training program, you require a minimum high school diploma or General Educational Development equivalent. Taking up chemistry and biology courses will give you a proper foundation in the medical field.

You can then pick and enroll in a sterile processing technician program. At MedCerts, we offer a 14-week online certification training program. Upon completion, you gain national provisional CRCST (Certified Registered Central Service Technician) certification accreditation by the HSPA (Healthcare Sterile Processing Association).

To gain full certification, you need 400 hours of sterile processing experience within half a year of acquiring the temporary accreditation. This hands-on skill you acquire helps you better grasp the standards, practices and knowledge needed to pass the CRCST Exam. Sign up today with MedCerts, a credible name in professional certification, to start your sterile processing technician career path.

Portrait of Dana Janssen
Written by Dana Janssen
Chief Product Officer

Dana has over twenty (20) years’ experience in Allied Healthcare and Education, and currently serves as the Chief Product Officer for MedCerts where he is responsible for product vision and strategy, research, and development.

Dana joined MedCerts upon its founding in 2009, and has led the research, development, and production of the entire catalog of programs that have helped MedCerts transform the distance learning landscape. Leveraging state-of-the-art technologies and innovative instructional design practices, Dana and his team have pioneered the development of the MedCerts 12 Elements of eLearning. Each MedCerts program contains a proprietary blend of these engaging, interactive, and entertaining elements that effectively accommodate learners of all types. Dana is deeply in-tune with the needs of today’s healthcare employers and is an expert in careers and certifications related to allied health.

Dana holds a Bachelor of Science in Education (BS) degree from Valparaiso University, and a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) from Davenport University. Dana is an avid sports fan and in his free time enjoys mountain biking, woodworking, knifemaking, and spending time with his family and pets.

Published on February 23, 2023


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