Sterile Processing Technician Training Program Information
Many surgical and medical departments within healthcare facilities employ sterile processing technicians to ensure that all surgical tools and workstations are adequately sterilized for surgery and medical procedures. Several colleges and universities offer Central Sterile Processing Technician Certificate programs to prepare students for a career in this medical field.
Central Sterile Processing Technician Certificate
Certificate programs for aspiring sterile processing technicians provide students with fundamental knowledge and practical skills necessary to maintain sterile medical environments. Such programs contain introductory courses in medical terminology and health sciences to lay a solid foundation in the medical field. Practical courses emphasize the importance of sterilization and sanitation of medical equipment.
Students enrolled in a sterile processing technician certificate program often participate in laboratory or clinical practice where they utilize training in sterilization and sanitization. Graduates with a year of full-time experience are eligible to test for certification as a Central Sterile Processing Technician.
Applicants of a sterile processing technician certificate program must often be high school graduates who are at least 17 years of age. Some schools also require incoming students to submit recent physical examination, supply immunization records, and obtain health or malpractice insurance before they can begin clinical courses.
A certificate program in sterile processing provides students with introductory health sciences courses as well as practical training in sterilization techniques. Additionally, math and computer courses may be included in the curriculum. Most programs include a clinical practicum. Some examples of possible courses include:
- Medical terminology
- Human anatomy
- Infection and contamination control
- Surgical equipment identification
- Sanitation and sterilization
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), medical equipment preparation workers, in general, held approximately 50,230 positions across the country in 2012. More than 35,000 of these individuals worked in general medical and surgical hospitals. The annual median wage for the profession in May 2012 was about $30,820, per the BLS.
The Certification Board for Sterile Processing and Distribution (CBSPD) offers professional certification for graduates of an approved program with significant work experience. Certification through this board is valid for five years, and professionals must submit proof of continuing education to renew a certification. The CBSPD provides an approved course that meets continuing education requirements.
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