Sterilization Course Overviews

Those interested in working as central services technicians might consider enrolling in sterilization courses, which introduce students to the sterile equipment processing skills needed in hospitals and surgical centers. Keep reading to learn about some of the most common courses in sterilization.

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Essential Information

Sterilization courses are offered at several community and technical colleges as part of sterilization technician certificate programs; however, some schools may also offer associate's degree programs in the field, which result in awards such as an Associate of Technical Studies with a focus on medical instrument sterilization. These programs generally include both traditional coursework and clinical components, and upon successful completion, students are typically eligible to sit for the certification exam offered by the International Association of Healthcare Central Service Materiel Management.

List of Common Classes

Below are summaries of the most common courses offered in sterilization technician programs.

Sterilization Technician I Class

This course reviews the duties and assignments common in medical instrument sterilization, including duties associated with case cart technician and instrument technician positions in hospitals and clinics. Students learn the principles of infection control and sterile equipment processing. They discuss how the sterilization technician's job affects other areas of patient treatment. Topics include infection control, decontamination procedures and disinfection.

Sterilization Technician II Class

Students build on their knowledge of sterilization procedures and their skills using standard equipment. They also acquire an understanding of distribution and inventory methods used in hospitals. Assignments include preparing, testing and wrapping equipment for sterile storage and transport. Other topics include lab skills, product standardization and effective supply management procedures.

Sterilization Technician Internship

This practicum course allows students to acquire and improve the skills needed to sterilize equipment. Working under supervision, they operate sterilization equipment and decontamination tools, test equipment functionality and package sterilized equipment for storage and use. Students also learn the workflow of central service departments and improve their laboratory techniques. Topics include inventory control and management, decontamination and quality patient care.

Microbiology Class

Instructors present microorganism biology, classification and transmission. Students learn where these organisms are found, how they affect patient health and why sterilization techniques are effective. Discussions include bacteria and microbe reproduction, infection rates and outbreak prevention.

Surgical and Medical Terminology Class

Students are taught the terms commonly used in medicine and their meanings. They learn to properly spell and pronounce these terms, applying them appropriately. Topics also include diagnostic and symptomatic terminology, surgical terms and anatomical descriptions.

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