How To Become A Sterile Processing Technician


Sterile processing jobs are more complex than most people think. The person is responsible for keeping everything clean, including the instruments and the room, before and after patient use.

Some men and women may be interested in exploring a career in this field. Let’s take a look at some of the questions that are most frequently asked by others who have pursued this line of work in the past.

1) What Type of Education Is Required?

There are two terms which include everything from the virtual study, self-directed studying, class training, and clinical hours.

A More Specific Breakdown

1) How to control and prevent infection.

2) Disinfection and cleaning.

3) Studying instruments and how to clean and store.

4) How to handle distribution and control the inventory.

5) Students are required to study various subjects including microbiology, anatomy, and physiology. Students will be versed on every aspect of the medical terminology and how and when to use them.

The student will have to spend at least 80 hours in a hospital or out-patient facility for real-world experience.

2) How Long Will It Take To Become One?

Students are required to work at least a year in a real-world setting to gain the experience they need. Some students may also be required to acquire other duties and skills before they can be properly licensed.

Certification comes from both the CBSPD and the IAHCSMM. Students will also be required to complete an intense test and application process before becoming fully licensed.

3) What About Work?

Students work more in a behind-the-scenes capacity. Students do not necessarily see the patients before or after the visit. However, the work they do is vital to the ongoing experience a patient receives either at the hospital or outpatient clinic.

The work of a sterile processing technician provides health and safety to everyone involved at the facility. The instruments they clean mean the difference between being infected or not.

4) What About the Pay?

Salary negotiations are dependent on how much experience the person has. The more skilled the person is at their job, the more they will be paid. A decent salary range for a sterile processing technician can be anywhere between $23,000 and $49,000 a year. The geographic location of the person plays a role too. A study finds that those who work in Oregon are paid between $21,000-47,000.

5) Does This Job Offer Potential For Growth?

Students will have the chance to move onto other salaries if they choose to. Some students prefer to stay in the job they are in. Others want to move forward. Moving forward can include becoming an LPN( Licensed Practical Nurse), RN( Registered Nurse) on the floor or in the operating room, a surgical technician, or a medical clinical assistant.

6) Other Things To Mention

Students will be required to read a lot of material, both in school and after they graduate and are on the job. Students will be required to keep current on all practices involving sterilization and storage. They will be required to update their licenses when necessary. Those who wish to practice in another state will need to become licensed there too. Detailed precision is a must for every student.