- Job Description
- Education and Training
- Salary and Job Outlook
If you’re interested in becoming a sterile processing tech, check out this blog post. You’ll learn about the necessary education, job duties, and more.
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A sterile processing tech, also called a SPD tech, is responsible for the cleaning, decontamination, sterilization, and distribution of surgical instruments and other medical supplies in hospitals and other healthcare facilities. They play a vital role in ensuring that patients are not exposed to infection during surgery.
What is a Sterile Processing Tech?
A sterile processing tech, also called a surgical technologist, is a member of the surgical team. They are responsible for making sure that the operating room and all of the surgical instruments are clean and sterilized.
Surgical technologists work in hospitals, outpatient surgery centers, and other health care facilities. They usually work full time, but some jobs may be part time or on call.
Most surgical technologists have an associate’s degree from a community college or technical school. Some have completed a bachelor’s degree program in surgical technology. Most programs take about 2 years to complete and include coursework in anatomy, physiology, microbiology, chemistry, and medical ethics.
What are the responsibilities of a Sterile Processing Tech?
Sterile processing technicians are also known as SPD technicians or Central Service technicians. They work in healthcare facilities and are responsible for sterilizing medical equipment and instruments. This job is important because it helps to prevent the spread of disease and infection.
Sterile processing technicians typically have an associate’s degree in sterile processing or a related field. Some states have certification requirements for this job. Sterile processing technicians typically work full time, and some positions may require evening or weekend hours.
The responsibilities of a sterile processing technician include:
-Receiving dirty instruments and equipment from operating rooms and other areas of the hospital
-Inspecting instruments and equipment to ensure that they are complete and undamaged
-Cleaning instruments and equipment using automated washers, manual cleaning methods, or both
-Assembling instruments and equipment according to manufacturer’s instructions or hospital protocols
-Wrapping or packing instruments and equipment for sterilization
-Operating sterilizers to clean instruments and equipment
-Storing sterilized instruments and equipment until they are needed
-Delivering sterilized instruments and equipment to operating rooms and other areas of the hospital
Education and Training
Sterile processing technicians, also called SPD technicians, are responsible for the cleaning, decontamination, sterilization, and packaging of instruments and equipment used in surgical procedures. They work in hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers, and dental offices. While most SPD technicians have a high school diploma, many sterile processing programs now require completion of a postsecondary sterlization certificate program.
What type of education is necessary to become a Sterile Processing Tech?
While certification is not always required, many employers prefer to hire sterile processing technicians who are certified by either the Certification Board for Sterile Processing and Distribution (CBSPD) or the International Association of Healthcare Central Service Materiel Management (IAHCSMM). To be eligible for certification, candidates must have worked full-time in the sterile processing field for a minimum of one year. They must also complete an accredited sterilization program or have completed a hospital-based training program.
What is the training process like for Sterile Processing Techs?
If you’re interested in becoming a Sterile Processing Technician, the first step is to obtain the necessary education and training. Although there is no specific degree required to become a Sterile Processing Tech, most employers prefer to hire candidates who have completed an accredited Sterile Processing Technician program. These programs are typically offered at community colleges, technical schools, and some four-year colleges.
Once you’ve completed an accredited Sterile Processing Technician program, you will then need to obtain certification from the Certification Board for Sterile Processing and Distribution (CBSPD) or the International Association of Healthcare Central Service Materiel Management (IAHCSMM). Most employers require sterile processing technicians to be certified in order to be eligible for employment.
After you’ve obtained the necessary education and training, you can then begin searching for sterile processing technician jobs. Many sterile processing technicians find employment in hospitals, but there are also opportunities in other healthcare facilities such as outpatient surgery centers, nursing homes, and home health agencies.
Many sterile processing techs are certified through the Certification Board for Sterile Processing and Distribution (CBSPD) or the International Board of Sterile Processing and Distribution (IBSPD). To become certified, you must have completed a sterile processing program and have at least one year of full-time sterile processing experience. You must also pass an exam.
What is certification and why is it necessary?
In order to become a certified sterile processing tech, you must first complete an accredited sterile processing program. Certification is necessary in order to ensure that you have the skills and knowledge necessary to perform the job safely and effectively. Once you have completed a certification program, you will be able to take the certification exam, which is administered by the International Association of Healthcare Central Service Materiel Management (IAHCSMM).
How does one become certified?
There are currently no national certification requirements to become a sterile processing technician. However, most employers prefer to hire technicians who have been certified by the International Association of Healthcare Central Service Materiel Management (IAHCSMM).
To be eligible for IAHCSMM certification, candidates must have completed a training program or have at least one year of full-time work experience in the sterile processing field. Candidates must also pass a written exam.
IAHCSMM also offers a Certified Registered Central Service Technician (CRCST) credential for sterile processing technicians with two or more years of experience. To be eligible for the CRCST credential, candidates must pass a written exam and an oral or practical skills exam
Salary and Job Outlook
The median annual wage for sterile processing technicians was $37,040 in May 2019. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $23,490, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $58,770.
What is the average salary for a Sterile Processing Tech?
In May 2019, the median annual wage for a Sterile Processing Technician was $37,040 per year, or $17.78 per hour. Employment of sterile processing technicians is projected to grow 7 percent from 2019 to 2029, faster than the average for all occupations. The growing number of surgeries will require greater numbers of sterilized equipment and supplies.
Sterile processing technicians work in hospitals, clinics, and medical offices. They sterilize medical instruments and supplies using either heat or chemicals. Some technicians also package and store sterilized equipment.
What is the job outlook for Sterile Processing Techs?
Currently, the job outlook for sterile processing techs is positive. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that the number of jobs in this field will grow by 7% from 2019 to 2029. This growth is due to the aging population and the need for more surgical procedures. As the number of surgeries increases, so does the need for sterile processing techs.