How to Become a Sterile Tech in 5 Steps

Want to become a sterile tech? Here’s a blog post that outlines the 5 steps you need to take to make it happen.

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Introduction

Becoming a sterile processing technician usually requires completing a certificate or associate’s degree program and passing a certification exam. Many community colleges and technical schools offer programs in sterile processing and technology, which typically take one or two years to complete. Some four-year colleges also offer bachelor’s degree programs in this field.

Step One: Research

The first step to becoming a sterile tech is to do your research. Find out what the job entails and what kind of training and education you will need. There are many different ways to become a sterile tech, so it is important that you find the path that is right for you.

There are many different sterile processing technician programs available, so it is important that you choose one that is accredited and will give you the skills you need to be successful in your career. You can find these programs at community colleges, technical schools, and online.

Once you have completed your research and chosen a program, it is time to move on to step two.

Step Two: Prerequisites

Most community colleges and technical schools offer certification programs for sterile processing technicians. Admission to a certification program typically requires a high school diploma or the equivalent. Some programs may require proof of immunizations and completion of a health screening. Specific coursework may also be required, including math, science and English.

In addition to completing a certification program, sterile processing technicians must complete on-the-job training to gain experience in the use of sterilization equipment and procedures. Most employers provide on-the-job training, although some may require completion of a formal apprenticeship program.

Step Three: Certification

The American Society of Radiologic Technologists (ASRT) offers a certification program for sterile processing technicians. You can become certified by taking an examination administered by the ASRT. The ASRT also offers continuing education credits to help you maintain your certification.

Step Four: Get a Job

The best way to get started working as a sterile tech is to find an entry-level position in a healthcare facility. Many times, these positions are available through on-the-job training programs. You can also find entry-level positions by contacting sterile processing departments directly and inquiring about job openings. Once you have a job, it is important to be a team player and have a strong work ethic. You will also need to be comfortable with handling potentially dangerous materials and following safety protocol.

Step Five: Advancement Opportunities

Sterile techs often find that their career paths lead to other sterile processing roles such as lead tech, supervisor, or manager. Some may choose to become certified as a CRCST (Certified Registered Central Service Technician), which can lead to additional advancement opportunities.

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