A Sterile Processing Technician is a medical professional who is responsible for the cleaning, sterilization and maintenance of surgical equipment.
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A Sterile Processing Technician is responsible for the maintenance of sterilization equipment and the sterilization of surgical tools. They work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, clinics, and physician’s offices.
A Sterile Processing Technician is responsible for the cleaning, sterilization, and maintenance of surgical instruments and equipment. They work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, clinics, and physician’s offices. In some cases, Sterile Processing Technicians may also be responsible for educating other medical staff on proper sterilization procedures.
Sterile Processing Technicians typically have an Associate’s degree in sterile processing or a related field. Some positions may require certification from the International Association of Healthcare Central Service Materiel Management (IAHCSMM). Sterile Processing Technicians must be detail-oriented and have excellent organizational skills. They must also be able to work well under pressure and handle delicate instruments with care.
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 $25,540, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $53,810.
Education and Training
Sterile Processing Technicians, or SPDs, are responsible for the sterilization of surgical instruments and equipment. They work in surgical facilities, hospitals, and other medical settings. SPDs must complete a training program and pass a certification exam. Some states also require certification.
There are a few certification options available for sterile processing technicians. The Certification Board for Sterile Processing and Distribution (CBSPD) offers the Certified Sterile Processing and Distribution Technician (CSPDT) credential, and the International Association of Healthcare Central Service Materiel Management (IAHCSMM) offers the Certified Registered Central Service Technician (CRCST) credential. Certification must be renewed every three years.
There are many ways to become a sterile processing technician. Some hospitals offer on-the-job training, while others may require completion of a certificate or diploma program from a trade school or community college. There are also online programs available that can be completed in as little as four months.
The Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) offers accreditation for sterile processing technician programs, and many states require certification from an accredited program in order to become licensed. While completing an accredited program is not always necessary, it can make it easier to find employment and may lead to higher wages.
Sterile processing technicians, also called SPD technicians, work in hospitals and other medical facilities to clean, disinfect, and sterilize medical instruments and equipment. They are an important part of the medical team and play a vital role in keeping patients safe. The job outlook for sterile processing technicians is positive, with an expected job growth of 9 percent from 2018 to 2028.
The number of jobs for sterile processing technicians is projected to grow 11 percent from 2018 to 2028, faster than the average for all occupations. The aging population and growing use of surgeries and other medical procedures that require sterile instruments should help drive demand for these workers.
Sterile processing technicians typically work in hospitals, although some may work in ambulatory surgical centers or other outpatient facilities. Some technicians may be employed by companies that provide sterilization services to medical facilities. Sterile processing technicians typically work full time. Because many facilities operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, some technicians may work evenings, weekends, or holidays.
Most sterile processing departments are located in the basement or an out-of-the-way area of the hospital so that noise and odors will not disturb patients. However, because surgery patients must have their instruments right away, departments are usually near operating rooms. Although most of the time is spent standing, some time is spent sitting when technicians are recording information or completing paperwork
Sterile processing technicians, also called surgical technologists, work in operating rooms, labor and delivery units, outpatient surgery centers, and procedure rooms. They prepare equipment and supplies for surgical procedures and pass them to surgeons and other members of the surgical team.
Employment of sterile processing technicians is projected to grow 7 percent from 2019 to 2029, faster than the average for all occupations. The need for sterile processing technicians will continue as the baby-boomer population ages and require more medical procedures.
Job prospects should be best for those who complete a sterile processing technician program and earn certification.