Sterile Processing Technician Program

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Program Info

  • Length Of Study:

    40-week training program, including 150 hours of required online labs.

  • Career Level:

    Gateway/Entry-level

  • Online Type:

    Hybrid, Asynchronous/Synchronous

About

Sterile processing technicians are medical equipment preparers responsible for preventing the spread of disease by sterilizing and preparing medical equipment.

Technicians are employed in various healthcare settings, including hospitals and outpatient surgical centers. The primary department within a healthcare facility where sterile and non-sterile medical-surgical supplies and equipment are decontaminated, processed, sterilized, stored, and used to treat patients.

Length of Study

40-week training program, including 150 hours of required online labs.

Prerequisites

The mandatory Jump Start course Human Touch Healthcare™ must be successfully completed.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this program, the student should be able to:

  • Communicate effectively and professionally with all members of a diverse sterile processing and surgical team.
  • Apply logical and critical thinking skills as it relates to sterile processing job duties.
  • Demonstrate safe handling of surgical instrumentation, equipment and supplies used in surgical patient care.
  • Identify surgical instrumentation, supplies, and equipment used in surgical patient care.
  • Use appropriate medical terminology related to the role of sterile processor.
  • Apply computer skills required in sterile processing.
  • Describe the cycle of sterilization as it relates to sterile processing.
  • Demonstrate proficiency with aseptic technique as it relates to sterile processing.
  • Students will receive a pack with extensive instrumentation and items needed to learn how to perform in their role as a Sterile Processing Technician.

  • Students will be checked off on skills virtually.

  • Graduates are prepared to sit for industry certification exams such as the Certified Registered Central Service Technician (CRCST) exam following 400 hours of professional employment in the sterile processing/central services field.

Online Type

Hybrid, Asynchronous/Synchronous

Credential Awarded

Diploma in Sterile Processing

Occupation

Medical Equipment Preparers, Central Processing Technicians (CPT), Central Service Technicians (CST), Central Sterile Supply Technician (CSS Technician), Certified Registered Central Service Technician (CRCST), Instrument Technician, Sterile Preparation Technician, Sterile Processing and Distribution Technician (SPD Tech), Sterile Processing Technician (Sterile Processing Tech), Sterile Technician, Sterilization Technician

Career Level

Gateway/Entry-level

Student Support

  • Each of our educational partners will offer student support services, and you will have access to their respective student handbooks
  • Along your scholar journey, your assigned Futuro Health Coach will give you more coaching and help.

Student Cost

  • Futuro Health supports the mission to expand the broadest network of healthcare professionals through our generous annual financial support.
  • The Futuro Health Scholarship Fund will pay the entire tuition for scholars who enroll in this program in 2023.
  • There will be some minimum out-of-pocket expenses for the application and enrollment processes for scholars. Here is a list of these expenses:
    • $150 non-refundable application fee for Jump Start coursework and gateway training program.
  • For additional optional benefits, students can join SEIU-Healthcare UHW's Justice Division. The monthly fee for this SEIU-UHW membership is $20. Current SEIU-UHW members are exempt from paying this $20 monthly fee.

Fast Facts

Job Outlook

California has a projected growth of 11 percent between 2020-2030, with a median annual salary of $58,640.

Work Environment

Sterile Processing Technicians are trained to work in a variety of surgical environments. Graduates may find employment in a hospital, surgery center, outpatient surgery clinic, veterinary hospital, or dental surgery clinic.

Career Opportunities

Technicians in sterile processing can advance to Certified Sterile Processing Tech I and II and then to a leadership or supervisory position. With additional education and training, a Sterile Processing Technician can advance to the position of Surgical Technician.

Duties

  • Clean and sterilized instruments and equipment for medical exams, surgeries, medical carts, and clinical procedures
  • Sterilizing, wrapping, and organizing medical equipment and surgical instruments for clinical procedures.
  • Laying out surgical gloves and gowns before each medical procedure
  • Collecting and manually cleaning used and contaminated medical equipment, supplies and instruments for sorting and decontamination
  • Preparing and packing decontaminated medical tools and supplies for sterilization
  • Operating and monitoring sterilization equipment
  • Examining supplies meticulously to ensure their cleanliness
  • Checking and reporting any problems or issues with the sterilization equipment to surgeons or supervisors and requesting replacements
  • Maintaining records of sterilization procedures, equipment maintenance, sterilized items, and supplies
  • Reordering medical and surgical supplies, controlling the inventory, and checking the expiration dates of products
  • Removing medical waste and then disposing of them appropriately
  • Other duties as assigned with the scope of practice

Day in the Life

A sterile processing technician has a big responsibility. Your job is cleaning, sterilizing, reassembling, packaging, storing, and labeling surgical instruments. You may also sterilize, clean, and maintain operating rooms, tables, and equipment. Each instrument part must be cleaned and sanitized. Every screw, hinge, tube, and crevice must be sanitized at high temperatures. For patient safety and surgical effectiveness, each piece must be reassembled properly. Instruments are returned to the manufacturer for disposal or melting if they are rust prone

Enrollment

Minimum Qualifications

  • Upon acceptance to a program with Futuro Health, will you seek a job in the field for which you are being trained?
  • Are you at least 18 years old?
  • Are you able to provide proof of high school diploma/GED or equivalency?
  • Are you legally allowed to work in the United States?
  • Are you able to pass a background check with no felony conviction?
  • Are you willing to commit 4-5 hours per day (estimated at 20-25 hours per week) of study time for your coursework?
  • Do you have regular access to high-speed Internet?
  • Do you have regular access to a computer or laptop less than seven years old?
  • Do you have proficiency in English fluency reading and comprehension?
  • If applicable, are you comfortable working with bodily fluids such as blood, urine, and mucus?

Preferred Qualifications

  • Family or friend referred by a member of SEIU-UHW who is in good standing.
  • How would others describe your level of attention to detail on written documents?
  • How much do you agree or disagree with this statement? I see myself as dependable/self-disciplined.
  • How much do you agree or disagree with this statement? I see myself as disorganized/careless.

Additional Requirements

  • English fluency:It is recommended you have at least intermediate English fluency to successfully complete the course. If you are unsure of your fluency level, you can take our English-readiness assessment.
  • Two official copies of your high school diploma/transcripts or GED certificate.