Sterile Processing Technician Program

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Program Info

  • Length Of Study:

    8-month training program, including 150 hours of required online labs, and may include in-person Bootcamp labs to help you develop the practical experience to take into your first job.

  • Career Level:

    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 work in various healthcare settings such as hospitals and ambulatory surgery centers. The primary department within a healthcare facility where medical-surgical supplies and equipment, both sterile and non-sterile, are decontaminated, processed, sterilized, stored, and used for patient treatment.

Job titles also vary by location, such as central services technician, certified registered central service technician (CRCST), central sterile supply technician (CSST), or sterile preparation technician.

Length of Study

8-month training program, including 150 hours of required online labs, and may include in-person Bootcamp labs to help you develop the practical experience to take into your first job.

Prerequisites

Jump Start coursework

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.

Online Type

Hybrid, Asynchronous/Synchronous

Credential Awarded

Diploma in Sterile Processing

Occupation

Central Processing Technician (CPT), Central Service Technician (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

Entry-level

Student Support

  • Our partner education institutions will provide student support services, as outlined in their student handbook.
  • Your assigned Futuro Health Navigator will provide additional coaching and support along your student journey.

Student Cost

  • In support of our aim to grow the largest network of healthcare workers, Futuro Health provides generous financial support.
  • Students accepted into the Sterile Processing Technician Program are eligible for a Futuro Health Scholarship after successfully submitting the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and, next, agreeing to accept all financial grants awarded to them through the federal/state financial aid process.
  • Students can expect to pay minimal out-of-pocket costs associated with the application and enrollment process. A summary of student costs are as follows:
    • The $50 non-refundable registration fee for Jump Start coursework is a mandatory prerequisite to the Sterile Processing Technician Program.
    • $100 non-refundable registration fee for the Sterile Processing Technician Program.; to ensure participant commitment and completion.
    • $77–$119 Background Check and Drug Screen cost, as a one-time background check and drug screen, may be required for those enrolling in this clinical program.
    • Up-to-date Immunization costs. Current immunizations are required for those enrolling in clinical programs. Some healthcare providers require payment for immunizations, while others may cover the cost with insurance.
    • Certified Registered Central Service Technician (CRCST) exam fee is $125 that students will pay upon taking the exam.
  • $20 per month for optional SEIU-UHW Membership. Students have the option to join SEIU-UHW's Healthcare Justice Division to receive added benefits. This $20 monthly fee is waived for current SEIU-UHW members.

Fast Facts

Job Outlook

California has a projected growth of 14% between 2018-2028; Bright outlook, with a median annual salary of $52,660.

Work Environment

Sterile Processing Technicians train to work in a range of healthcare surgery settings. Graduates can expect to work at a hospital or surgery center, outpatient surgery clinics, veterinary hospitals, and dental surgery clinics.

Career Opportunities

Sterile processing technicians can promote to a Certified Sterile Processing Tech I and II, later to a lead or even supervisory role. With additional training and education, the Sterile Processing Technician can advance to a Surgical Technician role.

Duties

  • Cleaning and sterilizing equipment
  • Packaging or preparing equipment for use
  • Operating medical equipment as needed
  • Inspecting medical equipment for functionality and sterilization
  • Maintaining inventory of medical equipment
  • Ensuring medical procedure rooms are sterile
  • Organizing medical equipment
  • Transporting prepared equipment
  • Recording test results for sterilization
  • Using and maintaining autoclaves for sterilization
  • Other duties as assigned with the scope of practice

Day in the Life

A sterile processing technician's typical day starts in the decontamination section, where all post-surgical trays and instruments are received. Technicians must wear personal protective equipment (PPE) while cleaning these trays and instruments, including a gown, mask, face shield, shoe covers, and two sets of gloves. In some roles, you may also be in charge of the sterilization, cleanliness, and safety of operating rooms, tables, and equipment.

Enrollment

Minimum Qualifications

  • Upon acceptance to a program with Futuro Health, will you seek a job in this field for which you are being trained?
  • Are you willing to complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form if required by the education provider?
  • 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 3-5 hours per day (estimated at 20+ 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 that is less than seven years old?
    • NOTE: iPads and Chromebooks will not work.
  • Do you have proficiency in English fluency, reading, and comprehension?
  • Are you comfortable working with bodily fluids such as blood, urine, and mucus?
  • If required by your education provider, are you willing to complete all immunizations and vaccinations (including COVID-19)?
  • Are you willing to take a drug test if needed?
  • All patient care programs require full-time clinical externships which may require you to coordinate your work and family obligations for successful completion of training. Will you commit to completing these required hours?

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

  • You must reside in California to enroll and complete the program.
  • CRCST certification requires that an applicant pass the certification exam and complete 400 hours of hands-on experience in a Central Services (CS) department, completed before testing or within six months of passing the exam. 150 lab hours are included to help you develop practical experience you can take into your first job and apply towards the 400 hour licensing requirement.
  • Our education provider will administer a Wonderlic assessment during their preadmission process. Only students with a minimum score of 16 will be considered for admission.