sterile processing technician certification play a critical role behind the scenes in healthcare settings such as hospitals, surgery centers and physicians’ offices. They ensure that instruments and equipment are properly cleaned, sterilized and stored to prevent infections for patients. If you’re thinking about a career in the field, consider getting your certification to boost your resume and open up opportunities for employment.
If you’re interested in becoming a sterile processing technician, enrolling in an accredited training program is the first step. Choose a program that offers on-campus courses and has a robust online learning platform. Having access to both online and in-person classes gives you flexibility and allows you to take your course load at a pace that fits your lifestyle.
Before beginning the program, it’s important to get your foot in the door by completing prerequisites and taking any necessary entrance exams. Once you’re accepted into a program, prepare to participate in a specialized orientation to learn operational information about your school. This will give you a feel for the atmosphere and structure of your future career environment, helping you decide if it’s right for you.
Once you’ve completed the necessary coursework and orientation, you can begin your clinical component at a medical facility. These hands-on internships allow you to apply the skills and techniques learned during your classroom instruction in real-world situations. Some sterile processing technician programs may require you to complete between 200-400 hours of clinical work before you graduate.
During your internship, you’ll perform the essential duties of a sterile processing technician, including decontaminating, cleaning, disassembling, inspecting, packaging and sterilizing equipment. You’ll also be responsible for storing and distributing supplies, both sterile and non-sterile. You’ll often collaborate with surgical teams to prepare the operating room for scheduled and emergency procedures, so attention to detail is key.
Upon graduation from your sterile processing technician program, you’ll be prepared to sit for the international Certified Registered Central Service Technician (CRCST) exam governed by the Healthcare Sterile Processing Association. In addition to passing the exam, you’ll need to submit proof of 400 hours of hands-on experience at a medical facility to obtain full CRCST certification. If you have questions about the certification process, reach out to a trainer at your program to discuss your options.