Sterile Processing Training Programs and Schools

Learn about the job duties of sterile processing technicians, who keep medical instruments clean and sterilized. Explore diploma and certificate programs in this field. Review the requirements for certification as a sterile processing technician. Schools offering Nursing degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

As a sterile processing technician, you will ensure that the instruments used for surgery are clean and prepared for use. To work in this field, you typically need to complete a formal training program. These programs are typically offered through vocational and community schools.

Courses Anatomy, physiology, microbiology, principles of properly cleaning and sterilizing surgical instruments
Common Programs Diploma/Certificate with clinical practice
Certification From the Certification Board for Sterile Processing and Distribution

What Are the Roles and Responsibilities of a Sterile Processing Technician?

You will set up sterile and non-sterile equipment as well as maintain inventory. Your role is integral to maintaining a sterile environment during surgery; infections caused by unsanitary instruments are a danger to the patient as well as a liability to the healthcare facility. In addition to hospitals, you can work in a surgery outpatient office or a dialysis clinic.

What Can I Expect from a Sterile Processing Training Program?

Sterile processing may also be known as central sterile processing. This program is usually offered as a diploma or certificate program and may also include clinical practice. Many programs can be completed in two semesters or less. Topics of study are likely to include:

  • Infection control techniques
  • Aseptic techniques
  • Medical terminology
  • Surgical instruments and storage
  • Medical instrument packaging
  • Sterile processing regulations and standards

Do Other Programs Offer Studies in Sterile Processing?

When pursuing a degree in surgical technology, you will undergo similar instruction to that of a sterile processing program. In addition to learning about sterilizing instruments for surgery, you will learn to prepare the surgical area and the patient for surgery. Surgical technology programs also result in a diploma or certificate.

Where Will I Find Sterile Processing Programs?

You can obtain a diploma or certificate in sterile processing or central sterile processing from many community and technical colleges in the U.S. Some of these schools include:

  • Saint Paul College
  • Triton College
  • Wake Technical Community College
  • Atlanta Technical College
  • Nebraska Methodist College
  • Portland Community College
  • Carroll Community College

What Are the Requirements for Admission?

Similar to other jobs in the medical field, you may be subjected to a criminal background check. You will also be required to submit proof of immunizations. You may also be required to present proof of CPR certification. Some programs recommend that applicants have taken courses in medical terminology.

How Can I Get Certified?

You can be certified by the Certification Board for Sterile Processing and Distribution (CBSPD). Completing a sterile processing training course with a grade of 70% or higher or working for six months in an allied health position in which you performed sterile processing duties are two ways to become eligible for the certification exam. The exam consists of 100 questions and certification lasts for five years.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

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  • Purdue University Global

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