How to Become a Sterile Processing Technician
You’ve decided that you want to pursue a career in the stable healthcare field. A position that will allow you to work in a hospital and have a meaningful impact. Training to become a Sterile Processing Technician could be the exact path you have been seeking. If you aren’t familiar with what a Sterile Processing Technician is, check out our blog on this topic “What is a Sterile Processing Technician”. You may be wondering how to become a Sterile Processing Technician. Well, that’s the exact question we are going to answer for you today! Continue reading below for more info on how to become a Sterile Processing Technician.
Sign Up for a Sterile Processing Technician Program
The first step in how to become a Sterile Processing Technician is to sign up for a Sterile Processing Technician program. These programs typically take a year or less to complete, and they are offered at trade schools and career colleges, among other places as well. Depending upon the school you attend, they may have admissions requirements such as possessing a high school diploma and being up to date on your vaccinations. It’s always a good idea to check the requirements of the program(s) you are interested in attending to make sure you meet all of these criteria.
What Makes a Good Sterile Processing Technician Program
Before you sign up for a Sterile Processing Technician program, you will want to select one that’s right for you. That begs the question, “What makes a good Sterile Processing Technician Program?” Well, there are a few things that you may want to look for when evaluating programs:
- Does the school/program offer hands-on training opportunities?
- Is there an opportunity to obtain clinical experience as part of your training?
- Does the school offer career services assistance to its graduates?
- Is Financial Aid available to those who qualify?
These are just a few of the questions you can ask yourself in answering the question, what makes a good Sterile Processing Technician program. Be sure to take a tour of the school. Meet with the staff to discuss your goals and see how they can help you achieve them. Picking a reputable Sterile Processing Technician program that you know will be a good fit for you can help prepare you launch your new career.
Obtain Clinical Experience as Part of Your Training
We mentioned this already, but it’s important to try to obtain clinical experience as part of your training program. The work Sterile Processing Technicians perform daily is very hands-on, so it’s important to not only choose a program that emphasizes a hands-on approach to learning, but also one that provides opportunities for students to obtain clinical experience. The chance to get clinical experience can be invaluable. This is because it not only provides prospective students with experience in the field, but exposure as well, both of which can be advantageous once you graduate and begin looking for an entry level position.
Prepare for the Certification Exam
After you’ve chosen the Sterile Processing Technician program that’s right for you and completed your training, it’s time to prepare for the certification exam. You may be wondering, do employers have requirements when it comes to certifications for sterile processing techs? Generally speaking, no, a Sterile Processing Technician does not need to be certified in order to obtain employment in this field. It is encouraged though, as possessing a certification can strengthen a candidate’s opportunity at obtaining and maintaining employment.
If you are interested in becoming a certified Sterile Processing Technician, in addition to the exam, you will want to make sure you fulfill any other requirements that the credentialing agency may have. For example, you may have to work a certain number of hours in the field (in addition to passing the certification exam) in order to earn your certification. It’s the responsibility of the student or graduate to make sure they know and meet the requirements when pursuing certification.
You’re Ready to Begin Your New Career
Once you have completed your training, you’re ready to begin your new career as a Sterile Processing Technician. If your school offers career services assistance to its graduates, you will want to embrace their assistance. Some may be able to assist you with writing a resume or helping practice for an interview. As you pursue your new career, be sure to highlight your accomplishments during your training. In addition, if you completed clinical training as part of your Sterile Processing Technician program, that is a good thing to include both on your resume and in conversations with prospective employers.
Sterile Processing Technician Career Outlook
Sterile Processing Technicians perform an essential role within hospitals, surgical centers, and other healthcare facilities. For example, in a hospital, they are responsible for sterilizing and preparing surgical instruments before they reach the operating room. Sterile Processing Technicians can work full time, as healthcare facilities rely on their specialized skills to keep patients safe.
According to the US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of Medical Equipment Preparers (positions that can be filled by Sterile Processing Technician graduates) is projected to grow 8% from 2020 to 2030. 1
Sterile Processing Technician Career Growth
Someone may choose to pursue a career as a Sterile Processing Technician for a variety for reasons. For example, they may pursue this path because they want stability in their career. After all, Sterile Processing Technicians will continue to play an important role in healthcare, because they will be needed to help sterilize instruments and equipment.
Others may choose this path as an entryway in the healthcare field. Some may choose to become a Sterile Processing Technician to gain experience and exposure within a hospital with hopes of going back to school to further their education over time.
Pursuing a career as a Sterile Processing Technician can be rewarding and provide opportunities for growth.
The hybrid Sterile Processing Technician program at Dorsey College is designed to provide students with the knowledge and skills needed to pursue a career in this specialized area in the healthcare field. Students enrolled in the Sterile Processing Technician program at Dorsey College will be exposed to a variety of topics as part of their training, including:
- Medical terminology, anatomy and physiology
- The role of Sterile Processing Technicians within healthcare
- Safety and risk management
- Decontamination, cleaning, disinfection, and sterilization processes
- Assembly and packaging of equipment
- Storage and distribution of medical and surgical supplies
- Overview of surgical instruments
- Professionalism and communication skills
- …and more!
The Sterile Processing Technician program at Dorsey College is offered at the following campus locations:
- Madison Heights, MI (Main campus)
- Roseville, MI (A branch campus of Madison Heights)
- Woodhaven, MI (A branch campus of Madison Heights)
If you’re ready to begin training for your new career as a Sterile Processing Technician, Dorsey College can help you get on your way. Contact us today to learn how you can get started!