What a Sterile Processing Technician Does
What type of work does a Sterile Processing Technician do?
Sterile Processing Technicians are found working in the central service department of a healthcare facility. They may perform duties such as (but not limited to): cleaning surgical instruments and preparing them for sterilization. They also operate and maintain autoclaves, keep accurate records, organize and assemble instrument trays and surgical supplies, manage inventory, and stock medical supplies and equipment.
Where do Sterile Processing Technicians work?
Sterile Processing Technicians are found working in the Central Service Department of healthcare facilities. They are most frequently found working in hospitals; however, they may also work in other settings where surgical/medical equipment must be sterilized.
Will I be able to find a job?
It’s important to keep in mind that no school can guarantee employment to their graduates. Here at Dorsey College, we offer career services assistance to all completers of the Sterile Processing Technician program, however, employment is not guaranteed. You can learn more about the career services assistance we offer by visiting the Career Services for Students and Graduates page.
Are there other jobs I may be able to obtain as a Sterile Processing Technician?
Sterile Processing Technicians may work under a variety of job titles. Some of these may include Central Processing Technician, Central Service Technician, and a Medical Equipment Preparer.
Are there other career opportunities for Sterile Processing Technicians?
Some may choose to use a career as a Sterile Processing Technician as an entryway into the healthcare field. It would not be uncommon for a Sterile Processing Technician to work in the field to gain experience and later go back to school to further their education and/or strengthen their credentials.
Becoming a Sterile Processing Technician
How might I determine if this is a good career choice for me?
In choosing a career, it’s important that you look at a variety of factors, some of which include:
- Can you see yourself doing the work that this position/occupation performs and are you going to be happy performing those tasks in that type of work setting?
- Do you have the skills/traits/characteristics that you may need to be successful in a position like this?
- How is the employment outlook/trends for this position?
I have no medical background or experience in healthcare – can I really do this?
Yes, you can! Many Sterile Processing Technicians have little to no Medical or Healthcare experience prior to beginning their training. That’s why it’s very important for someone interested in becoming a Sterile Processing Technician to evaluate their school and training options closely so they can make the most of their education.
What type of training is needed?
Sterile Processing Technicians typically attend a post-secondary school or institution to obtain training. Many of these programs lead to a certificate or a diploma and typically take a year or less to complete. While there are no formal educational requirements to become a Sterile Processing Technician, some states may have specific requirements in place. It’s also important to note that since Sterile Processing Technicians perform specialized skills in the actual occupational setting, it can be advantageous to a student to choose a program that has a strong hands-on component so they can “learn by doing.”
How long do I have to go to school in order to train to become a Sterile Processing Technician?
Many Sterile Processing Technician programs can be completed in a year or less. At Dorsey College, the Sterile Processing Technician program is 6-months of contact time that is scheduled over 7-months. That means you can complete your training in a relatively short amount of time.
What are important characteristics for Sterile Processing Technicians to have?
While this isn’t a full list of important characteristics, Sterile Processing Technicians should have good communication skills, be detail oriented, possess integrity, and have physical stamina. If you’re lacking in one or more of these areas, it doesn’t necessarily mean you wouldn’t be a good Sterile Processing Technician, and it may be an area you wish to focus on as part of your training.
Is Certification/Licensure required to obtain employment as a Sterile Processing Technician?
It’s always important to check if the State in which you want to work has specific requirements for Sterile Processing Technicians to obtain employment. It is not required that Sterile Processing Technicians be certified/licensed in order to obtain employment in the State of Michigan, however, some employers may set this requirement (for certification) for candidates they wish to hire.
Furthermore, there are benefits to pursuing certification. Obtaining certification may strengthen a candidate’s prospects during their search for employment.
It’s also important to keep in mind that each certification agency may have additional requirements (for example, work experience) in addition to passing the certification examination. Therefore, it is each student’s/graduate’s responsibility to ensure they meet the necessary requirements set forth by the certification agency.
In order to assist our graduates, Dorsey College will pay the cost one time for Sterile Processing Technician program graduates to challenge a certification examination as selected by Dorsey College, contingent upon the graduate meeting Dorsey College’s exam preparation requirements.
The Dorsey College Sterile Processing Technician program
What will be covered in the program?
During the Sterile Processing Technician program at Dorsey College, students will be exposed to a variety of topics including:
- Medical terminology
- Anatomy and physiology
- The role of Sterile Processing Technicians
- Safety and risk management
- Decontamination, cleaning, disinfection, and sterilization
- Assembly and packaging of equipment
- Storage and distribution of medical and surgical supplies
- Overview of surgical instruments
- Professionalism and communication skills
- …and more!
Is your program hands-on?
Yes! Students will have opportunities to practice the skills they are learning during their training program. In addition, the capstone course will provide opportunities for entry-level practice and/or observation in a clinical setting.
What’s the capstone course and why is that important?
The capstone course in the Sterile Processing Technician program, happens during the final module of training and introduces entry-level practice and/or observation in a clinical setting designed to reinforce the skills necessary to become a successful Sterile Processing Technician.
Professionalism and effective communication skills are also emphasized in the capstone course. Students will also be introduced to the job search process in understanding networking, obtaining employment opportunities, interview skills, and in the creation of a cover letter, resume, and career portfolio.
How long is the Sterile Processing Technician program at Dorsey College?
The Sterile Processing Technician program at Dorsey College is 6-months of contact time, which is scheduled over the course of 7-months. This means you can train to pursue your new career in a relatively short amount of time.
Who are the instructors at Dorsey College?
Our instructors here at Dorsey College are caring individuals that possess experience and expertise in their respective field. Dorsey College instructors meet or exceed State of Michigan and accreditation criteria, guidelines, and qualifications. It’s not uncommon for students at Dorsey College to see their instructors as their coach and mentor throughout their studies.
Why should I choose Dorsey College over another school?
Students choose Dorsey College for their career training over other schools for a variety of reasons. You can learn more by visiting The Dorsey Difference page.
Which Dorsey College campuses offer the Sterile Processing Technician program?
The Sterile Processing Technician program is offered at the following Dorsey College campus locations:
- Grand Rapids, MI (A branch campus of Madison Heights)
- Madison Heights, MI (Main campus)
- Roseville, MI (A branch campus of Madison Heights)
- Woodhaven, MI (A branch campus of Madison Heights)
How do I enroll?
If you’re interested in enrolling in the Sterile Processing Technician program at Dorsey College, the first step you should take is meeting with one of our Admissions Representatives. Request information online and a member of our team will be back in touch with you shortly. You can read more about our Admissions process on our Admissions information page.
Does the Sterile Processing Technician program at Dorsey College include certification?
While actual certification is not included in the curriculum of the Dorsey College Sterile Processing Technician program, graduates may go on to challenge a national certification exam.
For those who wish to challenge a national certification exam, Dorsey College will pay the cost one time for graduates of the Sterile Processing Technician program to challenge a certification exam as selected by Dorsey College, contingent upon the graduate meeting Dorsey College’s exam preparation requirements.
Dorsey College encourages graduates to sit for applicable certification examinations. However, Dorsey College makes no promise or guarantee of a graduate’s successful outcome of any certification examination or ability to gain certification or recognition by any professional registry. In addition, each certification agency may have additional requirements (for example, work experience) in addition to passing the certification examination. Therefore, it is each student’s/graduate’s responsibility to ensure they meet the necessary requirements set forth by the certification agency.
Will your program prepare me for a certification exam?
Yes, the Dorsey College Sterile Processing Technician program is designed to prepare students to go on to challenge a national certification exam, should they wish to do so.
Is your school accredited?
Yes, you can read more by visiting our Accreditation page.
What is the tuition and fees for the program?
The current tuition and fees for the Dorsey College Sterile Processing Technician program can be accessed by clicking here.
What is included in my tuition?
In addition to program instruction, tuition includes e-textbooks, a set of scrubs, and an electronic device.
Is Financial Aid available?
Financial Aid is available to those who qualify. For additional information on Financial Aid and Tuition Assistance, we would encourage you to visit our Financial Aid Information page.
Can you help me find a job after graduation?
Dorsey College offers Career Services assistance to all program completers, however, job placement is not guaranteed by Dorsey College. You can learn more about the assistance our Career Services team offers by visiting our Career Services for Students and Graduates page.
For your reference, we’ve included the links below of several very helpful websites where you can learn more about Sterile Processing Technicians, info pertaining to Jobs as a Sterile Processing Technician, the work Sterile Processing Technicians do, etc.:
O*Net OnLine – Medical Equipment Preparers: https://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/31-9093.00