Sterile processing technicians are responsible for the cleaning, preparation and sterilization of medical equipment and instruments used during surgical procedures. The work they do is important to the healthcare industry because it helps prevent severe complications such as infections that can be life-threatening to patients. Because of their critical role, sterile processing technicians are highly sought after in the healthcare workforce. If you are interested in becoming a sterile processing technician, there are many programs available for training. Many are offered at community colleges, vocational schools and even online. When choosing a program, make sure it is accredited. There are two major types of accreditation: institutional, which applies to the entire school and programmatic, which applies to a specific program.
A sterile processing technician certification program will provide you with the skills and knowledge necessary to qualify for entry-level healthcare positions. In some programs, you may also be able to participate in clinical externships and other hands-on experiences. Most programs will prepare you for industry certification exams, like the Certified Registered Central Service Technician (CRCST) exam, which is a key requirement for many employers.
Depending on the type of program you choose, your education can range from ten weeks to two years. It is important to find a program that suits your learning style and schedule. It is also helpful to take advantage of opportunities to visit the school before you enroll. This can include campus tours, class observations and speaking with teachers or current students. This can help you get a feel for the school environment and culture to decide if it is the right fit for you.
While it takes hard work and dedication to become a sterile processing technician, it is not out of reach for anyone who is motivated to succeed. The first step is to find an accredited Sterile Processing Technician certification program that meets your needs. Once you have found a program, start making plans to attend.
Earning a sterile processing certification can seem overwhelming at first, but breaking it down into smaller steps makes the process more manageable. With so many options for training, it is crucial to find a program that is affordable and offers financial aid to those who need it. FRCC’s sterile processing technician certificate program is currently offered at no cost to qualified students through the Care Forward Colorado grant. This includes all tuition, fees and course materials for the entire program. Learn more about this program here.