If you’ve ever dreamed of working in a hospital, but have no desire to be directly involved with patient care, you may be interested in a career as a sterile processing technician. These healthcare workers are essential in ensuring that the equipment used for surgeries is clean and ready to be used by doctors and nurses, but they often don’t get the recognition or pay that they deserve.
Sterile processing technician are responsible for cleaning, sterilizing and reassembling instruments and medical supplies in hospitals and clinics. This involves washing, inspecting, testing and sterilizing all types of equipment including surgical instruments, objects, and high-tech devices. They must be able to identify and troubleshoot problems with the medical equipment they work with. They are also required to keep track of inventory, assemble instrument trays and organize the reusable medical equipment.
They must be careful when handling blood or other body fluids because they can be easily contaminated by them. They also have to wear personal protective equipment, including gloves, face masks, gowns and shoe covers to protect themselves from harsh cleaning chemicals, pathogens, diseases and other potential hazards that they encounter. They must also be alert when collecting and disposing of soiled medical equipment.
Most sterile processing technician programs require you to have certain prerequisites before enrolling. You will need to complete courses in anatomy and physiology and medical terminology. Some of these programs are offered at community colleges or vocational schools and can be completed in as little as eight weeks. Other sterile processing programs are offered at some universities and can take up to two years.
If you decide to go the university route, make sure that they offer job placement assistance once you finish your diploma program. This is a good way to increase your chances of finding employment after graduation and can save you time and effort in searching for a job on your own. If you’re considering a sterile processing technician diploma program, look for one that offers this service and talk to the admissions department about what the requirements are to begin your studies.
Sterile processing technicians are often referred to as the ‘heartbeat of the hospital.’ Without them, operations would not be able to happen as the equipment they process would never be cleaned or sterilized. If you are looking for a rewarding and challenging career in the field of medicine, this is definitely a great option. You will be able to make an impressive salary with plenty of benefits and avoid going into heavy student debt. You will also be able to enjoy a fulfilling career and still have plenty of time left over to have a life outside of work. The best part is, you will always have a steady income no matter what happens to the economy. If you are interested in learning more about becoming a sterile processing technician, contact your local medical school today. They can tell you more about the specific requirements of a particular program, financial aid options and more.