How to Become a Travel Sterile Processing Technician
Sterile processing technicians are employed in hospitals, surgical centers, doctor’s offices and other healthcare settings. Their job duties include inspecting medical equipment and sterilizing reusable tools before and after surgeries to eliminate germs that could lead to healthcare-acquired infections.
They also prepare equipment for surgeons and other healthcare professionals in their care, such as cleaning drills, probes, suction tools, and other items.
Sterilization is essential in any healthcare facility, as tools that carry harmful bacteria could spread to patients or staff members. Technicians help reduce the risk of nosocomial infections by following stringent protocols for sterilizing equipment and supplies before use during surgery.
At large hospitals, sterile processing teams work 24 hours a day to sterilize and clean instruments and other tools. They also assemble and distribute medical equipment and supplies while managing inventory levels to guarantee supplies are available when needed.
These employees typically complete training courses related to their jobs and the laws in their state. These programs can be found at community colleges, medical training schools or online.
Education and training for this job typically requires a high school diploma or equivalent. Furthermore, sterile processing technicians must pass an exam and gain hands-on experience before earning certification from a national certifying organization.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts a 4% growth rate for sterile processing technician jobs from 2018-2028, much faster than the overall job growth rate of 1%. With such an urgent need for these professionals across all medical settings, these technicians will continue to be in high demand.
Qualifications for this job include a nursing license and previous experience working with sterile equipment and supply distribution. It requires an advanced level of expertise in this field, as well as some travel involved.
How to Become a Sterile Processing Technician
The education and training requirements for this career depend on where in the hospital you plan to work. While most employers don’t require college degrees, earning a postsecondary certificate or degree can open doors to more work and higher pay in the industry. Some sterile processing technicians choose to pursue more advanced education after some experience working in it for some time.
Sterile processing technicians must possess an basic knowledge of the human body and how it functions, as well as be familiar with basic medical procedures like providing oxygen and performing CPR.
As a sterile processing technician, you must wear protective clothing and gloves while working, along with special eye protection and masks to protect yourself against infection. Furthermore, you must know how to safely handle reusable medical instruments; otherwise they could become hazardous if not handled and sterilized correctly. Investing the time in learning how to safely handle such delicate tools will give your supervisors peace of mind. Furthermore, some positions offer benefits like tuition reimbursement or paid vacations – so if interested in becoming one, start exploring your options today!