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Sterile Processing Technician

What is a Sterile Processing Technician?

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Ever wondered how healthcare professionals keep medical instruments safe and sanitized? Well, that’s where a Sterile Processing Technician's (SPT) role comes in! This blog post will teach you about SPTs and their importance.

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What is an SPT?

SPTs, also known as central service technicians or central service (CS) professionals, play a vital role in healthcare. They inspect each instrument to ensure it is in good condition and ready for use. They monitor the cleaning and sterilization process and track supplies inventory, labels, and storage. Their efforts help prevent infections and maintain a high quality of healthcare.

What does an SPT do?

So what does an SPT do? This may vary in each workplace and depending on local regulations. Here are the specific tasks and duties of an SPT:

  • Cleaning: Thoroughly clean equipment to remove any debris or organic material.‍

  • Sterilization and Disinfection: Utilize appropriate disinfectants to eliminate surface-level bacteria and viruses.

  • Equipment Maintenance: Check and adjust sterilization equipment to ensure precise and reliable operation.

  • Inventory Management: Track stock levels, place orders, and organize storage to support workflow.

  • Quality Control: Ensure compliance by testing equipment, documenting results, and maintaining accurate sterile records.

  • Follow Safety Protocols: Follows strict infection control protocols and safety guidelines.

How can you become an SPT?

Are you prepared to embark on this exciting career? Check how you can become a sterile processing technician for in-depth guidance. Additionally, we've outlined simplified and practical steps below to help you start:

  1. Meet educational requirements: Obtain a high school diploma or equivalent. Although a high school diploma is not necessary for training, it is for certifications.

  2. Choose the right school and program: Enroll in an SPT program from a state-approved school. You can enroll in community colleges or trade schools or even find online classes.

  3. Gain practical experience: You can gain valuable experience through on-the-job training. Obtain knowledge from experienced sterile processing technicians.

  4. Earn your certificate: Not all states require certification, but having it is a plus. Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee are the only states that require certifications.

What is the career outlook for SPTs? How much does an SPT earn?

In recent years, the healthcare industry has witnessed an exponential increase in demand for SPT. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), medical equipment preparation professionals, including sterile processing technicians, can anticipate a job growth rate of 6% from 2021 to 2031. While the salary for STPs can vary significantly, they can expect an average annual wage of $44,940, with an hourly rate of $21.61.

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Where do SPTs work?

SPTs work in different healthcare settings, primarily in environments where medical equipment requires sterilization. Some of the common workplaces for SPTs include:

  • Hospitals

  • Outpatient surgery centers

  • Clinics

  • Rehabilitation centers

  • Long-term care facilities

  • Ambulatory care centers

  • Diagnostic imaging centers

  • Research laboratories

  • Veterinary clinics

  • Dental clinic and offices

Healthcare professionals help hand in hand to ensure the safety and well-being of patients. Among these heroes are sterile processing technicians who play a vital role. They work  with various healthcare workers, such as;

  • Surgeons

  • Nurses

  • Operating Room (OR) Staff

  • Infection Control Specialists

  • Central Service Staff

  • Dentists and Dental Hygienists

  • Laboratory Personnel

  • Veterinarians

Conclusion

Becoming an SPT contributes significantly to patient safety and infection prevention. You'll ensure that healthcare facilities maintain the highest standards of cleanliness and hygiene.

Pursuing this career offers a pathway to job stability, career growth, and a sense of fulfillment. As the demand for healthcare services continues to rise, you will have meaningful work and the chance to be an indispensable part of a thriving industry.

If you are ready to start a rewarding career in healthcare, take the first step by exploring your options for healthcare classes at Dreambound!

Winlynd Caballero
Written by
Winlynd Caballero

Winlynd Caballero is a member of Dreambound's Sales team. She helps in handling the company's finullcial transactions, generating reports, and school sales. Beyond her responsibilities in the realm of numbers and business, Winlynd finds herself deeply immersed in a world of art and music.

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