A sterile processing technician (SPT) can be a rewarding career choice for individuals who are interested in healthcare and have an eye for detail. It is in high demand and offers numerous benefits, such as time flexibility and opportunities for career advancement.
To become an SPT, you must enroll in an online sterile processing technician course. A high-quality program will train you to overcome the duties and responsibilities of a job in sterile processing tech. Aside from this, you are required to get an SPT certification.
If you are looking to become a sterile processing technician, consider the following steps in your career journey:
Step 1: Obtain a High School Diploma or GDE
A high school diploma or GDE is the first step in becoming an SPT. This provides the necessary foundation in math, science, and communication skills to succeed in this career. It is also the minimum requirement before the next step.
Step 2: Complete a Sterile Processing Technician Training Program
Completing a sterile processing technician training program is critical to becoming an SPT.To become a successful SPT, you need an educational programthat equips you with the necessary skills and knowledge.
Community colleges, vocational schools, and selected hospitals offer sterile processing courses. They typically last six months and one year and cover topics such as infection control, medical terminology, and sterilization methods.
Step 3: Gain Experience through Internship or On-the-Job Training
After completing a training program, an internship or on-the-job training can help you gain work experienceas an SPT. This will provide practical knowledge and help build sterilization techniques, equipment maintenance, and inventory management skills. OJT training will help you navigate the duties and responsibilities of an SPT before practicing professionally.
Step 4: Obtain Certification
Certification is not always required but can enhance job opportunities and potentialsalary. The Certification Board for Sterile Processing and Distribution (CBSPD) and the International Association of Healthcare Central Service Materiel Management (IAHCSMM) offer certification programs for sterile processing technicians. These programs typically require passing an exam and meeting continuing education requirements to maintain certification.
Step 5: Maintain Continuing Education and Professional Development
Participating in continuing education and professional development opportunities is important to stay current in the field.Attending conferences, workshops, and seminarsare among the best practices for becomingup-to-date on industry trends and developments. In some areas, sterile processing technicians are required to renew their certification by retaking the exams after a certain time.
A career in sterile processing tech can be easily achieved by passionate individuals who want to become healthcare workers. By following these steps, you can become an SPT and a critical member of medical institutions. Take the first step by learning common terms used in sterile processing through this infographic by Martinson College, a leading online SPT training institution.