A sterile processing technician is someone who cleans and sterilizes used surgical instruments and other medical supplies so that they can be safely redistributed and reused on additional patients.
Topics learned in the Sterile Processing Course needed for the field;
Sterile processing technicians work behind-the-scenes in healthcare organizations including hospitals and outpatient clinics. Though you won’t work directly with patients, your job is crucial to the health and safety of every patient and healthcare professional at your place of employment.
SVSTI in San Jose offers you an outstanding Sterile processing technician program to learn and carry out all the sterile processing functions with surgical instruments and medical equipment. In most scenarios, a sterile processing technician will work in specific roles in order to achieve a high standard of patient care and keep the risk of hospital-acquired infection at its lowest. These roles include a meticulous examination of instruments and devices to ensure they are clean and safe to use, monitor and operate sterilization equipment and assemble specialty instrument trays.
As many healthcare facilities are increasingly concerned about nosocomial infections, more jobs are available for SPD techs than ever before. Many of these positions are full-time, part-time, per diem, and even away from home as travel assignments. Sterile Processing is a dedicated department considered as the heart of any hospital or medical center. SVSTI will prepare you to become a Certified Sterile Processing and Distribution Technician in the Bay Area.
Register now for the Sterile Processing Technician course in San Jose.
SVSTI mission (docx)Download
Current SPD Tech Job Analysis Report (pdf)Download
CBSPD Exam Info (pdf)Download
SPT Certification Test (docx)Download
Immunizations Requirements (docx)Download
Equipment List (docx)Download
Syllabus SPD101 (docx)Download
Occupational Employment & Wages, May 2017
31-9093 Medical Equipment Preparers
Prepare, sterilize, install, or clean laboratory or healthcare equipment. May perform routine laboratory tasks and operate or inspect equipment.
Employment estimate and mean wage estimates for this occupation:
Employment (1) 53
Mean hourly $17.82
Mean annual $37,060
Wage RSE (3) 0.4%
1. There are 50,550 instrument specialist technicians in the U.S., according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
2. The size and type of facility, hospital, physician office, surgery center, etc., dictates the amount of people that work in the sterile processing department. Many facilities hire people based on surgical hours performed, according to Mr. Bilal. There could be one person in a sterile processing department or as many as 100 people.
3. The constant technological advancements in medical supplies/devices and instrumentation has led to a growing demand for highly trained central service technicians. According to the BLS, the job growth for instrument specialist technicians between 2012 and 2022 is at 20 percent.
Industries with the highest levels of employment of instrument specialist technicians:
· General medical and surgical hospitals — 35,100
· Outpatient care centers — 3,660
· Physician offices — 2,890
· Dentist offices — 2,380
States with the highest employment level of instrument specialist technicians:
· California — 6,540
· Florida — 4,580
· Texas — 3,100
· Ohio — 2,260
· New York — 2,230
The mean hourly wage for instrument specialist technicians is $16.28.
The mean annual wage for instrument specialist technicians is $33,850.
Tech Is likely perform basic duties such as delivering supplies and carts, while a Tech IV might have to put together more sets, handle biologicals or perform sterilization duties.
Sterile processing department staff play a large role in helping prevent healthcare-associated infections. Without proper decontamination, preparing and packaging and sterile instrumentation, patients could be at risk for HAIs. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, HAIs occurred in an estimated 722,000 patients in acute care hospitals, and caused 75,000 deaths in 2011.
Medical Equipment Preparers in California
May also be called: Central Processing Technicians (CPT); Central Service Technicians (CST); Central Sterile Supply (CSS) Technicians; Certified Registered Central Service Technicians (CRCST); Sterile Preparation Technicians; Sterile Processing and Distribution (SPD) Technicians; and Sterile Processing Technicians
Medical Equipment Preparers are essential to the medical field. They are responsible for sterilizing, stocking, and preparing various medical tools, supplies, and equipment in health care facilities, such as hospitals, dental offices, and outpatient care centers. They may prepare operating areas with the proper supplies and equipment. Since there are contagious infections and diseases present in health care facilities where Medical Equipment Preparers work, it is important that potential spreading of these be minimized. Preparers are crucial in preventing the spread of viruses and contamination of germs and bacteria.
Annual Wages for California 2018
(25th percentile) $36,434
(50th percentile) $47,080
(75th percentile) $59,547
Skill Used in this Task
Operate and maintain steam autoclaves, keeping records of loads completed, items in loads, and maintenance procedures performed.
Organize and assemble routine or specialty surgical instrument trays or other sterilized supplies, filling special requests as needed.
Examine equipment to detect leaks, worn or loose parts, or other indications of disrepair.
Quality Control Analysis
Record sterilizer test results.
Start equipment and observe gauges and equipment operation to detect malfunctions and to ensure equipment is operating to prescribed standards.
Report defective equipment to appropriate supervisors or staff.
Stock crash carts or other medical supplies.
Customer and Personal Service
Purge wastes from equipment by connecting equipment to water sources and flushing water through systems.
Check sterile supplies to ensure that they are not outdated.
Disinfect and sterilize equipment such as respirators, hospital beds, or oxygen or dialysis equipment, using sterilizers, aerators, or washers.
Clean instruments to prepare them for sterilization.
Estimated Employment and Projected Growth
Medical Equipment Preparers
Geographic Area California
(Estimated Year-Projected Year)
Certification is not required by all employers; however, many employers may prefer to hire prospective Medical Equipment Preparers who are certified as a sterile processing technician. In order to take the exam, individuals must provide verification of 6-12 months of employment in a sterile processing and distribution (SPD) related field, depending on the specific occupation and duties performed. One may also qualify for the exam by completing a Central Service/SPD training course with a passing grade. For more information, go to the U.S. Department of Labor's Career InfoNet Web site and scroll down to "Career Tools." Click on "Certification Finder" and follow the instructions to locate certification programs.