Frequently asked questions
What exactly does a Sterile Procesing Technician do?
A Sterile Processing Technician (SPT) decontaminates, inspects, assembles and sterilizes instruments and surgical trays. The technician also manages inventory control, order and supplies, inspects, maintains, delivers and retrieves equipment and instruments for the surgery suite, emergency room and intensive care units thus ensuring the efficient management storage and maintenance of medical devices.
This job requires the ability to memorize and identify hundreds of surgical instruments, stand for long periods of time, thoroughness and exceptional attention to detail, and the knowledge of the basic principles of sterilization and high level disinfection.
Do Sterile Processing Technicians Need to Be Certified?
In terms of government regulations, certification is currently required in only one state: New Jersey. However, legislation that would require sterile processing technicians to be certified is now pending in two other states: New York and Pennsylvania.
In all other states, certification is strictly voluntary. But that doesn't mean it isn't a good idea to obtain. Many hospitals and surgical centers PREFER and sometimes even REQUIRE to hire only certified sterile processing techs. Plus, some employers will increase your pay if you are certified.
The two main certifying organizations are the IAHCSMM and the CBSPD. Both require you to pass an exam. Once certified, you must accrue continuing education points in order to renew your certification at regular intervals.
How long is the MedTek College Hayward SPT Program?
The SPT program is consist of 80 hours of theory instruction, followed by up to 40 hours of Instrumentation Training. After successfully completing the course and the certification exam, students are then qualified to participate in the Externship Program through a school-based affiliation.
We only offer ONE (1), Saturday (and some Sunday) class that runs 12 to 13 weeks at a time and is limited to a max of 25 students per class. A class begins at the start of February, May, August and November.
How can I become a CERTIFIED Sterile Processing Technician?
Currently there are two organizations that offer sterile processing certification credentials, The Certification Board for Sterile Processing and Distribution (CBSPD) and The International Association for Healthcare Central Service Material Management (IAHCSMM).
To qualify as a
Certified Sterile Processing and Distribution Technician (CSPDT), you will need to first complete a minimum of 80 hours of instruction and training from a CBSPD, Inc. approved certified program. Then, successfully pass the certification exam.
For IAHCSMM, a minimum of 400 hours of instruction and training is required through an IAHCSMM accredited program before being qualified for the
Certified Registered Central Service Technician (CRCST) certificate.
Where do Sterile Processing Technicians work and how are the working conditions?
Sterile Processing Technicians work in a variety of health care facilities, such as hospitals, dental offices, and outpatient care centers. Most facilities are well-lit, air-conditioned, and have modern equipment. Preparers walk or stand most of the day. They must take precautions to guard against exposure to toxic cleaning agents and diseases or illnesses and wear protective clothing such as gloves, aprons, ear plugs, masks, caps, and gowns. Using proper safety procedures reduces personal risk and possible spread of diseases. Full-time Medical Equipment Preparers work 40 hours a week, but some are on-call and work various shifts. Some may be required to work shifts longer than the typical eight hours, if necessary.
What are the other names for Sterile Processing Technicians?
Medical Equipment Preparers
Central Processing Technicians (CPT)
Central Service Technicians (CST)
Central Sterile Supply (CSS) Technicians
Certified Registered Central Service Technicians (CRCST)
Sterile Preparation Technicians
and Sterile Processing and Distribution (SPD) Technicians
Does MedTek College Hayward offer student loans?
Unfortunately, NO. Because MedTek Hayward is a small learning institution, we do not qualify for providing government funded financial assistance. However, we do offer PAYMENT OPTIONS for your convenience.
What Wages and Benefits Can I Expect?
The median wage in 2018 for Medical Equipment Preparers in California is $47,080 annually, or $22.64 hourly. The median is the point at which half of the workers earn more and half earn less.
Location does influence a SPT's salary because of the fact that local economic conditions, population densities and public and private demands for medical and health care services differ between geographic locations.
As for BENEFITS, although benefits vary by employer, full-time Sterile Processing Technicians typically receive medical insurance, vacation and sick leave, and retirement plans. Some employers may pay for continuing education and travel costs.
For more detailed information, please check out the Bureau of Labor Statistic's information
PAGE on SPT.
What is the projected career growth for Sterile Processing Technicians?
In California, the number of Sterile Processing Technicians is expected to grow faster than average growth rate for all occupations. Jobs for SPT's are expected to increase by 16.9 percent, or 1,100 jobs between 2014 and 2024.
For example, in San Benito and Santa Clara Counties, the number of SPT's is expected to grow much faster than average growth rate for all occupations. Jobs for SPT's are expected to increase by 23.4 percent, or 110 jobs between 2014 and 2024.