Sterile Processing 101

5 topics you need to know about Sterile Processing

Sterile Processing technician holding tray full of instruments. Instruments prepared to be sterilized. Technician training for crcst certification. Sterile Processing technician certification

SPD is one of the most overlooked but vital departments of a hospital. Becoming a Sterile Processing Technician is also one of the fastest ways to get into the medical field. Central Sterilization Solutions (CSS) wants to bring insight into a rewarding and impactful career that is incredibly important in preventing the transfer of infection and disease. In this article, we are going to cover 5 topics that will bring clarity to what Sterile Processing is and what steps you can take to become a highly educated and skilled technician fast.

1. What is Sterile Processing? 

 The sterile processing department (SPD), central service (CS), central supply department (CSD) is an essential division of hospitals and other health care facilities that perform sterilization and other actions on medical devices, equipment, and consumables. These devices are used by health workers in the operating room of the hospital and also for other medical procedures.

2. Where are Sterile Processing Departments? 

Sterile Processing Departments (SPD) are found mainly in hospital facilities, dentistries, tissue banks, and veterinarians. Departments are found in consumer, business, and military industries internationally. The highest industry demand for technicians are hospitals. Most hospital locations have their own SPD or contract out to 3rd party companies to sterilize their equipment.

Sterile Processing Technician holding a tray full of instruments in full scrubs. Technician preparing for certification while performing hands on training. 3. What is a Sterile Processing Technician?

A Sterile Processing Technician is responsible for cleaning and sterilizing medical and surgical equipment. Working to prepare, sterilize, install, assemble, clean all laboratory or healthcare equipment required for surgeries, examinations, and medical procedures. The Sterile Processing Technician ensures equipment, instruments, and supplies can be reused safely to prevent infections.

stack of 20 dollar bills on table. symbolizing salary of technicians 4. What is a Sterile Processing average Salary?

The average salary of a Sterile Processing Technician is between $16 to $26 dollars an hour in the United States. Which roughly equates to $33,000 to $56,000 yearly. These salary estimates are based on 1,400 salaries submitted anonymously in a variety of online salary data companies for Sterile Processing Technicians.

5. What education do you need to become an SPD technician?

First: Certificate of training from an accredited program. Central Sterilization Solutions Program, Certified Registered Central Service Technician (CRCST) course material issued by IAHSCMM. The IAHCSMM course is accredited through the following accrediting organizations, NCCA and ANSI.  

Second: 400 Internship or volunteer hours must be performed at a hospital or medical facility. Hands-on experience is necessary prior to work as a tech. Students that take our course have the availability to train at a handful of facilities that are partnered with CSS. If you are in need of an internship, locate the facilities volunteer office and submit a volunteer application.

Third: The State Certification. IAHCSMM offers the Certified Registered Central Service Technician (CRCST) certification, which is designed to recognize individuals who have demonstrated the experience, knowledge, and skills necessary to provide competent services as a Central Service Technician. CSS course is designed specifically to get you ready for this exam. With our experience in the field, we know what training and education is necessary.