What Does It Mean To Be A Sterile Processing Technician?

Two women are seen working as medical hygiene
workers. They are dressed in medical hygiene
clothing. They are seen carrying out hygiene
disinfecting and sterilization tasks.

The sterile processing or central service technician prepares, assembles, and cleans all healthcare and laboratory equipment for medical examinations, surgeries, and other clinical procedures. They make sure sterilization procedures are followed strictly and ensure that equipment, supplies, and instruments can be reused by patients every day. They are crucial in the success of surgeries. They are usually found in hospitals, clinics, doctors’ offices, and other locations that utilize medical equipment.

What is a Sterile Processing Technician?

The tasks of a sterile processing technician include the following:

  • Prepare and deliver sterilized equipment and instruments for medical examinations, surgery, carts, and other clinical procedures.
  • Preparing medical equipment and surgical instruments for clinical use by wrapping, organizing, and packing them into instrument trays.
  • Before each procedure, prepare surgical gloves and gowns
  • Manually cleaning and collecting used and contaminated medical supplies, equipment and instruments to sort and decontaminate
  • Sterilization supplies and medical equipment: preparation and packing
  • Monitoring and operating sterilization equipment
  • Reporting any issues or problems with sterilization equipment to surgeons and supervisors and requesting replacements
  • Keep records of sterilization procedures, equipment maintenance, sterilized articles, and supplies.
  • Controlling inventory, ordering medical and surgical supplies, and checking the expiration dates of products
  • Separate the medical waste and dispose of it in a proper manner

Certifications for sterilizing processing technicians

A professional certification can help you get a job. For sterile processing technicians, there are many professional certifications. These certifications include:

CBSPD certification

You can apply for a Certification Board for Sterile Processing and Distribution credential (CBSPD) in various ways. These are:

  • One year working as a sterile processing technician.
  • Take the central service to sterilize the processing technician program.
  • Participating in an allied health program that focuses on sterile processing
  • You can work as a sterile processor technician for approximately six months or one year in sterile services.

The CBSPD might ask you for proof of training program completion or work experience to verify your eligibility. You must pay an exam fee to take the CBSPD certification exam. 

Recertification is required for the CBSPD certification. The certification is valid for five years. Recertification is subject to a fee. Qualification works on a point system. This means that you earn points for tasks such as completing continuing education courses or full-time employment.

For more information about becoming a Sterile Processing Technician, visit Martinson College or contact them at 888-625-0059.