If you love working with your hands, like a fast pace work environment, and want to get into the medical field, becoming a sterile processing technician may be a good option for you. This type of specialist works in hospitals and other medical facilities to sterilize medical instruments and equipment. It is a very important job in ensuring that patients receive treatment in a safe and hygienic manner. It also helps ensure that medical staff have clean tools and instruments to work with.
The work of a sterile processing technician can be challenging, but rewarding. It involves inspecting, cleaning, disinfecting, and assembling surgical instruments, which can be time-consuming and physically demanding. Often, these technicians must be prepared to work at least eight hours a day and must wear protective gear, including masks, gowns or suits, and gloves.
They must also be able to work in tight spaces and pay close attention to detail. This is important because mistakes in the sterilization process could lead to dangerous infections. In addition to sterilizing, sterile processing technicians must also take inventory, put together instrument trays, and order and distribute supplies. They also check product expiration dates and dispose of expired items. Sterile processing technicians also monitor the autoclaves and sterilizers to make sure they are functioning properly.
During their training, sterile processing technicians usually learn the skills through on-the-job training and may attend a sterile processing program. Some sterile processing programs can take up to two years, but some offer accelerated options that allow students to earn their diploma in about 42 weeks. If you’re interested in earning a sterile processing diploma, it is important to choose an accredited school. This will ensure that you’re getting the right education to become a sterile processing technician and that you have access to the necessary materials to be successful in your career.
Sterile processing technicians don’t interact directly with the patients and doctors, but they are still crucial to a hospital’s patient safety. Without their efforts, medical procedures would be impossible. Infections from dirty instruments and equipment can spread quickly in a hospital, so it’s important that every single item is cleaned and sterilized before it can be used.
Sterile processing technicians are highly respected in the medical industry, but they can sometimes feel undervalued. If you notice that your employer doesn’t treat you with the value and respect you deserve, it may be time to look for a new job. There are plenty of healthcare employers who recognize the importance of a sterile processing department and who value their employees.