How Do I Become a Sterile Processing Technician?
You may have been feeling a lot of pressure about your future career, but one thing is certain: Choosing to become a sterile processing tech is an excellent decision. You may know this career by a variety of names, which include (but are not limited to):
- Certified Registered Central Service Technician
- Sterilization Technician
- Medical Equipment Preparers
- Sterile Processing and Distribution Technician
If you’re just starting out in the allied healthcare field – or you’ve already got some experience under your belt – the steps to become a sterile processing tech are typically the same. With our short guide, you’ll discover everything you need to start your future career out right, including which sterile processing technician school is best for you.
1. Choose the Right Sterile Processing Tech Training Program
One of the most crucial parts of this process is finding a school that provides everything that you need. Maybe you need an easy commute. If you’re working part-time or even full-time, you’ll might need to attend night classes. To get started, make appointments to visit local schools which offer sterilization technician training courses. While there, you can check out the campus and possibly observe a class. Be sure to ask professors and students what they think about the program.
Meet with a School Representative
Before you visit any campus, schedule an appointment with a member of the admissions team. This expert should be able to answer questions related to this field, course dates, payment options, and pricing. Bring your academic records along, and be prepared to answer a few personal questions about why you’ve chosen to become a sterile processing tech. After building their skill sets and gaining necessary work experience, a move into the surgical tech sector is a possibility for sterile processing techs. Be sure to ask your school’s representative if they offer surgical tech training.
Resolve Financial Aid Requirements and Benefits
If your sterilization technician certificate program isn’t covered by federal financial aid, there’s no reason to worry. Depending on your economic situation, you might be eligible for scholarships, private student loans, or even an interest-free payment plan through your school. Make sure you work out the financial side before you enroll in a program.
2. Enroll in Your Sterile Processing Technician Program
By this point, you’ve decided on your program and have your finances in place. If the school’s program schedule revolves around a rolling admissions calendar, you’ll be able to apply once the start dates are publicized. It’s likely that your training program will require an in-person appointment for you to turn in necessary documents. While you’re there, you may also need to complete an interview with the program director, as well as an entrance exam (e.g., Wonderlic SLE, Accuplacer).
Why Do I Need to Take an Entrance Exam?
Exams like the Wonderlic and Accuplacer are commonplace at allied healthcare training schools. They measure a person’s ability to handle future coursework, as well as basic problem-solving skills.
Wait for Your Acceptance
If your interview and entrance exam go well, you may be able to enroll on the same day, so be prepared to sign all of your paperwork (like an enrollment contract). It’s possible that your program won’t offer same-day results, but it shouldn’t take too long to receive a decision from the school.
3. Attend Your Program’s Orientation
Once you’re enrolled in a sterile processing technician training course, it’s crucial to attend orientation. Even though it’s mandatory, you should use this opportunity to learn about school procedures and policies, and ask staff members any remaining questions before starting classes.
4. Begin Your Sterile Processing Tech Training
This is what you’ve been waiting for: In under a year, you’ll learn about decontamination and sterilization techniques for surgical tools and equipment. You’ll also study microbiology and infection control. Expect to gain a stronger understanding of anatomy, safety and risk management, and surgical terminologies that will help you become the best tech possible.
Finish Your Internship
After classroom hours are fulfilled, prospective sterile processing and distribution technicians are usually required to complete a clinical internship. Here, practical skills are put to the test in a real-life environment, supervised by an experienced mentor. It’s not unheard of for exceptional students to be offered jobs by their clinical site.
5. Pass Your CRCST Exam
After your classroom and internship hours are finished, you’ll be eligible to take the Certified Registered Central Service Technician (CRCST) exam offered by IAHCSMM. After successfully passing, you’ll be a certified registered central service technician in a competitive field.
Enroll in the AIMS Sterile Processing Tech Program Today
With healthy job growth and rewarding salaries, this is an amazing allied healthcare sector to enter. If you’re in the New Jersey area, contact an AIMS admissions expert to see if our sterile processing technician program is a great fit for you.