University of the District of Columbia
What you will learn
- Define the sterile processor role, responsibilities, professional skill set, and communication expectations (including accurate use of medical terminology and anatomy) required in the central processing and surgical services departments
- Identify sterile processing regulations and standards provided by regulatory agencies and professional associations to ensure workplace safety, infection prevention, and proper support for the ancillary departments
- Discuss basic procedures and best practices for each phase of sterile processing, including decontamination, inspection, preparation, and sterilization of medical instruments and supplies
- Discuss sterile storage considerations, guidelines, concerns, and common quality assurance procedures in the sterile processing department
- Discuss the importance of following procedures to care for loaner instruments and manage inventory while using information management systems
- Describe how to adhere to compliance when handling documentation and maintaining records
- Explain the importance of effective communication, human relations, and personal development and how improving these skills can impact the career of a sterile processing technician
How you will benefit
- You will have full comprehension and understanding of all tasks related to the role and responsibilities of an SPT
- Assistance from our Clinical Experience Team and access to our Clinical Experience Guide
- You will be prepared to sit for the Certified Registered Central Service Technician (CRCST) certification offered through Healthcare Sterile Processing Association (HSPA). A voucher is available upon eligibility
How the course is taught
- Self-paced, online course
- 12 Months to complete
- Open enrollment, begin anytime
- 190 course hours
- Medical Terminology
- Introduction to Medical Terminology
- The Musculoskeletal System
- The Cardiovascular System
- The Lymphatic and Immune Systems
- The Respiratory System
- The Digestive System
- The Urinary System
- The Nervous System
- The Special Senses The Eyes and Ears
- The Integumentary System
- The Endocrine System
- The Reproductive System
- Diagnostic Procedures, Nuclear Medicine, Pharmacology
- Sterile Processing Technician
- Infection Control, Standards, and Regulations
- Decontamination and Workplace Safety
- Disinfection Process and Complex Instrumentation
- Tray Assembly
- Prep and Pack
- Introduction to Sterilization
- Introduction to Low-Temperature Sterilization
- Instrumentation Identification (Part 1)
- Instrumentation Identification (Part 2)
- Case Cart Introduction
- Sterile Storage
- Managing Inventory
- Ancillary Department Support
- Important Components for a Successful Career
- Wrapping Up and Preparing for Your Exam
Janice "Jan" Brownlee has been a Certified Surgical Technologist (CST) for 43 years and has worked in all sizes of hospitals, including surgery centers. Jan worked in a sterile processing department in the instrument room and sterile supply areas. While working in the operating room, she scrubbed all services, with cardiothoracic, vascular, and orthopedics being her favorites.
Jan also had the opportunity to work for a private group of cardiothoracic surgeons and expand her knowledge and skills even more. Working as a surgical first assistant was the highlight of her career. She has continued her career path by teaching surgical technology and sterile processing at a local community college and enjoys watching her students learn and grow.
Instructor Interaction: The instructor looks forward to interacting with learners in the online moderated discussion area to share their expertise and answer any questions you may have on the course content.
In order to sit for the national certification exam, candidates must have a high school diploma or equivalent; it is recommended that you have this before enrolling in this program.
Full CRCST Certification
- Provide 400 hours of hands-on experience during the previous five years, preceding the application.
Provisional CRCST Certification
- Provide 400 hours of hands-on experience within six months of passing the certification exam.
- This course can be taken on either a PC, Mac, or Chromebook (with some ability for storage).
- PC: Windows 8 or later.
- Mac: macOS 10.6 or later.
- Browser: The latest version of Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox is preferred. Microsoft Edge and Safari are also compatible.
- Microsoft Word Online (optional)
- Adobe Acrobat Reader
- Software must be installed and fully operational before the course begins.
- Email capabilities and access to a personal email account.
The instructional materials required for this course are included in enrollment.
The following digital textbook for the Medical Terminology are accessed via links in the lessons:
- Medical Terminology for Health Professions (eBook)
The following will be shipped to you approximately 7-10 business days after enrollment in Sterile Processing Technician:
- Box Set - CRCST, 9th Edition, comprised of the Central Service Technical Manual and accompanying workbook
The following eBook will be provided in Sterile Processing Technician:
- Surgical Instrumentation (eBook)
The following materials will be shipped to you once the Release Agreement has been signed and returned:
- Surgical Instrumentation Kit (includes 10 items, intended for practice purposes only)
As of December 14, 2022, there are 44,190 active job postings for sterile processing technicians, with a projected growth rate of 6.3% over the next 10 years for this profession. The median sterile processing technician salary is $34,199.
According to Indeed.com, a sterile processing technician (SPT) plays an important role in indirectly providing patient care. They carefully prepare, install, assemble, clean, and sterilize all the health care and laboratory equipment used in medical exams, surgeries, and other clinical procedures. They also ensure strict adherence to sterilization processes and that instruments, equipment, and supplies are safe for reuse across patients daily.
An SPT plays an integral role in ensuring the success of surgeries. Sterile processing technicians usually work in clinics, hospitals, doctor's offices, and other settings that use medical equipment.
According to Indeed.com, a sterile processing technician (SPT) regularly performs several duties, including:
- Preparing and delivering clean and sterilized instruments and equipment necessary for medical examinations, surgeries, medical carts, and clinical procedures
- Sterilizing, wrapping, organizing, and preparing medical equipment and surgical instruments into instrument trays for use during clinical procedures
- Laying out surgical gloves and gowns before each medical procedure
- Collecting and manually cleaning used and contaminated medical equipment, supplies, and instruments for sorting and decontamination
- Preparing and packing decontaminated medical tools and supplies for sterilization
- Operating and monitoring sterilization equipment
- Examining supplies meticulously to ensure their cleanliness
- Checking and reporting any problems or issues with the sterilization equipment to surgeons or supervisors and requesting replacements
- Maintaining records of sterilization procedures, equipment maintenance, sterilized items and supplies
- Reordering medical and surgical supplies, controlling the inventory, and checking the expiration dates of products
- Removing medical waste and disposing of them appropriately
ZipRecruiter also notes that SPTs use specialized equipment, such as an autoclave, to ensure that all surgical instruments and materials are sterile and safe for the patient. They review inventory and assess equipment and materials to prepare the surgical suite for each procedure.
This course prepares you to sit for the Certified Registered Central Service Technician (CRCST) exam offered by the Healthcare Sterile Processing Association (HSPA). You will receive vouchers for the exams after successfully completing the course, coursework, and your financial obligation.
This course is open enrollment, so you can register and start the course whenever you are ready. Access to your course can take 24-48 business hours.
After you register, you will receive 12 months to complete the course. The time allotted for completion has been calculated based on the number of course hours.
The time allotted for course completion has been calculated based on the number of course hours. However, if you are unable to complete the course, contact the student advising team to see what options you may have available to work out a suitable completion date. Please note that an extension fee may be charged.
Our courses are designed to accommodate various learning preferences. Depending on the course structure, you may get different forms of support. Self-paced courses are designed to be user-friendly and independent, minimizing the need for external support. In courses with instructors, our direct platform support feature includes opportunities for questions, discussions, and remediation, with email and phone support available for select courses. Our student advising team is available to guide you on program requirements and administrative requests, but they do not provide assistance with course content. Our goal is to provide you with the necessary support for success, whether it's through self-paced exploration, direct communication, or guidance from our advising team.
Upon successfully passing the final exam, you will be awarded a certificate of completion from the school or organization that you registered through.
ed2go courses will help you gain the skills you need to obtain an entry-level position in most cases. However, you should always research the job market in your area before enrolling.
ed2go courses are non-credit, so they do not qualify for federal aid, FAFSA, and Pell Grant. In some states, vocational rehab or workforce development boards may provide funding to take our courses. Additionally, you may qualify for financial assistance if you meet certain requirements. Learn more about financial assistance.
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