This post provides detailed information on the sterile processing technician job description, including the duties, tasks, and responsibilities they perform.
It also highlights the major requirements you may be expected to meet to be hired for the sterile processing technician role.
What Does a Sterile Processing Technician Do?
A sterile processing technician is responsible for the cleaning and sterilization of used surgical instruments and other medical supplies so that they can be safely redistributed and reused on future patients.
They work in the sterile processing departments of surgical centers, hospitals, Laboratories, and other healthcare facilities.
The sterile processing technician job description entails ensuring preventive healthcare services by providing the health system with processed instruments, materials, and equipment, thereby making available quality products for patient care.
The sterile processing technician must ensure established procedures for receiving, decontaminating, assembling, packaging, and sterilizing medical equipment are strictly followed.
They are responsible for assembling and setting up of case carts for the Operating Room after consulting its schedule and requisitions.
They are also responsible for decontaminating and sterilizing instruments, medical supplies, and equipment; and also for assembling wraps and sterilizing trays of instruments.
The sterile processing technician work description also entails monitoring biological and chemical wash solutions to ensure quality and consistency for decontamination of instruments and medical equipment.
It also involves sorting mismatched sets of instruments, trays, and medical equipment, and making them available to sterile processing customers in a timely manner.
Monitoring stock levels and assisting in maintaining inventory levels in sterile processing, the operating room, and in equipment storage areas are also parts of the duties commonly performed by the technician.
They label, collect, and distribute instruments, trays, crash carts, and facility medical equipment to units where they are needed.
They perform preventive maintenance tasks – verify that equipment functions properly. They also submit requisitions for equipment maintenance, repair or replacement, and remove defective equipment.
Sterile processing technicians also render assistance with monitoring peer performance and ensuring department and hospital policies and procedures are maintained.
They participate in continuous quality improvement activities and educational experiences in support of departmental philosophy and objectives, as well as Health System initiatives.
Sterile process technicians are detail-oriented and careful workers. Functioning in the field of sterile processing technology entails background checks and immunizations to institute personal health and responsibility.
To become a sterile processing technician you must possess a minimum of High School Diploma; but a vocational school certificates in sterile processing and distribution is essential to acquiring a solid background in anatomy, medical vocabulary, microbiology, disease control, interpersonal skills, and the use of sterilizing equipment.
They could also opt to be certified by a national board and maintaining a record of continuing education courses, according to the Certification Board of Sterile Processing and Distribution.
To perform the job successfully requires some role based skills such as a detail orientation, communication, and interpersonal skills.
Sterile Processing Technician Job Description Example/Sample/Template
A sterile processing technician performs various functions in sterilizing and assembling all the equipment required for surgery, exams, and other medical procedures.
They are also typically responsible for monitoring stock levels, taking inventory, and ordering equipment as needed.
The typical sterile processing technician job description consists of the following major duties, tasks, and responsibilities:
- Retrieves contaminated supplies and delivers sterile supplies to where needed
- Undertakes manual cleaning of instruments and equipment to remove contaminates
- Responsible for the operation and maintenance of decontamination equipment
- Applies a detail orientation in the examination of instruments and equipment to ensure they are clean
- Actively monitors as well as operates sterilization equipment such as an autoclave
- Tests and reports detected problems with sterilizing equipment
- Responsible for keeping record of items that have been cleaned and sterilized
- Ensures to remove all waste matter from equipment and carts
- Responsible for restocking crash carts
- Responsible for organizing, storing, and keeping records of sterile supplies
- Responsible for checking the expiration dates on supplies
- Responsible for maintaining a clean work area following established departmental policies and procedures, and infection control standards
- Operates all mechanical machinery within sterile processing unit, including cart washers, instrument washers, steam sterilizers, low temp sterilizers, ultrasonic and drying cabinets
- Applies established policies and procedures in completing work assignments
- Undertakes continuous education and trains in all areas of sterile processing, including decontamination, cleaning, assembly, wrapping, sterilization, and storage processes within all set professional standards and regulations
- Refers all decisions beyond personal scope of responsibilities to the appropriate unit
- Responsible for reporting broken instrumentation.
Sterile Processing Technician Requirements – Skills, Knowledge, and Abilities for a Successful Career
When seeking the job of a sterile processing technician, you will be asked to meet certain requirements to convince the recruiter that you will be effective in performing the obligations, objectives, and purpose of the position.
Here are major requirements you may be expected to fulfill by employers if you are looking to work as a sterile processing technician:
- Education: They require a High School Education or equivalent
- Licenses and certifications: Current Central Service Tech Certification (International Association of Health Care Central Service Materials Management – IAHCCSMM or Certification Board for Sterile Processing and Distribution – CBSPD) may be a requirement or preferred, depending on the recruiting organization. The Certification may also be obtained after employment, depending on the policy of the organization.
- Skilled in performing assembly on basic instrument trays
- Knowledge: Knowledge of aseptic technique and standard precautions may be required
- Knowledge of surgical instrumentation and basic medical terminology may be required
- Knowledge of Medical instrument, sterilization and processing of equipment may be required
- Sterile processing technicians should also possess basic computer skills
- Physical demands: Manual dexterity is needed to perform the duties of a sterile processing technician; the Job requires employees to regularly stand, walk, and use hands, as well as reach with hands and arms. Employees may also be required to frequently lift and/or move up to 50 pounds, push and/or pull up to 300 pounds on a cart or carriage
- Abilities: The technicians should possess the ability to work daily in a fast-paced, high pressure Healthcare Service environment
- Other Qualifications: The successful completion of annual job specific competencies and skill verification tools may also be required.
This post is useful to employers who are hiring for the job of sterile processing technician to be able to make effective description of the available position from the information and sample job description provided in this post.
With a good description of the available sterile processing technician job, it becomes easier for recruiters to find the best people for the role.
This article is also helpful to individuals looking to get into the sterile processing technician career.
They will be able to learn all about the duties and responsibilities sterile processing technicians majorly perform, as well as know what is required to succeed on the job.