Healthcare is among the most crucial industries. The responsibility of professionals working in this field is not to be treated lightly. 

Every role in this sector, from doctors to nurses and pharmacists to radio technologists, is vital in ensuring the safety of people from any illness and diseases. 

But there is one critical role that many people may know nothing about – sterile processing technician. 

What is a Sterile Processing Technician?

Much like the position of all the medical roles in the healthcare industry, the sterile processing technician also holds a crucial responsibility. 

These professionals are responsible for ensuring all medical equipment, instruments, and devices are free from harmful microorganisms before use by thoroughly cleaning, disinfecting, and sterilizing. 

The role of a sterile processing technician is critical in preventing the transmission of infections in healthcare settings and reducing the risk of patients acquiring healthcare-associated infections (HAIs).

Sterile Processing Guidelines

Specific guidelines must be met given the cruciality of a sterile processing technician’s role in the health care service. 

Their job is not just about ensuring that every medical instrument will be thoroughly cleaned, disinfected, and sterilized. They must also guarantee this process meets and complies with the regulatory requirements and industry standards. 

Regulatory agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) have established guidelines and standards for sterile processing to ensure patient safety and prevent the spread of infectious diseases.

Take COVID-19 as an example. During the peak of the pandemic, the responsibility of sterile processing technicians became more crucial than ever.

Since the spread of the virus was so quick, it is within the responsibility of sterile processing technicians to ensure that every medical apparatus is free from microorganisms that could harm both healthcare professionals and patients. 

Is it Worth it to become a Sterile Processing Technician?

While the job of a sterile processing technician can be a bit overwhelming and taxing, it sure is rewarding. 

More than the great pay, being an SPT offers a promising career. Additionally, it presents an excellent and quick way to be in the healthcare industry. 

But before you seek a profession in this field, you must have enough credentials, such as an SPT certification.

Earning this certificate means you have gone through a course list that would help you perform the job efficiently. 

Some of the classes you have to take are Basic Medical Terminologies, Anatomy and Physiology, Microbiology, Infection Control, and Decontamination, among others. 

As soon as you complete the course, your SPT certification will be given by the Certification Board for Sterile Processing Distribution (CBSPD). 

This body is committed to endorsing of healthcare sterile processing and distribution personnel regardless of their workplace setting. 

Furthermore, the CBSPD provides internationally recognized competency-measurable standards. This helps ensure that all SPT that receive their documentation are highly-skilled and ready to take on the responsibility. 

Being a sterile processing technician is truly a fulfilling job. You just have to have a passion for healthcare and a keen eye to ensure your work is done properly. 

There are more things to learn if you truly want to become an SPT, and this article from Martinson College can help you to navigate the industry of sterile processing technicians.