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Schools with Programs in Sterile Processing and Distribution

Sterile processing and distribution programs are offered on-campus and in hybrid formats combining classroom and online delivery. Students certified as Central Sterile Processing Technicians can pursue careers at doctors' offices, clinics, hospitals and surgical centers. There are also degree programs in surgical technology, which is a closely related field. Read on to explore your school and program options for sterile processing studies.

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A comprehensive sterile processing and distribution program prepares the student for the Certification Board for Sterile Processing and Distribution (CBSPD) exam to become nationally certified as a Central Sterile Processing Technician (CSPT). Surgical technology programs prepare students for the Surgical Technologist Certifying Exam.

Schools with Surgical Technology Programs

The following is a list of 2-year public colleges that offer comprehensive surgical technology programs.

College/University Location Institution Type Degrees Offered Tuition & Fees (2016-2017)*
GateWay Community College Phoenix, AZ 2-year, Public Certificate, Associate's $7,295-$13,777**
Southeast Community College Lincoln, NE 2-year, Public Associate's $3,214 (In-state)
$3,929 (Out-of-state)
Spokane Community College Spokane, WA 2-year, Public Associate's $3,393 (In-state)
$8,738 (Out-of-state)
Lansing Community College Lansing, MI 2-year, Public Associate's $3,350 (In-district)
$6,320 (In-state)
$9,290 (Out-of-state)
Metropolitan Community College Kansas City, MO 2-year, Public Associate's $2,880 (In-district)
$5,280 (In-state)
$7,050 (Out-of-state)
Meridian Community College Meridian, MS 2-year, Public Certificate $5,949.50**
Nashville State Community College Nashville, TN 2-year, Public Certificate $3,969 (In-state)
$15,633 (Out-of-state)
Columbus State Community College Columbus, OH 2-year, Public Certificate, Associate's $3,808 (In-state)
$8,430 (Out-of-state)
Ivy Tech Community College Indianapolis, IN 2-year, Public Associate's $4,175 (In-state)
$8,052 (Out-of-state)

Sources: *NCES, **School websites

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School Selection Criteria

Take the following factors into consideration when choosing a school:

  • Certain schools offer programs to high school students in which they can earn credits toward a certificate while still in high school.
  • Schools that offer the student clinical experience at a sterile processing center, central service facility or hospital can help make the student a more attractive job candidate.
  • Think about the total costs for program participation which can include tuition, textbooks, uniforms and other school fees plus insurance, a physical exam, immunizations and a background check.

Sterile Processing Technician Certificate Program

A typical program takes from 20 to 36 hours to complete. The goal of the program is to prepare the students to pass the CSPT exam.

Associate Degree in Surgical Technology

This 2-year associate degree program prepares students to work in surgical settings. Graduates are qualified to assist in operating rooms, delivery rooms, ambulatory surgical units and doctors' offices or wherever surgical procedures are performed.

Bachelor of Science in Applied Health Studies - Surgical Technology

For students who are already certified or licensed health care practitioners, this program offers an advanced health sciences degree with a concentration in surgical technology. It offers the student exposure to business and administrative concerns in the health care setting, combining surgical technology expertise with management skills. It also includes core college courses to fulfill general education requirements for a bachelor's degree.

Certificate and associate's degree programs in surgical technology are available throughout the United States. When choosing a program, applicants must consider whether the program offers a clinical experience component and the total costs for program participation.

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