Sterilization courses are offered at several community and technical colleges as part of sterilization technician certificate programs; however, some schools may also offer associate's degree programs in the field, which result in awards such as an Associate of Technical Studies with a focus on medical instrument sterilization. Upon completion, students are typically eligible to sit for the certification exam offered by the International Association of Healthcare Central Service Materiel Management.
Typical concepts in such coursework include:
- Understanding the correct way to respond to and prevent disease outbreaks
- Managing disease through proper sterilization techniques
- Professionalism in a healthcare setting
- The components of the healthcare system
- Safety standards necessary for sterilization
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List of Common Classes
Medical Instrument Sterilization I Class
This course reviews the duties and assignments common in medical instrument sterilization, including duties associated with case cart technician and instrument technician positions in hospitals and clinics. Students learn the principles of infection control and sterile equipment processing. They discuss how the sterilization technician's job affects other areas of patient treatment. Topics include infection control, decontamination procedures and disinfection.
Medical Instrument Sterilization II Class
Students build on their knowledge of sterilization procedures and their skills using standard equipment. They also acquire an understanding of distribution and inventory methods used in hospitals. Assignments include preparing, testing and wrapping equipment for sterile storage and transport. Other topics include lab skills, product standardization and effective supply management procedures.
Instructors present microorganism biology, classification and transmission. Students learn where these organisms are found, how they affect patient health and why sterilization techniques are effective.
Medical Terminology Class
Students are taught the terms commonly used in medicine and their meanings. They learn to properly spell and pronounce these terms, applying them appropriately. Topics also include diagnostic and symptomatic terminology, surgical terms and anatomical descriptions.