Choosing a Sterile Processing School
Sterile processing programs, sometimes called central sterile processing programs, are available at many 2-year colleges. They are typically offered at the certificate or the associate's degree level. A certificate of completion is sufficient for entry-level employment in the field.
Some important considerations when looking for a sterile processing training program:
- Students seeking the quickest path toward a career as a sterile technician may want to select a school that offers a certificate of completion in sterile processing and should be aware that some schools offer a track for associates degree graduates to progress to the bachelor's level in nursing or a related medical field.
- Sterile processing experience is important for finding employment in the field after graduation and many schools offer students the ability to complete internships or clinical rotations.
- Voluntary certifications, such as those offered by the Certification Board for Sterile Processing and Distribution, Inc. and the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting, are available in the field, and schools that prepare students for voluntary certification examinations or to meet other certification requirements may make becoming certified an easier process. In turn, being certified may increase employment opportunities.
Sterile processing certificate programs instruct students on the skills to ensure that surgical equipment is in optimal condition before and during surgical procedures. Programs emphasize practical skills used in operating rooms and medical facilities, and many provide clinical experience opportunities to students. In their courses, students learn methods for cleaning, sterilizing, storing, inspecting and presenting equipment before and during surgeries. Coursework covers:
- Central processing techniques
- Accounting and budgeting
- Working with surgical teams
- Medical terminology
Associate of Applied Science Programs
These 2-year degree programs are commonly offered in sterile processing and surgical technology. Students learn how to assist in surgery and maintain surgical equipment, as well as how to perform other duties related to central sterile processing. Graduates serve as scrub technologists, operating room assistants and circulating technologists. These programs provide more coursework geared toward the health field, with classes in:
- Anatomy and physiology
- General psychology
- Surgical technology
- Microbiology and immunology
10 Schools with Sterile Processing Degrees
|City Colleges of Chicago||2-year, Public|
|Owens Community College||2-year, Public|
|Bunker Hill Community College||2-year, Public|
|Purdue University||4-year, Public|
|Iowa Western Community College||2-year, Public|
|Fayetteville Technical Community College||2-year, Public|
|Anoka Technical College||2-year, Public|
|Tunxis Community College||2-year, Public|
|Montgomery College||2-year, Public|
|Berkeley College||4-year, Private|