Sterile processing certificate programs typically take no more than 36 credit-hours to complete. Enrollees learn about the importance of sterilization in the operating room while studying infection control, microbiology and human anatomy. A practicum may be required. Applicants must have a high school diploma or GED, proof of immunizations and a health clearance form.
Find schools that offer these popular programs
- Clinical Nursing
- Critical Care Nursing
- Direct-Entry Midwifery - LM, CPM
- Licensed Vocational Nurse Training
- Mental Health Nursing
- Neonatal Nursing
- Nurse Anesthetist
- Nurse Assistant or Patient Care Assistant
- Nurse Midwife
- Nurse Practitioner or Family Nurse Practitioner
- Nursing Administration
- Nursing for Adults and Seniors
- Nursing Science
- Occupational Health Nursing
- Operating Room and Surgical Nursing
- Pediatric Nursing
- Public Health Nurse or Community Nurse
- Registered Nurse
Sterile Processing Certificate
Students in a sterile processing certificate program develop an understanding of the specific techniques involved in decontaminating and sterilizing surgical instruments and equipment. Other common course topics include:
- Sterilization processes
- Decontamination techniques
- Medical terminology
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) does not provide specific data for sterile processing technicians. However, it reported information on medical equipment preparers, and their job duties include sterilizing medical tools. In 2015, the BLS stated that medical equipment preparers earned $33,330 as a median annual salary.
The Certification Board for Sterile Processing and Distribution (CBSPD) offers certification for sterile processing technicians. As of 2010, the CBSPD reports that it is the only organization in the field to be accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies. Individuals who have completed a certificate program can take an exam to gain certification. The board also offers textbooks and workbooks for those interested in gaining certification.
In sterile processing certificate programs, students explore topics like medical terminology, equipment prep and stocking, and infection prevention. Graduates are qualified to work as sterile processing technicians; they can pursue voluntary certification as well.