Sterile Processing Technician Schools in Maine – Find Programs
Healthcare jobs can provide an excellent level of job security. They also offer competitive wages in most cases.
The role of sterile processing technician is one that is available in a range of settings, including:
- Doctors’ offices
- Dentist practices
Sterile processing technicians, also known as medical equipment preparers, are responsible for ensuring medical equipment is suitable for use. This includes cleaning and sterilization.
Keep reading to learn more about the role and requirements for employment in Maine. We will also let you know about the best sterile processing technician schools in Maine.
Sterile Processing Technician Responsibilities
A sterile processing technician (SPT) is a valued member of any healthcare team. Their role is to ensure surgical instruments and equipment are sterile and ready for use.
The main responsibility of a sterile processing technician is to improve infection control. Sterile processing technician responsibilities include:
It is essential to clean and decontaminate medical instruments and equipment after use in the operating room. Specialized cleaning agents and tools are used to remove any trace of organic matter.
After all surgical instruments are cleaned, they must be sterilized. Sterilization kills off remaining bacteria or microorganisms that could cause viruses and infections.
Specialist equipment and sterilization techniques are used to do this. This can include cleaning at high temperatures or using specific chemicals.
Packaging and inspection
Sterile processing techs or medical equipment preparers are required to inspect and package instruments to make sure they aren’t damaged and are properly sterilized. Packaging items securely maintains sterility until they are ready to be used again.
Accurate record-keeping of instruments is another essential part of sterile processing. Meticulous record-keeping and an eye for detail are required for this part of the role.
Technicians must follow strict protocols to ensure all equipment and instruments are properly sterilized and packaged.
Quality assurance processes also include monitoring the efficiency and performance of existing protocols. This ensures high standards are maintained.
Workshops and training programs must be regularly attended by sterile processing technicians. This ensures they know about all the latest techniques and regulations for sterilization in the medical field.
A sterile processing technician will work closely with a range of other healthcare professionals. It is essential they maintain good levels of communication to ensure processes and protocols are followed.
Salary & Employment Projections For Sterile Processing Technician Jobs In Maine
The average annual wage for a sterile supply processing technician in Maine is around $38,240 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Growth predictions for the industry until 2029 are around 6%. This is higher than the average for all occupations, making it a good prospect.
Maine Licensing Requirements for Sterile Processing Technician Jobs
There is no requirement in the state of Maine for prospective sterile processing technicians to gain a license. Some employers may offer on-the-job training to applicants; however in most cases, they will require some form of accreditation.
Accreditation can be achieved by completing a sterile processing technician program.
Sterile Processing Technician Accreditation
Certification isn’t a legal requirement for sterile processing in the state of Maine. Gaining an accreditation from a national organization can make it significantly easier to gain employment.
National organizations that offer certification include:
- Certification Board for Sterile Processing and Distribution
- Healthcare Sterile Processing Association
Accreditation from these organizations shows you have undergone the relevant training. It also shows that you passed a national certification exam.
Sterile Processing Technician Schools In Maine
Maine does not have an extensive selection of schools that offer sterile processing technician training.
There are alternative options where students can study similar fields including a surgical technology program. Local courses are offered at Southern Main Community College and feature work experience at Maine Medical Center.
Online study options are available for sterile processing technician education. However, students can benefit from on-campus learning, which also includes work experience.
Gaining work experience can be incredibly valuable when entering the job market. It can show that you have an aptitude and necessary skills for the role, and you may be able to get references from people you have worked with.
A couple of the top sterile processing technician options include:
Purdue University (Online Program/Distance Learning)
Purdue University is located in West Lafayette, Indiana, and offers an online sterile processing technician course. The school is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and offers flexible learning options to students.
The aim of the course is to prepare students for the HSPA (Healthcare Sterile Processing Association) examination. This examination also requires clinical experience totaling 400 hours. This can be carried out in medical facilities in Maine before or after taking the exam.
Online studying can help to save money on travel and allows students to study at their own pace.
Topics covered in the Purdue University online program include:
- Medical terminology
- Sterilization processes
- Packaging and storing of sterile medical tools
- Surgical instrumentation
- Patient care equipment management
The cost of the course is estimated to be around $370, making it a flexible and affordable way to enter the field.
Penn Foster College
Penn Foster College is an excellent option for an online learning experience. Their Sterile Processing Technician Certification Program covers a range of foundational topics to prepare you for your certification exam.
- Principles of the aseptic technique
- Medical terminology
- Blood-borne pathogens
- HIPPA requirements
The course is self-paced and is perfect for those that want to learn about other responsibilities.
What is the difference between a central service technician and a sterile processing technician?
A central service technician is the same role as a sterile processing technician; it is just a different name for it.
Can you progress from sterile processing technician jobs?
There are routes of progression for a sterile processing technician to take. This can include department management roles or jobs in specialized facilities.
Is sterile processing a stressful career?
Sterile processing is one of the least stressful roles in healthcare. There can often be a heavy workload, but limited patient interaction reduces stress.