Sterile Processing Technician Schools in North Dakota – Find Programs
Within any healthcare system, the sterile processing of surgical instruments and medical equipment is an important role that ensures medical facilities maintain the highest level of sanitary conditions.
The work done by the sterile processing department is essential for decontamination and infection control. The main duties of technicians include:
- surgical instrumentation processing & sterilization
- maintaining and sterilizing equipment used in patient care
North Dakota State Requirements For Sterile Processing
There are no minimum licensing requirements to practice as a sterile processing technician in North Dakota.
However, any facility that does sterile processing within the state will have at least one licensed medical practitioner (such as a registered nurse or doctor) to facilitate the sterilization process to ensure that procedures are done correctly.
In addition, internal and external audits of North Dakota healthcare facilities take place on a regular basis. This is to verify that minimum safety protocols are followed and maintained.
Training Programs and Sterile Processing Technician Schools in North Dakota
In North Dakota, prospective students need to have a high school diploma or general equivalency diploma to enroll in a formal sterile processing training program.
There are no specific programs to become a sterile processing technician available within North Dakota. However, there are a few alternative options to choose from.
Penn Foster College is an online learning institution that offers a self-paced program on sterile processing. The program provides students with the basic skills and knowledge required to work entry-level sterile processing technician jobs.
Tuition includes a national certification exam through the Healthcare Sterile Processing Association (HSPA). Once completed, the certification accredits students as certified registered central service technicians.
The University of North Dakota offers a few in-person and online programs on medical laboratory sciences. They range from a basic 1-year certificate program to bachelor’s and master’s degrees.
Studying medical laboratory sciences is more intensive than the general sterile processing training programs. Although it covers the specific information and skills needed for handling and sterilizing equipment, it mainly centers around laboratory analysis and diagnostics.
North Dakota State University, Minot State University, and Valley City State University also offer Bachelor’s degrees in medical laboratory sciences.
Certifications for Sterile Processing Technicians
As there are no certification requirements to practice as a sterile processing technician in North Dakota, students can take an exam through a national or international association to become certified.
There are two main nationally recognized associations to gain a certificate through. The Certification Board for Sterile Processing and Distribution (CBSPD) and the Healthcare Sterile Processing Association (HSPA).
CBSPD certificates are valid for 5 years. To be eligible to write the exam, students are either required to have work experience in sterile processing or must have completed an official education program in sterile processing technician training.
HSPA certificates are valid for 1 year. However, there is no need to retake the certification exam if it is renewed before expiry. This certification is intended for students who have entry-level work experience as processing technicians.
Salary Range in North Dakota
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that the 2021 average annual salary for a sterile processing technician was $41,450. This is approximately an hourly rate of $19.93.
The average annual salary for sterile processing technician jobs in North Dakota is not far off from the national average of $42,420. That being said, 10% of sterile processing technicians in North Dakota earned as much as $48,510.
Sterile processing technicians working in Bismark, North Dakota’s capital make an average of $39,620. This is lower than the state and national average. However, labor statistics show that the general employment rate of metropolitan areas is slightly higher than the more rural areas that might offer a higher salary.
Additionally, the type of facility can also determine income for sterile processing technicians. Working in a private medical facility could offer a higher salary as opposed to working for the government healthcare system.
North Dakota Work Opportunities And Career Outlook
Although there is not much state regional data about employment rates for sterile processing technician jobs in North Dakota, it is likely that there are more work opportunities in the more densely populated areas. The two biggest cities are Bismark and Fargo.
In 2021, 230 sterile processing technicians were employed in North Dakota. This is in comparison to the overall national number of 61,170. The lower amount of sterile processing technician jobs is proportionate to the smaller population found in the state.
Is sterile processing a desk job?
No, you will be required to work long shifts in a fast-paced environment where you’ll be standing on your feet for most of the time.
Where do sterile processing technicians make the most money?
California is the state with the highest annual average income. As of 2021, the annual average income was $55,930.