Sterile Processing Technician Schools In Nevada – Find Programs
A sterile processing technician is a valuable member in upholding the sanitary safety of almost all medical facilities within a healthcare system. Their work is vital in assuring other healthcare workers and patients alike that the utmost standards around infection control are being met.
The role of a processing technician centers around the decontamination and sterilization of surgical instruments as well as the installation and maintenance of medical equipment used in surgical, hospital, and clinical settings.
Other duties include the assembly and packaging of medical equipment/supplies, and the transportation and proper storage of them. Additionally, processing technicians are responsible for maintaining central inventory and the distribution of goods to surrounding facilities.
Nevada State Requirements For Sterile Processing
Like many other states, Nevada does not have a minimum requirement to work as a sterile processing technician, besides having a high school diploma or a GED equivalent.
With a high school diploma, a prospective processing technician could enter the industry by finding an entry-level position at a healthcare facility. Once there, they can seek sterile processing training from experienced healthcare professionals.
A more beneficial route into the industry would be to undergo formal education. The top two options are a sterile processing program or a surgical technology program.
Additionally, it would be helpful to hold an official certification. You can become certified by taking a national certification exam after completing a relevant sterile processing training program or gaining enough hands-on experience.
Certifications For Sterile Processing Technicians In Nevada
The top institution to get an official sterile processing technician certification from is the Healthcare Sterile Processing Association (HSPA). HSPA is not only nationally recognized but is also an international association.
Prospective students and entry-level processing technicians can attain an official Certified Registered Central Service Technician (CRCST) credential from HPSA upon completing the certification exam.
To qualify to take the certification exam, prospective examinees need to fulfill the work experience requirements. Those interested need to have 400 hours of hands-on training leading up to the exam date, or subsequently, they need to attain the 400 hours in the 6 months following the successful completion of the exam.
The Certification Board for Sterile Processing and Distribution (CBSPD) also offers official certification for sterile processing technicians. This certification is nationally recognized and valid for 5 years.
To be eligible to take the exam, prospective processing technician examinees are required to either have some work experience with sterile processing or must have completed an official education in a sterile processing technician program.
Certificate Programs And Sterile Processing Technician Schools In Nevada
There are sterile processing programs in each of Nevada’s main cities.
The College of Southern Nevada in Las Vegas (CSN) offers a three-course certificate program on sterile processing technology. Students can expect to gain basic knowledge on:
- medical terminology
- complex instrument identification
- decontamination & sterilization techniques
- setting up & transporting instrument trays
- medical equipment & surgical instrument assembly
- ordering & distributing supplies to surrounding facilities
CSN also offers a surgical technology program. Students will learn how to assist a surgical team in operating rooms in addition to sterile processing techniques.
Truckee Meadows Community College (TMCC) in Reno offers a three-course skills certificate program that is designed to help prospective sterile processing technicians to take the HPSA CRCST national certification exam.
The TMCC program is in-person and allows students to work in a clinical setting. This helps them gain the clinical hours needed to qualify for the national exam.
Prospective students can expect to learn the same things listed above under CSN’s sterile processing program. Both course outlines are modeled after each other.
Nevada Salary Range
The average annual salary in Nevada is higher than the national average annual salary. In a 2021 report produced by the U.S. Bureau Of Labor Statistics, the Nevada annual average salary was $43,910. This is in comparison to the national annual average of $42,420.
The labor statistics report only provides data for the two urban areas of Las Vegas and Reno and unfortunately not for the rural areas of Nevada.
Las Vegas offers a higher average salary than Reno. This is likely due to its higher resident population and the nature of it being a large tourist attraction. The annual average income for Las Vegas in 2021 was $44,670, whereas it was significantly lower in Reno at $38,060.
Work Opportunities And Career Outlook in Nevada
There is no data given about the work opportunities to be found in the more rural areas of Nevada. However, there is some information about employment in Las Vegas and Reno.
In the year 2021, Las Vegas employed 180 sterile processing technicians whereas Reno only hired 70. Despite little data to confirm it, higher rates of employment for processing technicians appear to be contingent on population density.
How long is the CRCST exam?
It is a 3-hour exam with 150 multiple-choice questions.
Can studying sterile processing lead to other healthcare career opportunities?
Yes. technicians can go on to study and become surgical technologists or nursing assistants, who are present in the operating room during surgical procedures.