Sterile Processing Technician Schools In Ohio – Find Programs
A strong healthcare system depends on experienced, dedicated doctors and nurses. It also relies on an excellent team of support staff. A sterile processing technician is a vital member of this support corps. Sterile processing technicians don’t work directly with patients, but they protect them by ensuring an infection-free environment.
Surgical instruments and specialist medical equipment aren’t discarded after a single use. A sterile processing technician is responsible for ensuring that reusable scalpels, scissors and other surgical supplies are sterilized, decontaminated and properly stored at all times.
Expertise in this area can lead to a fulfilling and rewarding career. However, aspiring technicians don’t need a degree to enter this respected field.
We’re going to look at training programs in Ohio which will prepare you to work in sterile processing and distribution. We also discuss the job outlook for sterile processors and highlight the importance of industry certification.
How Much Does A Sterile Processing Technician Earn?
Sterile processors are also known as medical equipment preparers. Official statistics for this group show that the profession is reasonably well rewarded. The mean annual wage in Ohio for a sterile processing technician is close to $38,000. The wage in Ohio is slightly below the national average.
Salaries across the state will vary depending on location, experience, and education. Earnings are typically higher in the bigger urban centers. Top earners in Ohio can earn $50,000 per year. Salaries of $60,000 to $80,000 are paid in states like Massachusetts, Connecticut, and California.
Career Outlook For Sterile Processing Technicians
When weighing a career, it is obviously important to consider future job prospects. The good news is that sterilization specialists are in demand. Industry demand is strong and growing. In Ohio, annual job growth of 6.7% is projected for the next several years. There are numerous healthcare facilities that require this specialist knowledge and skill.
Where Are Sterile Processing Technicians Employed?
Hospitals and surgery centers are the primary employers in the field. Dental surgeries and clinics also need certified sterile processing skills. Diagnostic centers and outpatient care centers hire regularly too.
The profession is constantly evolving due to new technologies and sterilization procedures. There is plenty of scope for growth within this exciting field. A senior technician may manage the entire sterilization and distribution operation for a major hospital.
Finding A Sterile Processing Program In Ohio
Ohio offers several training programs to prepare aspiring technicians. A good sterile processing technician program should provide a blend of classes and practical applications. Current programs in the state include:
- Stark State College– Stark State offers a medical instrument sterilization program designed to provide the student with the skills and knowledge for a successful career in sterile processing. The college is in North Canton.
- Stautzenberger Colleges– Stautzenberger has a sterile processing training program that can be completed in ten months. An evening class option is available for working students.
- Sinclair Community College – The college offers a surgical technician program that will teach students all aspects of sterilization and infection control. The student will also develop a good understanding of medical terminology.
- Columbus State Community College– Columbus State has campuses in Columbus and Delaware. Its sterile processing program can be completed in two semesters. This program can be taken concurrently with a five-semester technical studies degree.
- Owens Community College– Owens offers a sterile processing certificate which includes 180 hours of practical field experience. The college has campuses in the Toledo and Findlay areas.
Do Sterile Processing Technicians In Ohio Need To Be Licensed?
The short answer is ‘no’. There is no state board that demands practitioners be licensed to practice in Ohio. After successfully completing your training, you are able to work in the field. However, many employers prefer to hire technicians with proven hands-on experience. This is where CRCST certification comes into play. We discuss below the importance of certification.
CRCST- Certification Of Sterile Processing Technicians
CRCST stands for Certified Registered Central Service Technician. This certificate is issued by the Healthcare Sterile Processing Association (HSPA). Employers and educators recommend that new sterile processors strive to hang this certificate on their walls.
It confirms that the technician has passed a relevant exam, and has performed 400 hours of hands-on experience. It tells employers that the candidate can meet the technical standards of the job. This is crucial, given the responsibilities of the role.
How To Get Certified
After completing their initial training, students should apply to sit the certification exam. The exam covers the following areas:
- Sterilization Procedures
- Decontamination and Disinfection
- Patient Care Equipment
- Preparation and Packaging
- Safe Storage and Inventory Management
- Record Keeping and Documentation
- Customer Relations
How Schools Help Students Get Certified
All sterile technician schools in Ohio recognize the importance of this certificate. Their course materials align with the certification board. College programs will prepare students to pass the certification exam and obtain provisional accreditation.
After the exam, students have 6 months to complete 400 hours of work experience. A good training program usually includes practical work in its curriculum. This hands-on experience can often be credited toward the 400 hours.
Is sterile processing hard?
The subject requires an understanding of medical and scientific terms. Still, it is not especially difficult to master, provided the student studies diligently.
Do you need a high school diploma to study sterile processing?
Employers look for candidates who have completed high school. So, most reputable programs won’t enroll students that don’t have a high school diploma or GED.