Sterile Processing Technician Schools In Pennsylvania – Find Programs

Sterile processing technicians are often referred to as the unsung heroes of the medical world. While they have little contact with patients and other healthcare workers, they play an important role in prepping medical instruments for surgical procedures.

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This makes it a popular role for people looking to work in a healthcare setting without a medical degree. Plus, with some educational programs taking a few months to complete, you could become a sterile processing technician in under a year.

This guide will explain how to become a sterile processing technician in Pennsylvania. It will also provide some options for Pennsylvania-based training programs so you can find a good school in your area.

What Does A Sterile Processing Technician Do?

Sterile processing technicians (also known as central service technicians) are responsible for cleaning and sterilizing medical supplies in healthcare facilities.

These tasks minimize the risk of contamination and help to reduce and control the spread of infection. This is especially important within healthcare settings where there is a higher risk.

They are also responsible for storing, maintaining, and ordering supplies. This helps to keep the day-to-day running of the hospital as smooth as possible.

Sterile Processing Technician Requirements In Pennsylvania

In the U.S., only a few states require rigorous training, licensing, and certification to become a sterile processing technician. Pennsylvania is not one of them.

As long as you are over 18 years of age and have a high school diploma, GED, or equivalent, you can become a sterile processing technician.

However, getting a nationally-recognized certification can improve your chances of getting a job with a reputable healthcare organization. It can also give you hands-on experience in a healthcare environment which will give you the upper hand against other candidates.

Sterile processing technician certifications recognized in the state of Pennsylvania include:

Certified Registered Central Service Technician (CRCST)

The Healthcare Sterile Processing Association (HSPA) is the main certification board for Sterile Processing Technicians in the U.S.

By passing the CRCST exam, you can gain both theoretical and practical experience and be better prepared for a role in a healthcare setting.

Certified Sterile Processing and Distribution Technician (CSPDT)

Another nationally-recognized certification board for sterile processing technicians in the U.S. is the Certification Board for Sterile Processing and Distribution (CBSPD).

Through them, you can take the CSPDT which is an introductory certificate that proves you are capable of doing the job.

Sterile Processing Programs In Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania is home to a wide range of programs for sterile processing technicians. Whether you are looking for a course at your local community college or online, you can find a program to suit you.

Community College of Philadelphia

This 80-hour program will teach you how to sterilize and distribute medical instruments. It will also prepare you to sit the CRCST exam which can set you up for a successful career in sterile processing.

Harrisburg University

This six to nine-month program covers healthcare rules and regulations, medical terminology, and sterile processing technology. Like most education programs, it will also prepare you for the CRCST exam.

Westmoreland County Community College

This program provides basic knowledge of instrument sterilization and preparation. Upon successful completion, you will be equipped with the skills you need to enter the workforce.

What Are The Job Prospects And Salaries For Sterile Processing Technicians In Pennsylvania?

Sterile processing technicians are currently experiencing rapid growth throughout the U.S.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment rate is growing at a rate of 6% between 2021 and 2031. This is the equivalent of about 3,700 new jobs created in the space of a decade.

As well as good job prospects, sterile processing technicians can also earn a comfortable living in Pennsylvania.

The mean wage for the state is currently $19.32 an hour and $40,190 a year. Based on information from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, this is below the national average of $20.40 an hour and $42,420 a year.

However, your actual salary will depend on where you live, your experience, and your employer.

Where To Work As A Sterile Processing Technician In Pennsylvania

Sterile processing technicians have plenty of options for work in Pennsylvania. From hospitals to outpatient care centers, there will be jobs available as long as there is a sterile processing department.

Examples include:

  • Einstein Medical Center Montgomery
  • Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania
  • St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children
  • Penn Medicine
  • Surgical Speciality Centre of Northeast Pennsylvania

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to become a sterile processing technician?

It can take anything from a few weeks to a few years to become a sterile processing technician but most programs can be completed in under a year. Once you complete a sterile processing technician program, you can then take an exam to become a certified sterile processing technician.

Where is the best place to work as a sterile processing technician?

Sterile processing technicians mainly work in hospitals but can work in other medical facilities as long as there is a Sterile Processing department.