Sterile Processing Technician Schools In South Dakota – Find Programs
As a sterile processing technician, you’ll be responsible for ensuring that medical tools and instruments are properly sterilized. This is a very important role as it helps to prevent infection and disease.
That’s why employers expect you to have adequate training and experience before they’ll consider hiring you.
We’re going to take a look at the best sterile processing technician schools in South Dakota where you can learn the trade. We’ll also cover some other key information you’ll need before you begin.
Licensing For A Sterile Processing Technician In South Dakota
There are currently only four states that require sterile processing technicians to be licensed, and South Dakota isn’t one of them.
Still, you will be subject to constant monitoring and scrutiny when working in a sterile processing department. This is to make sure that you stick to the correct procedures at all times and are progressing with your training as you should be.
Certification Requirements For A Sterile Processing Technician In South Dakota
Although there are no official certification requirements in the state, you may find it hard to get a job without accreditation. The vast majority of employers ask for accreditation or proof of hands-on experience before they’ll consider your application.
There are no state-level certification programs available but there are a number of well-respected national certifications that you can look into. Before deciding on a program, you should consider what your career aims are.
For example, if you want to become a certified surgical technologist then you should look at accredited surgical technology programs.
One of the best ways to become certified as a sterile processing technician is to take the Certified Registered Central Service Technician (CRCST) exam. Certification for this exam is awarded by the Healthcare Sterile Processing Association (HSPA). You’ll need proof of 400 hours of experience, either before you apply or within six months after you pass to become a CRCST.
These hours of experience are broken down as follows:
- Storage & distribution – 24 hours
- Decontamination – 120 hours
- Sterilization & disinfection – 96 hours
- Preparing and packaging surgical instruments – 120 hours
- Equipment – 16 hours
- Quality assurance processes – 24 hours
You must find a way of gaining the relevant experience yourself as HSPA doesn’t organize placements for you.
The exam itself covers several different areas related to the role of a sterile processing technician. This includes the required sterilization process for surgical procedures, patient care equipment, the sterile storage of medical instruments, and the management of surgical supplies.
You have three different options for how to prepare for the exam. You can take an online or distance learning course with Purdue University. Or, you can buy the Central Service Technical Manual and study for the course by yourself.
The final option is to take the exam based purely on the knowledge you’ve gained from your own personal experience.
Alternatively, you can take the SPD Technician Certification Exam and become a Certified Sterile Processing and Distribution Technician (CSPDT). This certification is awarded by the CBSPD and the exam costs $128.
Being certified means that you’ll be able to apply for the best sterile processing technician jobs. Bear in mind, if you want to apply for a more technical role such as a surgical technology job, then you’ll need to enroll in a surgical technology program.
Surgical technologists have more responsibilities than sterile processing technicians and are present in the operating room during surgical procedures. Many sterile processing technicians go on to become surgical technologists.
Best Sterile Processing Technician Education Programs In South Dakota
Let’s take a look at the best sterile processing technician schools in South Dakota and some options for online study.
- Western Dakota Technical College – this college doesn’t offer a sterile processing technician program. However, it does offer an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Surgical Technology. This surgical technology program will fully equip you for all sterile processing technician jobs.
- MedCerts – this is an online course that’ll get you ready to take the CRCST exam. The course lasts for thirteen weeks and MedCerts will help you to find placements.
- Penn Foster – this is another online course that allows you to learn at your own pace. It also prepares you to sit the CRCST exam.
Job Outlook And Salary Expectations In South Dakota
The mean annual wage for a sterile processing technician in South Dakota is $33,390. This is slightly lower than the national mean salary which is $42,420. The job outlook in South Dakota is promising for sterile processing techs as job openings are predicted to steadily increase in the coming years.
Where To Find Work As A Sterile Processing Technician In South Dakota
There are many different healthcare environments where you can work as a sterile processing technician. This includes:
- Dentists’ offices
- Physicians’ offices
- Outpatient care centers
Some of the biggest employers of sterile processing techs in South Dakota are:
- Sanford Health
- St. Luke’s University Health Network
- Monument Health
- Avera Health
You can choose to apply directly to the healthcare facility or you can apply via job websites like Indeed.
Is it stressful to work as a sterile processing technician?
It’s not considered to be particularly stressful to work as a sterile processing technician when compared to those working in other fields such as surgical technology. However, the job does come with a high level of responsibility and pressure to perform well.
What does the CSPDT exam involve?
The CSPDT exam consists of 125 scored questions and it takes 3 hours to complete. You need to achieve a score of 70 or over to pass. Once you’ve passed, you’re certified for 5 years.