Sterile Processing Technician Schools In Virginia – Find Programs
If you are interested in a career in healthcare, you might want to consider a job as a sterile processing technician. Sterile processing technicians provide essential support to frontline medical personnel. They are the professionals who ensure reusable surgical instruments like scalpels and scissors are decontaminated and safe to use. In other words: a facility’s first line of defense against infection.
Working in this field requires expert knowledge of sterilization methods and infection control. Inventory management is another key aspect of the job. The focus is all about protecting patients and colleagues.
Let’s take a closer look at education and career opportunities in this respected field. There are several sterile processing technician training programs in Virginia to help aspiring techs enter the profession.
Sterile Processing Technician Careers In Virginia
It’s an unfortunate fact that some occupations are expected to decline as time goes on; however, sterile processing is a growing profession. Sterile processing technician job demand in Virginia is expected to increase by 7% over the coming decade.
Where can a new graduate look for sterile processing technician jobs? There are many facilities that need sterilizing skills. Hospitals and clinics, for example, are obviously large employers. Dental surgeries, diagnostic centers, and outpatient care centers also hire all year round.
The profession is constantly evolving due to new technologies and procedures. There is plenty of scope for growth within this exciting field.
How Much Can Sterile Processing Technicians Earn In Virginia?
Salary and earnings potential are important considerations when assessing any career. Sterile processing technician grads likely won’t earn top scale in entry-level positions. The annual mean salary for medical equipment preparers in Virginia is roughly $37,000.
Salaries across the state will vary depending on location, experience, and education. Top professionals can earn over $50,000 annually; however, the wage in Virginia is slightly below the national average. Sterile processing technician skills are generally transferable between states.
Finding a Sterile Processing Training Program in Virginia
Some working technicians learn with on-the-job training, but many enter the field after completing a study program. Virginia offers several training programs to prepare aspiring technicians for work in a clinical setting.
Sterile processing technician schools in Virginia provide classroom instruction and remote learning. Reputable programs include:
- Fortis provides a program at its campus in Richmond. The course includes practical laboratory work and real-world clinical site and hospital experience.
- Piedmont Virginia Community College offers a sterile processing program that prepares each graduate for an entry-level position as a medical equipment preparer.
- Southwest Virginia Community College supports an online sterile processing technician program. Students have 12 months to complete the course.
- Chester Career College offers a program that equips students with the necessary skills to work in the sterile processing department of a healthcare facility.
- Reynolds Community College lists a course that can be completed in three semesters (full-time). Part-time study programs are also available.
Do Sterile Processing Technicians in Virginia Need To Be Licensed?
There are no specific licensing requirements for sterile processing technicians in Virginia. After successfully completing your training, you are all set to work in the field.
However, the profession is bound by strict controls and regulations. Contaminated medical instruments and surgical supplies endanger patients’ lives. Healthcare professionals are also at risk.
A good employer ensures that strict procedures are followed in the workplace. Many surgery centers and hospitals prefer their central service technicians to be certified.
What does it mean to be a certified sterile processing technician? For one, it probably means more money and better job prospects. Below is a brief overview of the certification process.
Sterile Processing Technician Certification
The accredited certificate for sterile processors is called the Certified Registered Central Service Technician (CRCST). This is issued by the Healthcare Sterile Processing Association (HSPA). The accreditation is recognized industry-wide. Employers and educators recommend that sterile processing technician grads pass this important exam.
The certification exam covers subjects like infection control and sterilization techniques. Candidates’ knowledge of medical terminology and airborne pathogens will also be tested. All sterile processing technician schools in Virginia appreciate the importance of this certificate. Their course programs are designed to prepare aspiring techs to sit and pass this exam.
Do I need a high school diploma to study sterile processing?
Most reputable training programs require students to have a diploma or GED to enroll in sterile processing technician studies. There may be exceptions to this requirement; however, like certain community college programs.
What is the top pay for sterile processing technicians?
In California, top technicians can earn over $80,000 annually.