Sterile Processing Technician Schools In Washington – Find Programs
Sterile processing technicians play a crucial role in our healthcare system. A sterile processing technician (SPT) ensures all supplies needed in a medical unit are safe to use. They prepare scalpels, scissors, and other medical instruments for surgery. After the procedure, they decontaminate and sterilize the equipment.
A sterile processing technician’s responsibility extends to proper inventory control and distribution. When it comes to ensuring a safe, decontaminated surgical environment, these professionals are indispensable. Specialists employed in this area can expect to enjoy a fulfilling career in a dynamic field.
Here is a brief guide to sterile processing technician training and career opportunities in Washington. We will also look at licensing and certification requirements. This information may be your first step toward an exciting healthcare career.
Sterile Processing Technician Careers in Washington
It’s normal to wonder about the job opportunities in any career you are considering. The job outlook for sterile processing technicians in Washington is very positive. The state has a large healthcare system, and the need for skilled people in the sector is growing.
Sterile processing techs are also known as medical equipment preparers. Medical equipment preparers are employed in large numbers in hospitals and clinics. Other facilities requiring SPTs include dental surgeries, medical laboratories, and outpatient care centers.
Some occupations are expected to decline over the next decade, but the role of sterile processing technician is not one of them. Industry demand is expected to continue to grow faster than many other occupations. This profession also offers great opportunities for career progression. Washington technicians should be able to transfer their skills to other states.
Sterile Processing Technician Salaries in Washington
A career protecting your colleagues and patients is very fulfilling. It can also be financially rewarding. How much can a trained technician expect to earn in Washington State? The mean annual salary for sterile processing technicians in Washington is over $45,000. This is above the national average.
A fresh graduate will likely have to gain a few years’ experience before making this kind of money.
Finding a Sterile Processing Training Program in Washington
Most technicians enter this growing field after completing a study program. Washington offers several training programs to help students along the way and prepare them for SPT jobs. The best-known programs include:
- Clover Park Technical College – Clover Park’s Central Service/Sterile Processing program equips graduating students to join the ranks of healthcare professionals. The college has campuses in Lakewood and Puyallup.
- Yakima Valley College– This college offers a sterile processing technician program that can be completed in two quarters.
- Renton Technical College – Renton’s Surgical Technologist (ST) program is more advanced than an introductory sterile processing technician program. A surgical tech student will also learn about active patient care before and after medical procedures.
Do Sterile Processing Technicians in Washington Need To Be Licensed?
In Washington, there are no specific licensing requirements for sterile processing technicians. After successful completion of your training, you can apply for jobs in sterilization and central service.
However, this profession carries great responsibility. Contaminated surgical instruments endanger patients and operating room staff. The consequences can be fatal. The career is also constantly evolving due to new surgical technology and procedures. Employers often give preference to qualified students who hold a recognized industry certificate.
Certification is likely to improve your job prospects and earning potential. The industry certificate can be earned with some study and application. Read on to learn how you can obtain this accreditation.
Getting Certified as a Sterile Processing Technician
CRCST – Certified Registered Central Service Technician – is the industry-recognized accreditation for sterile processors. This certificate is issued by the Healthcare Sterile Processing Association (HSPA). Employers and educators tend to recommend that you sit the exam to gain this important credential.
The exam covers subjects like infection control, pathogens, decontamination methods and medical terminology.
All the above training programs prepare candidates to pass this exam. If an aspiring SPT follows the program diligently and passes the exam, they will be well-equipped to enter the profession.
What is the highest salary sterile processing technicians can earn in Washington?
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the top trained technicians in Washington State earn over $60,000 each year.
Do you need a high school diploma to study sterile processing?
The sterile processing profession expects practitioners to have completed high school. So, most reputable training programs won’t enroll students in a sterile processing or central service program unless they have a high school diploma or GED.