The Crucial Role of Sterile Processing Technicians

Anyone working in the healthcare industry is in healthcare because they truly have a passion for taking care of people and ensuring their wellbeing. Whether you are working directly with the patient or behind the scenes of it all, every moving part of a hospital is a major contribution in doing so. In the plentiful amount of medical specializations, roles and departments out there you will find a very crucial component in ensuring and promoting safety in every hospital, specifically in surgical procedures. These awesome members of the healthcare world are called Sterile Processing Technicians. Sterile Processing Technicians may wear scrubs, but they should be wearing superhero capes because they are superheroes to patients and medical professionals alike!

What Does a Sterile Processing Technician Do?

So, what exactly is a Sterile Processing Technician? Sterile Processing Technicians work behind the scenes in achieving one main goal: Ensuring that all doctors and patients are safe when medical instruments are in-play. Sterile techs carry out this important function by running the intensive process of sanitizing and sterilizing the medical instruments for all medical professionals to use in patient-care. You can imagine how important this process is in the avoidance of infections and transferable diseases.

“Working in a hospital, things can change very quickly and the smooth running of my department is crucial to keeping operations running on time. Communication is key and there’s no room for mistakes – sometimes it really can be a case of life and death!” – Sterile Processing Technician, Gemma Gatchaliam

What Is the Process?

A sterile processing tech begins the sterilization process by manually deep cleaning instruments prior to moving the instruments into professional sterilizer machines, such as autoclaves. These sterilizing machines then blast high-pressure steam that destroy any and all present germs and microbes. After the machine has done its job and finished a set, the sterile tech then stores the tools away for cooling, which takes longer than one would think! Once cooled, the instruments are then ready for assembly and packaging, so that the equipment remains sanitized and ready-for-use. Sterile Processing Technicians also deliver and arrange the sanitized tools needed for a procedure, so that when the time comes, medical professionals are equipped to get started.

Alongside this extensive process, sterile techs also take inventory of medical equipment to ensure everything is accounted for, examine all equipment for defects and/or damage and run testing on autoclaves.

How to Become a Certified Sterile Processing Technician

Becoming a Certified Sterile Processing Technician sounds pretty awesome, right? The requirements of becoming a sterile tech require that you have earned a Highschool Diploma or equivalent, as well as completed certification courses that can be taken at a local community college or trade school. You will then want to earn certification through either the Certification Board for Sterile Processing and Distribution (CBSPD) or the International Association of Healthcare Central Service Materiel Management (IAHCSMM). The meat of the requirements for the sterile tech role is hands-on experience in a hospital. Typically, certification programs give you that hands-on experience in addition to your studying, so that you can more easily find a sterile tech job after certification. Otherwise, having a few years under your belt will greatly benefit you in future opportunities.


Here at KPG Healthcare, we have access to many Sterile Processing Technician opportunities and can help you easily find employment in no time! If you have recently finished the requirements of becoming a sterile processing tech or are already one and are looking for a new opportunity, head to our job board and reach out to a KPG recruiter who can answer all of your questions!

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The KPG Healthcare Team