Interested in Sterile Processing?
Sterile processing is a rewarding career with lots of advancement opportunities. The core job responsibilities for a sterile processing tech include the decontamination, inspection, assembly, and sterilization of the surgical instrumentation used in operating rooms or other procedural areas of a hospital or medical facility. This job requires the ability to memorize and identify hundreds of surgical instruments, stand for long periods of time, thoroughness and exceptional attention to detail, and the knowledge of the basic principles of sterilization and high-level disinfection. For those of you interested in the great world of sterile processing and wondering how to become a tech yourself, provided here is a comprehensive outline to how an individual goes about “getting their foot in the door” so to speak.
Training & Education
Sterile processing is considered an entry-level job that requires top-level skill. Many hospitals and medical facilities are willing to hire and train on the job, even if you have little to no experience in the medical profession. However, for those of you that are unable to find hospital that are willing to train, or live in a particular area that more intense competition, there are dozens of schools, courses, and programs available to provide an individual with the knowledge and training required to successful preform the rolls and responsibilities of the sterile processing tech. A simple google search will typically do the trick. Some options available include:
These options will not only provide you with the education you need to be successful in the workplace but also prepare you to sit for the certification exam. Becoming certified is very important, although certification is not required in every state or by every hospital; it has become an increasing trend that facilities and states are mandating that sterile processing techs become certified. Currently, there are two organizations that offer sterile processing certification credentials, The Certification Board for Sterile Processing and Distribution (CBSPD) and The International Association for Healthcare Central Service Material Management (IAHCSMM).
Getting the Job
Getting hired, or getting your foot in the door, can be somewhat challenging for some. Depending on your location, background, experience, and how determined you are, the degree of difficulty will vary. Those of you that live in a larger market will have many options; however, a lot of job seekers experience difficulty landing a job in the state of California. In situations where you are facing difficulty, there are several things you can do to help you to increase your chances of getting hired.
Enroll in a training program, school, or online course
Successfully completing a sterile processing program puts you at a better advantage. Employers may be more inclined to hire someone that will require less training.
Take a different position
If you are finding it hard to get in, or jobs are scarce, it might be a clever idea to take another position in the hospital. When a sterile processing position comes available, you will have the ability to transfer internally. Since you already work for the hospital your odds of getting the job will be increased.
Brush up on your interviewing skills
First impressions are important, so be sure you are on top of your game. Prior to an interview you should research your potential employer, practice some basic interview questions, and update your resume. It may also be helpful to print your resume on quality stationary of an off-white color. Finally, be sure to follow up your interview with a thank you card, a simply gesture like this will leave a lasting impression and keep your name fresh in your interviewer’s mind.
Don’t give up
Probably the most important of all, don’t give up! Persistence is key. Apply for several positions, if you don’t land one, then learn from it. What could you do different? How can you position yourself at the top of the candidate list? Use your resources, network with others, and stay positive.