Online Sterile Processing Technician Certifications

Find out about online and on-campus education options for sterile processing technicians. Learn the requirements for professional certification in this field. Schools offering Nursing degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

How Can I Train to Become a Certified Sterile Processing Technician ?

Also known as central service technicians, sterile processing technicians work in a hospital or clinic's sterile processing and distribution center to ensure that medical instruments are properly sterilized and stored. The most common training program for this field is a 1-year certificate program. Although, a few schools allow students to earn an associate degree if they complete additional public speaking, math or composition courses. Additionally, most programs can prepare you to take a voluntary national certification exam offered by the Certification Board for Sterile Processing and Distribution (CBSPD).

Are These Programs Available Online?

Some schools offer sterile processing technician certificate programs that can be completed entirely online, but these are rare. Most are hybrid programs that give students the option of completing introductory chemistry, biology or communications courses online. Core sterile processing coursework is usually completed in campus classrooms or laboratories.

Online course materials will be delivered over the Internet or on CD-ROM. You will need a broadband Internet connection and a browser like Firefox or Internet Explorer. You may also need media viewing software, such as Adobe Acrobat Reader, Windows Media Player or RealPlayer. Some schools may require you to complete coursework with software such as Microsoft Word or Microsoft Excel.

What Is the Curriculum Like?

Sterile processing technician certificate programs are designed to educate you about medical terminology, the human body and instrument care. For example, you will typically take classes like anatomy and physiology, biology and microbiology. You'll also learn how to sterilize and package medical instruments, manage instrument inventory and take measures to reduce the risk of infection.

How Do I Become Nationally Certified?

The CBSPD's Sterile Processing and Distribution Technician Certification Exam is available to graduates of sterile processing certificate programs. Those who pass this written exam earn the Certified Sterile Processing Distribution Technician credential. Exams are given four times per year, and once you have earned your certification it's valid for five years.

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