STERILE PROCESSING TECHNICIAN

(SPT)

Start Date

February 14, 2022

More Start Dates
Length
The program length for day and evening classes may vary based on the number of scheduled hours per week. Holidays, school closings, and internship schedules may cause the program completion dates to vary as well.

9 Months

Schedule
The standard classroom schedule is provided here. The clinical internship schedule will vary based on the clinical site. Students must follow their assigned internship schedule, not the AIMS Education class schedule, academic calendar, or the observed holidays and breaks.

Monday - Thursday
9:00am to 2:00pm

FSA
Federal student aid is not available for this program.

NO

Other Financial Assistance
Other financial aid options may be available for this program (scholarships, training grants, VA benefits, etc.). Please contact our financial aid department to learn more.

YES

Start Date

February 14, 2022

More Start Dates
Length
The program length for day and evening classes may vary based on the number of scheduled hours per week. Holidays, school closings, and internship schedules may cause the program completion dates to vary as well.

9 Months

Schedule
The standard classroom schedule is provided here. The clinical internship schedule will vary based on the clinical site. Students must follow their assigned internship schedule, not the AIMS Education class schedule, academic calendar, or the observed holidays and breaks.

Monday - Thursday
9:00am to 2:00pm

FSA
Federal student aid is not available for this program.

NO

Other Financial Assistance
Other financial aid options may be available for this program (scholarships, training grants, VA benefits, etc.). Please contact our financial aid department to learn more.

YES

Sterile Processing Technician Training

The Sterile Processing Technician certificate program provides students with the knowledge and skills required to work as an entry-level sterile processing technician (also known as a surgical processing technician or central service technician). The primary responsibility of a sterile processing tech is to ensure that a clean and sterile healthcare environment is maintained at all times. This is primarily achieved through the process of decontaminating and sterilizing all surgical instrumentation and equipment.

Students enrolled in this program will learn various sterilization techniques, including the proper method for decontaminating and sterilizing surgical instruments and equipment. They will also gain a solid understanding of microbiology and infection control. Other topics covered in this program include surgical terminology, human anatomy, surgical instrumentation, sterile processing, and safety & risk management. Students will also learn about federal and state guidelines, including HIPAA.

The training includes a combination of didactic and lab hours, as well as a 400-hour clinical internship. AIMS Education has a dedicated surgical lab that provides the perfect environment to train students and allow them to practice their psychomotor skills. The practical experience gained during the clinical internship will help reinforce those skills. At the conclusion of the internship, all AIMS graduates will be required to take the Certified Registered Central Service Technician (CRCST) exam offered by IAHCSMM.

Clinical Internship

The Sterile Processing Technician program requires students to complete a mandatory 400-hour clinical internship. Students will be placed at a clinical site by the AIMS Internship Department. The internship is designed to provide practical training in a real work environment; students will have a mentor who trains and guides them. Students are not permitted to begin the internship until all required classroom and lab hours are completed.

AIMS Education has clinical affiliations with numerous healthcare facilities throughout New Jersey and the surrounding areas. Students will be placed at one or more of these affiliated sites and must complete their clinical hours based on the schedule provided by the school. Internship schedules are based on the availability of clinical sites. All students (Day and Evening) must be prepared to complete their internship during normal business hours (Monday through Friday). The majority of clinical sites do not allow students to complete clinical hours in the evening or on the weekend.

Employment for Sterile Processing Technicians

Sterile processing techs are employed in the Sterile Processing, Central Supply, and Sterile Supply Departments of hospitals. Employment opportunities can also be found in surgical centers, outpatient clinics, and physicians' offices. Some employment possibilities include sterile processing technician, central supply technician, and central service manager.

Sterile Processing Technician Duties

 A sterile processing technician must be able to: 

  • Operate all required machinery and equipment safely and accurately.
  • Decontamination, preparation and packaging, sterilization, storage, and distribution according to sterilization parameters per The Department of Health and the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN), the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and The Joint Commission (TJC) standards. 
  • Adhere to standard precautions, including hand-washing, handling, and disposing of infectious waste appropriately and the use of protective barriers. These include safety glasses, pocket masks, gowns, masks, and gloves.
  • Understand organization, department, and job-specific environment of care areas, including medical equipment failure, infection control, emergency preparedness, hazardous materials communications, and life safety. 
  • Maintain records for sterilization and quality assurance (QA).
  • Sterilize, set up, and clean instruments as scheduled on each shift. 
  • Report malfunctioning or damaged equipment to department heads, such as the clinical director, and follow the process for replacement. 
  • Promote individual professional growth and development by meeting requirements for mandatory and continuing education and skills competency.
  • Support department-based goals that contribute to the success of the organization.
  • Communicate with operating room staff to provide required instruments.
  • Adhere to all standards, procedures, and policies to ensure safe care for visitors, staff, and patients.
  • Coordinate with the appropriate department to ensure facility sets are stocked to Periodic Automatic Replenishment (PAR) levels. 
  • Correctly wrap instruments for sterilization and inspect them for use, function, cleanliness, and completeness.
  • Retrieve malfunctioning instruments and ensure repairs are completed. 
  • Care for and handle instruments appropriately.
  • Provide support and asset management of surgical trays and instruments consigned to or belonging to the facility. 
  • Monitor infection control and quality control standards and maintain appropriate records. 

Sterile Processing Technician: Required Skills and Physical Requirements

You will need to meet the following requirements to qualify as a sterile processing technician:

Required Skills and Abilities

A sterile processing technician must possess the following skills, abilities, and know-how:

  • Skilled in cleaning specialized equipment
  • Excellent problem-solving skills and telephone manners
  • Knowledge of chemicals, quality assurance, procedures, processes, and medical instruments
  • Able to sterilize and decontaminate supplies and equipment 
  • Able to sufficiently wrap and assemble appropriate equipment, supplies, and instruments
  • Knowledge of applicable safety, infection control, and sanitary standards to be able to perform all assignments within safety parameters
  • Able to distinguish between equipment malfunction and operator error 
  • Able to determine operational adequacy

Physical

Sterile processing technicians must be able to perform physical tasks and possess physical capabilities. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Able to perform washing, lifting, and bending to complete decontamination processes on items including instrument carts, trays, bins, and pans of varying sizes.
  • Tactile differentiation involving moisture and temperature.
  • Able to move and lift trays of patient care equipment and instruments, including monitors and intravenous (IV) pumps, up to 25 pounds.
  • Frequently twist, crouch, and stoop and occasionally sit, squat, or kneel.
  • Able to stand for the duration of shift.
  • Able to work in environments featuring variations in odors, noise, temperature, multi-stimuli, and more.

Certification / Registry Exam Eligibility

Sterile Processing Technician graduates will be eligible to take the Certified Registered Central Service Technician (CRCST) exam offered by the International Association of Healthcare Central Service Materiel Management (IAHCSMM).  Graduates who pass the exam will earn the CRCST credential.

Eligibility requirements for the CRCST credential are solely determined by IAHCSMM, and are subject to change at any time. IAHCSMM is an independent organization. AIMS does not guarantee certification/registry exam eligibility.

Program Length

  • 650 clock hours
  • Classroom instruction and lab - 250 hours
  • Clinical internship - 400 hours
  • The day program can be completed in approximately 9 months.
  • The evening program can be completed in approximately 11 months.

Employment Opportunities

  • Sterile Processing Technician
  • Surgical Processing Technician
  • Central Service Technician
  • Central Sterile Technician
  • Central Supply Technician
  • Processing Technician

Minimum Admission Requirements

  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • Passing score on the Wonderlic Scholastic Level Exam

Professional Licensure Disclosure

AIMS Education has determined that its Sterile Processing Technician curriculum meets the state educational requirements for licensure or certification in New Jersey. If you live outside of New Jersey or you are planning to seek employment in another state, please review our professional licensure disclosures for more information.

* New Jersey currently has no state licensure requirements for this profession. However, New Jersey law mandates that all personnel involved in sterile processing shall be certified through a national sterile processing program recognized by the NJ Department of Health and Senior Services within three years of employment. AIMS graduates who pass the CRCST exam will be nationally certified through IAHCSMM.

Upcoming Start Dates

Start Dates
Schedule
Program Length
Day Classes
February 14, 2022
Monday - Thursday
9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
9 months
Evening Classes
TBD
Monday - Thursday
5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
11 months

Additional information regarding the class schedule, program length, internship schedule, and school holidays, is available on the academic calendar page.

Employer Testimonials

Accreditations

AIMS Education is institutionally accredited by the Middle State Association of Colleges and Schools (MSA-CESS) and the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES).

Graduate Spotlight

David Vida

David Vida

David is a graduate of the Sterile Processing Technician program. After graduation, he became a certified registered central service technician (CRCST) and was hired as a sterile processing technician at JFK Medical Center.

Program Gallery

Visit Our Campus

Take the first step in achieving your career goals by visiting the AIMS campus. During your school visit you'll get to meet one-on-one with an admissions specialist. They'll help you choose the right career path and answer any questions you have. You'll also get the chance to tour the AIMS campus, including all of our classrooms, medical labs, and student facilities.