Becoming a Sterile Processing Technician in Delaware
Working in the healthcare field doesn’t always have to involve direct patient care. Sterile processing technicians, also called central supply technicians or medical equipment preparers, are healthcare workers who make sure that supplies and medical equipment are clean, sterile and decontaminated, which is an important part of infection prevention. This role also involves storing and delivering equipment and supplies, making sure medical equipment is in good working order and taking inventory of stock on hand.
Requirements to Become a Delaware Sterile Processing Technician
Postsecondary training in sterile processing is expected by most employers in Delaware, although in rare cases there’s an opportunity to learn the needed skills through on-the-job training. To be accepted to a training program in a vocational school or community college, you’ll need to have a high school diploma or the equivalent. It’s not unusual to be expected to pass a background check and a drug test to work in healthcare settings.
Delaware Training Programs to Become a Sterile Processing Technician
Training programs can be completed in a year or less, or you can pursue a two-year degree at a community college. In these training programs, you’ll learn medical terminology, sterile processing regulations and procedures, medical instrument packaging and infection control. Delaware training programs to become a sterile processing technician include:
- Delaware Technical Community College. Located in Dover, DE, this is the only associate degree in surgical technology in Delaware. It’s a two-year program that includes science courses such as anatomy and physiology, microbiology and pharmacology along with focused classroom and hands on training in surgical technology.
- Harris School of Business. This career school with locations in Dover, DE, and Voorhees, NJ, offers a program in surgical technology, which prepares students for entry-level positions. Students learn medical law and ethics, instrumentation and sterilization procedures.
Certification for Sterile Processing Technicians in Delaware
Certification isn’t a requirement to work as a sterile processing technician in Delaware. Obtaining certification by passing a test through a national organization such as the Certification Board for Sterile Processing and Distribution (CBSPD) or the International Association of Healthcare Central Service Management (IAHCSMM) is a way to prove to potential employers that you have the knowledge needed to fill this role in any healthcare setting.
Salary Range and Projected Employment for Sterile Processing Technicians in Delaware
As of October 2020, the average annual pay for sterile supply processing technicians in Delaware was $37,180, according to Salary.com. The amount you’re paid can vary depending on work setting, experience and training and usually ranges between $32,900 and $42,000 per year.
When you’re considering a career, it’s a good idea to choose one that will continue to have steady growth. Most if not all careers in the healthcare field are expected to experience steady growth. The projected employment growth for medical equipment preparers is expected to be 6 percent between 2019 and 2029, faster than average for all occupations.
Working as a Sterile Processing Technician in Delaware
For patients to be able to trust that surgical procedures are safe, they need to be sure that steps are being taken to prevent infections. When you work as a sterile processing technician, you’re providing a valuable service that makes medical and dental procedures as safe and free of contamination as possible.
The largest number of opportunities to work as a sterile processing technician in Delaware is in hospitals, but you may be able to find opportunities in offices of oral surgeons and dentists as well as outpatient surgical centers. Your working hours may be during the day, or in some settings you may have to work evenings or weekends. Sterile processing technicians are needed all over Delaware, especially in more populated areas such as Wilmington and Dover.