A Career as a Sterile Processing Technician in Louisiana
Are you a detail-oriented person looking for a behind-the-scenes career in healthcare? If so, you might be interested in a career as a sterile processing technician. To learn more about this career and how to get started in the profession, keep reading below.
So what do sterile processing technicians do all day? Sterile processing technicians work in hospitals, physicians’ offices and outpatient surgery centers, decontaminating and sterilizing used medical equipment. The job is vital to keeping patients safe from the spread of infectious particles that can lead to hospital-acquired diseases. Technicians will need to have an in-depth knowledge of medical equipment, sterilizing techniques and solvents, which can be acquired through training.
Sterile processing technicians do much more than cleaning. They are responsible for tracking repairs and maintenance on the equipment they clean, as well as performing inventory control. In fact, the job often requires pushing carts full of supplies throughout the hospital to deliver equipment for reuse. Those working in this profession should expect to work long hours, with weekends, holidays and off-shifts. On-call and overtime are also common to support emergency patient procedures.
Louisiana License Requirements for Sterile Processing Technicians
Louisiana does not have a licensing requirement for sterile processing technicians. However, those who work in this profession are subject to a great deal of scrutiny on a fairly regular basis. This oversight includes supervision by a licensed medical professional and frequent inspections by medical accreditation organizations, local health departments and internal review committees.
Louisiana Programs for Training Sterile Processing Technicians
Since you will need a great deal of knowledge about sterile processing techniques and equipment before working in the field, you will want to acquire training either through a reputable training program or on the job. In either case, a high school diploma or equivalent is a required prerequisite.
In Louisiana, there are a few programs for sterile processing training, including the following:
- Southern University in Shreveport offers a Sterile Processing Technician Certificate. Students in the program are prepared for careers in sterile processing, materials management and distribution. Students train through classroom instruction, laboratory time and clinical experience.
- Fortis in Baton Rouge offers a Sterile Processing Technician training. Students learn about the different types of medical equipment, cleaning procedures and how to store the equipment to avoid contamination. The program includes classroom instruction, laboratory training and real-world experience.
- Sowela Technical Community College in Lake Charles, LA, offers a Certificate in Sterile Processing Technology. This 18-hour program will prepare students for a career in sterile processing.
There is no universally accepted credential for sterile processing technicians, and certification is not necessary in all cases. However, there are many accreditations that sterile processing technicians can achieve to help boost their career potential. In addition, various organizations may require those they hire to be certified, so you may wish to research what is expected in your area. In general, credentialing will help you to become employed, achieve promotion and increase your earning potential.
Salary Projections for Sterile Processing Technicians in Louisiana
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), sterile processing technicians reported salaries between $22,340 and $40,790 in 2019. Average wages in the state were $30,930 in the same year. This wage is somewhat below the national average salary of $39,530 for this profession.
Working as a Sterile Processing Technician in Louisiana
Sterile processing technicians in Louisiana find work at organizations such as Christus Health, Steris Corporation, Ochsner Health, Lane Regional Medical Center, Sigma Systems, Inc. and Hancock Medical.
In Louisiana, sterile processing technicians can expect significant job growth in the coming years. In fact,Projections Central predicts a 7.7 percent increase in jobs between 2018 and 2028.