How to Become a Sterile Processing Technician in New Hampshire
A sterile processing technician plays an indispensable role in providing medical equipment and supplies that are sterile and safe. This is an important function that can help to prevent infections for patients and medical staff. In this role, you may also be called a central service technician.
Working as a sterile processing technician is a perfect career choice for anyone who would like to work in the healthcare field in New Hampshire but would rather not have continuous contact with patients. Instead, you’ll be behind the scenes decontaminating, sterilizing, preparing, distributing and storing instruments, supplies and equipment.
New Hampshire Sterile Processing Technician Requirements
While some individuals can secure employment as a sterile processing technician through on-the-job training, most attend postsecondary training. To be accepted to a community college or other certification program, you’ll need to have a high school diploma or the equivalent. Training programs usually include classes in science, infection control and sterilization procedures, sterile processing regulations, preventing contamination and medical instrument packaging.
Training to Become a Sterile Processing Technician in New Hampshire
Formal training programs may be completed in a year or less, or you can choose to pursue an associate’s degree at a community college. Some training programs for sterile processing technicians in New Hampshire include:
- Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center. Located in Lebanon, NH, this medical center offers a surgical technologist training program that can be completed in 11 months. Students receive 695 hours of foundational coursework, 200 hours of lab skills practice and 600+ hours of clinical training in a professional operating room setting.
- Concord Hospital. This hospital in Concord offers a surgical technology program that can be completed in four semesters. Students learn through both classroom and clinical training. A maximum of 10 students are admitted each year.
- Great Bay Community College. This community college school in Portsmouth, NH, offers an Associate in Science in Surgical Technology consisting of 70-71 credits. The curriculum includes basic and advanced instrumentation, supplies and equipment, medical terminology, microbiology and hands-on training in assigned clinical settings.
Is Certification Required for New Hampshire Sterile Processing Technician?
The state of New Hampshire doesn’t require sterile processing technicians to be certified, but there are national organizations that offer testing to obtain certification. Obtaining certification is a way to demonstrate to potential employers that you have the knowledge needed to accurately prepare and sterilize equipment and surgical instruments. Organizations that offer certification testing for central service technicians include the Certification Board for Sterile Processing and Distribution (CBSPD) and the International Association of Healthcare Central Service Management (IAHCSMM).
Job Outlook and Salary Range for Sterile Processing Technicians in New Hampshire
In the state of New Hampshire, the average annual pay for sterile supply processing technicians was $35,940 as of October 2020, according to Salary.com. Your pay can vary based on training, experience and location and usually ranges between $31,800 and $40,600 per year in this state.
There’s usually steady growth for all careers in the healthcare field. Projected growth for medical equipment preparers is estimated to be 6 percent between 2019 and 2029, faster than average for all occupations.
Your Career as a Sterile Processing Technician in New Hampshire
It’s impossible for doctors to do surgical procedures without access to instruments and equipment that are free of contamination. Every hospital in New Hampshire needs people in this role. You may also find employment opportunities in the offices of oral surgeons, dentists or outpatient surgical clinics.
Depending on the setting of your job, you may be able to work predictable hours, or you may have to work shifts at different hours such as days, nights or weekends. There’s a need for decontaminated and sterilized instruments and equipment at facilities all over the state of New Hampshire, especially in larger cities such as Manchester and Nashua.