Becoming a Sterile Processing Technician in New York
The importance of sterile processing technicians in the medical industry cannot be overstated. Cleaning and sterilizing medical equipment is vital to prevent severe complications from medical procedures, including the potential spread of contagions, which lead to patient mortalities. This career is an excellent fit for anyone whose abilities include attention to detail, critical thinking, physical stamina and customer service.
Sterile processing technicians receive used and expired equipment from surgical and medical areas and clean, sterilize and process them for reuse. Technicians are also involved in tracking and delivering inventory to the various departments of a medical center or, in the case of a contract company, to the businesses with whom they hold contracts. The job requires regular quality control including frequent inspection of packaging for openings or tears.
New York Licensing for Sterile Processing Technicians
New York does not require licensing for sterile processing technicians, nor is there any statewide oversight for the career. However, as a healthcare career, the profession will need to meet the specifications of various healthcare regulatory bodies. In fact, this profession tends to be highly regulated due to the extreme importance of sterility in the medical field. Additionally, sterile processing technicians will need to work under a licensed professional, usually a registered nurse.
Training for New York Sterile Processing Technicians
Sterile processing technicians are required to have a high school diploma or equivalent to work in the field. Job-specific training can be acquired either on the job or through a reputable training program. A few of the possible training programs offered in New York State include the following:
- New York Institute of Career Development in New York, NY, offers an online course to earn a Sterile Processing Certificate. The course teaches medical terminology, sterile processing technology, quality assurance, inventory management and workplace skills. Graduates are prepared to achieve certification through an examination.
- Capital Region BOCES in Albany, NY, offers a Sterile Processing Technician Program. Students will be prepared to decontaminate, package and sterilize medical equipment. The school boasts 100 percent job placement for graduates.
- Rochester Educational Opportunity in Rochester, NY, offers a Sterile Processing Technician course. Previous program graduates have found work in hospitals, outpatient surgery centers and contract sterilization organizations.
- University of Buffalo’s Buffalo Educational Opportunity Center offers a Central Sterilization Technician course. The program provides classroom instruction to those with no experience in sterile processing. Graduates will receive a Certificate of Completion.
Sterile processing technicians can acquire certification through various organizations. Requirements may vary by employer, but one popular accreditation is offered by the International Association of Healthcare Central Service Materials Management (IAHCSMM). Attaining a Certified Registered Central Service Technician (CRCST) accreditation is a great way to showcase your professional skills and experience to potential employers.
New York Wages for Sterile Processing Technicians
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), sterile processing technicians in New York made between $30,760 and $61,020 in 2019, with an average annual wage of $45,200. Those starting in the field should expect salaries toward the lower end of the scale, with opportunities to increase earnings with experience. It should be noted that salaries can vary significantly by region, with some of the highest wages in this profession in the New York City metropolitan areas.
Opportunities in New York for Sterile Processing Technicians
This profession is growing in New York, with Projections Central predicting an 18 percent increase in job openings between 2018 and 2028. This data translate to an expected 720 new jobs in the profession over the 10-year period.
A few of the potential employers in New York State include NYU School of Medicine, Ascension Health, SUNY Upstate Medical University and Mount Sinai South Nassau Hospital.