How to Become a Sterile Processing Technician in South Carolina
Sterile processing technicians bear a great deal of responsibility for patient health and safety within a medical facility. These vital technicians ensure the proper cleaning and sterilization of medical equipment, keeping patients safe from the transmission of infectious diseases. Due to the essential and meticulous nature of the work, those considering this career should possess critical thinking skills and an eye for detail. Technicians should expect to perform visual inspections of packaging along with other quality control measures on a regular basis.
Working in the field requires good physical stamina, as sterile processing technicians are responsible for tracking and delivering inventory. Because technicians often work in a hospital setting, the hours are irregular and may include weekends, off-hours, holidays and on-call. If this career sounds like a good fit for you and you are wondering how to get started, this article has the information you need.
State Licensing for Sterile Processing Technicians in South Carolina
South Carolina does not provide statewide oversight for sterile processing technicians, meaning a license is not required to work in the state. However, employers may have requirements for job candidates, including certifications. It is essential to research the requirements of any organization at which you wish to become employed.
Sterile Processing Technician Training in South Carolina
On-the-job training as a sterile processing technician is possible in South Carolina, especially for those who are already employed in a medical center or contract sterile processing company. For those who wish to enter the field directly, there are training programs that can be taken to learn the appropriate skills. In either case, a high school diploma or equivalent is a required prerequisite.
A few potential programs for training in South Carolina include:
- Trident Technical College in Charleston, SC, offers a Sterile Processing Technician course. Students will learn HIPPA and OSHA guidelines, medical terminology, infection control and anatomy.
- Aiken Technical College in Aiken, SC, offers a Surgical Technology program. In addition to learning to process and sterilize surgical equipment, students will learn to handle specimens, maintain equipment and assist physicians in surgical procedures.
- Greenville Technical College in Greenville, SC, offers a Central Sterile Processing Technician course. Students will train to decontaminate, sterilize and redistribute equipment.
- Piedmont Technical College in Greenwood, SC, offers a Diploma in Applied Science in Surgical Technology. Students will learn sterile technique and equipment processing, along with surgical assisting. Upon completion, graduates may pursue an Associate in Applied Science degree in General Technology. See also https://surgicaltechedu.org/sc/
Potential for Career Accreditation
There is no requirement for sterile processing technicians to become certified, but acquiring accreditation can help you achieve promotions and advance your career. Although many organizations offer certification, the International Association of Healthcare Central Service Materials Management (IAHCSMM) is a popular choice for the profession. Their Certified Registered Central Service Technician (CRCST) designation can be earned by passing an examination.
Sterile Processing Technician Earnings in South Carolina
Sterile processing technicians in South Carolina reported an average annual salary of $35,940 in 2019, according to data collected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Wages in the state ranged from $26,190 to $49,040 in the same year. This broad range of salaries could be reflective of regional differences and varying levels of experience.
Opportunities for Sterile Processing Technicians in South Carolina
According to the BLS, most sterile processing technicians work in medical and surgical hospitals, dentists’ offices and outpatient care centers. In South Carolina, the profession is experiencing some growth, with Projections Central predicting a 4.8 percent increase in job openings between 2018 and 2028.
Organizations like the Medical University of South Carolina, Providence Health, Bon Secours Health System, Lexington Medical Center and Hilton Head Hospital are potential employers within the state.