A Career as a Sterile Processing Technician in South Dakota
Sterile processing technicians are essential to the healthcare industry, as their work ensures that patients can receive safe and effective treatments without the risk of contamination. This assurance is due to the abilities of sterile processing technicians whose job it is to receive contaminated equipment and decontaminate it per manufacturer specifications and hospital policy. Working in this profession requires a meticulous nature, an eye for detail, a high threshold for stress and good physical stamina. The job often involves long hours including ample opportunities for overtime.
Sterile processing departments are hubs of activity, with equipment on continuous rotation in and out. Technicians are responsible for tracking the inventory as it moves through the department, keeping records of cleaning and maintenance and ensuring it is redelivered to the appropriate departments’ stock.
It is not uncommon for sterile processing technicians to spend a good portion of the day pushing carts of equipment throughout the hospital. Strict controls need to be continuously maintained in a central sterile processing unit, and, as such, technicians frequently perform quality control testing.
Sterile Processing Technician Licenses in South Dakota
You will not need to acquire a license to work as a sterile processing technician in South Dakota. However, sterile processing technicians need to be highly knowledgeable and adhere to proper procedures at all times. As such, those working in a central processing department should expect regular scrutiny and will need to undergo adequate training.
Training Programs for Sterile Processing Technicians in South Dakota
As mentioned above, working as a central processing technician requires a great deal of knowledge about the types of equipment used in medical and surgical procedures and the methods for decontaminating and sterilizing them. This expertise includes understanding the various levels of cleaning and the equipment and solvents used in the cleaning process. Acquiring this essential knowledge is generally done in one of two ways: through on-the-job training or a reputable training program.
In South Dakota, the following programs are available:
- Western Dakota Tech in Rapid City offers an Associate of Applied Science degree in Surgical Technology. More than just sterile processing techniques, the program focuses on preparing students to provide assistance in an operating room. Applicants to the program will need to provide proof of a high school diploma or equivalent.
- Penn Foster – To complete the Penn Foster program, you must pass a total of 12 sterile processing-related courses. Most successful graduates require six to nine months to achieve this goal. Graduates are ready to sit for the IAHCSMM exam.
- MedCerts offers a 13-week course that prepares you for the CRCST exam. Financial aid is available, and the program can help place you with a local site for clinical experience.
Sterile Processing Technician Accreditation in South Dakota
Although not universally required, credentialing is common in the industry. In fact, attaining certification is a great way to accelerate your career by showcasing your knowledge and professionalism to potential employers.
There are many organizations through which you can achieve credentialing, and you may want to research the most popular ones in your area prior to deciding which is the best for you. Keep in mind that specific organizations may have preferences as well.
Sterile Processing Technician Wages in South Dakota
According to data collected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), sterile processing technicians in South Dakota made between $25,650 and $40,720 in 2019. The average income in the same year was $32,720, or $15.73 per hour. The highest incomes in the profession were earned by those in the technical consulting services and wholesale electronic broker industries.
Opportunities for Sterile Processing Technicians in South Dakota
According to Projections Central, sterile processing jobs in South Dakota are on the rise, with a 12.5 percent growth predicted over the next 10 years. The BLS reports that most sterile processing technicians work at hospitals, dentists’ offices, outpatient care centers and physicians’ offices.
In South Dakota, potential employers include Sanford Health, Avera Health, KLA, Monument Health, Affirm, Inc. and St. Luke’s University Health Network.