Sterile Techs are trending in healthcare the same way safe surgeries are! Of course, sterile processing and distribution technicians (SPD techs or CPD techs) are in demand and always will be. They perform some of the most critical safety tasks that exist in the healthcare sector, preventing infection and the spread of illnesses by working behind the scenes to sterilize all surgical instruments. SPD techs are vital to many different parts of the hospital: the OR, Labor and Delivery, Emergency Room, and all other patient care areas that require a sterile environment.
Beyond cleaning instruments, sterile techs must also know procedures for storing them and moving them around safely; that includes, of course, protecting themselves on the job. Infection control standards are higher than ever, and Personal Protective Equipment must be worn with competency and precision—traits that an SPD tech should have in spades. A typical hospital uses and reuses TENS OF THOUSANDS of medical instruments every month, and the cleaning, storing and repackaging of these items is the responsibility of the sterile techs on call. Their jobs are distinctly different from that of a surgical technologist, though the career trend for many sterile techs is to segue into surgical technology careers, which do pay more at a median annual income of $41,790.
That can help explain if sterile processing technician is a good job in terms of the skills and daily routine, but what about the salary of sterile processing technician career outlook?
Want to know what SPD Techs are earning these days, and if you need to be certified?
Look for that information under the category of “medical equipment preparers” at the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Their salary depends on where you live and your experience, but in May 2013 the median wage reported for the profession was $33,310. The good news is SPD techs advance into supervisory positions, like lead tech or department manager. The job outlook is rosy in the sterile processing department, with employment expected to grow by 17 percent between now and 2020!
If you are thinking of a career as a sterile tech, you should know about the organizations that can help you get certified. Right now certification is only required in New Jersey; however, the same mandate is pending in New York and Pennsylvania, too. Healthcare employers prefer and strongly encourage titles like “Certified Sterile Processing and Distribution Technician” or CSPDT. These are the two main organizations that can help sterile techs keep trending upward: Certification Board for Sterile Processing and Distribution (CBSPD) and International Association of Healthcare Central Service Materiel Management (IAHCSMM).
IAHCSMM and the CBSPD both require you to pass an exam, and earn continuing education points in order to renew your certification down the road—but it’s definitely worth it. Many hospitals will pay you more if you’re certified, and 365 Healthcare Staffing Services WILL FIND HIGH PAYING WORK FOR YOU that much faster! Call 310-436-3650 or apply online today to become a critical factor in positive patient outcomes, as well as an invaluable hospital team member! We’ll explain why being a sterile processing techincian is a good job and the career outlook for sterile processing technicians in the short-term and long-term.