When you were a kid, did people used to ask you what you wanted to be when you grew up? What did you say? What do you say now? If healthcare has always been on your list of possibilities, you may want to consider a career as a sterile processing technician.
Benefits of career
There are many different roles in healthcare, but all of them have an impact on patients. Sterile techs are no exception; although they work behind the scenes, they have a tremendous impact on patient care. In fact, their work is essential to keeping patients healthy and safe. They are responsible for washing, sterilizing, cooling, assembling, packaging and storing all medical devices and instruments.
These are critical functions; for patients, they can mean the difference between life and death. Patients are even more susceptible to infections than the general public, so ensuring that facilities and equipment are sterile is extremely important.
Sterile tech programs are not lengthy, but they are rigorous. They cover all of the material sterile techs need to excel in this field. Upon completion of a sterile tech educational program, graduates know how to clean, disinfect, and distribute sterilized instrumentation and equipment to an emergency department, intensive care unit, the labor and delivery unit, operating room, and other areas of healthcare facilities.
In addition to hospitals, healthcare facilities may also include surgical centers, medical offices, clinics, and dental offices. Some sterile techs may prefer to work in a hospital, and others may prefer a smaller setting such as a medical office or clinic. The educational programs provide participants with the knowledge, skills, and abilities to excel in the role in any setting.
Salaries for this position vary, depending on the workplace, geographic location, and other factors. However, pay for sterile processing technicians in the United States sits in the ballpark of $14.81 per hour. Most report receiving medical coverage from their employers, and a strong majority collect dental insurance.
There is some room for advancement in the field. Sterile processing managers earn an average income of $62,000 per year, and sterile processing supervisors earn an average of $44,000 per year. In addition, if overtime is available where they work, sterile techs who work for an hourly wage may have the opportunity to earn extra income through overtime hours.
Lots of jobs
People need healthcare, and healthcare providers need sterile techs. That means that there are jobs available in the field; in fact, the job growth in this area between 2012 and 2022 is at 20 percent. Not surprisingly, the great majority of these jobs are in hospitals. Outpatient care centers have the next highest number of jobs in the field, followed by physician offices and dental offices.
Is this for you?
At 365 Healthcare Staffing Services, we specialize in the recruitment and placement of healthcare professionals in per diem, travel, and permanent assignments in healthcare facilities across the country. Is this the career for you? If so, we wish you all the best in 2018 and beyond as you get started. We’d love to work with you when you’re looking for an assignment; give us a call when the time comes: 310.436.3650.