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How Can You Prepare for the CRCST Certification?

The Certified Registered Central Service Technician (CRCST) exam is offered by the International Association of Healthcare Central Service Materiel Management (IAHCSMM). Passing this exam indicates that the individual has demonstrated the experience, knowledge, and skills necessary to serve competently as a Central Service Technician, or sterile tech. How can you prepare for this exam? We have some helpful tips for you.

Work experience

Hands-on learning is an important part of a sterile tech’s background, and it can make a big difference in preparing for the exam. To be eligible for the CRCST exam, you need 400 hours of work experience; however, you may accumulate your experience before the exam or finish accumulating it within six months of passing the exam.

It’s important to note that if you take the test before completing your 400 hours of work experience, you will be granted provisional certification if you pass the exam. Many people choose to complete the 400 hours before taking the exam because they feel that it helps prepare them and increase confidence when they take the exam.


If you enroll in an educational program to learn about sterile processing, you will learn infection control techniques to keep hospitals and other medical facilities, as well as surgical instruments, safe and free from the spread of diseases. You’ll also gain a background in microbiology.

You’ll lean other things, including duties of the sterile processing technician, aseptic procedures, HIPAA regulations, proper decontamination, sterilization, and packaging techniques. The exact content will vary from one program to another, but all of the information will be helpful when you take the CRCST exam.

Study time and materials

When you are preparing for any type of exam, it’s very helpful to know what kind of questions might be asked. Practice exams help with that, and they also provide useful guidelines about the material that might be covered on the exam. Fortunately, there are resources that give you the opportunity to become familiar with the format of the questions and get a sense of how prepared you are for the actual exam.

It’s important to make sure you are using current materials when you study. If you have an outdated reference or study guide, it will not be helpful to you as you are studying and preparing for the exam.

Is this the career 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. Are you considering a career as a sterile tech? We’ll be here for you when you’re ready to find a new assignment; you can call us at 310.436.3650.