Advances in medical technology have made surgeries safer. And as our population ages, more operations and procedures are being performed across America to treat a variety of illnesses. With this increase in surgeries, the demand for sterile processing technicians to prepare surgical equipment, instruments and supplies is likely to rise as well.
Sterile processing technicians are the individuals hospitals and surgical facilities turn to in order to ensure the instruments and equipment used by medical personnel are contaminant-free. Fortis offers a Sterile Processing Technician program at Fortis College in Orange Park, Florida, as well as at many other campuses across the country.
Student in the sterile processing program receive instruction on the proper techniques for cleaning and sterilizing medical instruments and what infection controls methods to use, along with proper handling, transfer, storage, inventory and distribution of the instruments and equipment.
“Sterile processing technicians are employed in hospitals, clinics and out-patient surgery centers – anywhere medical and surgical cleaning and sterilization is required,” said Kevin Toole, National Dean of Sterile Processing Technology programs for Fortis. “Because of the nature of their work, they may have to work or be on call during nights, weekends and holidays, so they also must be able to adjust to flexible working conditions.”
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of sterile processing technicians is expected to increase as much as 19 percent nationally through 2020, with hospitals being the primary employers of these professionals due to the volume of surgical procedures they perform. The U.S. Department of Labor, Employment & Training Administration notes that, nationwide as of 2011 (the latest year for which statistics were available), the median annual salary for medical equipment preparers exceeded $30,000.
This is an exciting career path with promising trends and employment prospects. Sterile processing technicians are important members of surgical teams whose training and expertise are relied upon to enhance patient outcomes. If that sounds like a field you might enjoy, visit www.fortis.edu to learn more about how to prepare for a career in sterile processing.