Sterile processing technologists are necessary in the medical field because they make sure that all instruments in operations or surgeries are clean. This is extremely important, as any instruments used in medical procedures may cause infection or even death if they are not cleaned properly.
The job of a sterile processing technologist is very repetitive but very important nonetheless. Sterile processing technologists are members of operating room teams. They use special equipment to sterilize surgical instruments. The equipment they use may employ chemical means or heat to kill anything that may be harmful on these surgical instruments. Their work environment is in hospitals and surgical centers. Their hours of employment vary widely. If there is a surgery to be done, they are there. Sterile processing technologists hold shifts, but the shifts may be day, evening, night, or weekend shifts. They may work with another sterile processing technologist, or they may work alone in their position. The individual whom they report to is usually the director of the particular department they in which they work. Examples of these departments may be cardiac, neurological, gastric, and other departments specializing in certain body parts or systems.
Required for this position is a high school diploma and certification from a training program specialized for sterile processing technologists. They must always be very thoughtful and detail-oriented.
Sterile processing technologists may not have an exciting position, as what they do is generally the same day in and day out. However, they may feel a strong sense of self-worth and importance, as their functions are absolutely necessary in protecting the health of surgical patients. If they do not do their job correctly, patients may have health complications or even die as a result.
Sterile Processing Technologist Tasks
- Monitor inventory and order supplies at appropriate intervals.
- Disassemble and reassemble instruments, surgical trays or equipment to clean and repair.
- Decontaminate, process, sterilize, and store equipment and instruments.
- Deliver sterilized equipment to usage areas.