A sterilization technician works in places like hospitals, clinics, and dental offices. He or she cleans and decontaminates the various instruments used in routine operations and procedures. The technician is typically provided with a fairly inflexible list of procedures and guidelines to follow. The technician performs general cleaning and sterilizing of all instruments, but in certain situations where more specialized instruments are called for, he or she also must be aware of patient scheduling and any posted needs by medical professionals. That way, the tech can have the proper tools sterilized and prepared when needed.
Sterilization technicians typically work with a variety of cleaning and sterilization chemicals. They will also work with automated heat-application sterilization systems. Typically, the technician will carefully place instrumentation, tools, and probes into a system, check levels of cleaning solutions and sterilization compounds, and run a three-stage cleaning procedure. These systems typically end with chemical and/or heat sterilization applied to the instruments, and the technician then carefully moves them to surgical carts in a way that prevents any potential contamination.
Because a career as a sterilization technician does not have a rigorous educational component, this job traditionally serves as an introduction into the healthcare field. It is typically filled by current or prospective workers in the nursing field or related areas. Technicians typically report to a head tech or registered nurse, who will check and monitor the technicians work processes for safety and accuracy. Most sterilization technicians work in clinical environments during regular business hours. Some employers require these techs to have a high school diploma.
Sterilization Technician Tasks
Monitor and review inventory, ensuring hygienic and appropriate storage.
Assemble, organize, and deliver equipment and tools.
Document inventory and update records, communicating issues.