Sterile processing technicians are behind-the-scenes heroes.
Their work impacts every patient in the facility.
Without them, medical instruments would be germ-ridden, resulting in serious infections.
Let’s take a look at how to become a sterile processing technician in Oklahoma, and what you need to know about the job.
- Steps to Become a Sterile Processing Technician in Oklahoma
- Sterile Processing Technician Schools in Oklahoma
- Sterile Processing Technician Schools in Oklahoma – Summary Table
- Frequently Asked Questions
Steps to Become a Sterile Processing Technician in Oklahoma
There are several steps to becoming a sterile processing technician in Oklahoma.
The process can take a few months to one year to complete.
These steps include:
- High school Diploma or Equivalent
- Preparing for Certification
- Obtaining Certification
- Find an Employer
High School Diploma
The first step to becoming a sterile processing technician is to obtain a high school diploma or equivalent.
While not all training programs require you to graduate before beginning the program, most do.
Preparing for Certification as a Sterile Processing Technician
It’s important to note that there are no specific education or certification requirements to become a sterile processing technician in Oklahoma.
However, it is strongly advised to gain the knowledge to perform the job properly and obtain a certification.
This will help you find a job in your chosen field.
You may also get higher pay than someone who is uncertified.
A sterile processing technician program isn’t required to become certified.
However, certification does require passing an extensive knowledge exam, and 400 hours of hands-on experience.
We recommend that you begin by attending a sterile processing training program, and then get hands-on experience through an internship.
However, you may choose to self-study by purchasing reference books, including Central Service Technical Manual, ANSI/AAMI ST79, and AORN’s Guidelines for Perioperative Practice (2019).
It’s also possible to prepare for certification through hands-on experience, although finding an internship without attending a training program can be difficult.
The hands-on requirement requires experience in specific areas.
You can get hands-on training before taking the certification exam, or in the six months after passing the exam.
However, the knowledge gained through experience will certainly help you pass the certification test, so we recommend obtaining experience first, and then certification.
You’ll need experience in the following areas:
- Decontamination (120 hours)
- Preparing & Packaging Instruments (120 hours)
- Sterilization & Disinfection (96 hours)
- Storage & Distribution (24 hours)
- Quality Assurance Processes (24 hours)
- Equipment (16 hours)
Once you have the knowledge necessary to pass the certification exam, and you’ve met the 400-hour hands-on requirement, you can take the certification exam.
We recommend getting certification through the Healthcare Sterile Processing Association.
You’ll need to pay $140 to take the exam and obtain your certification.
Get Hired as a Sterile Processing Technician
Once you’ve obtained your certification, you are ready to find a job as a sterile processing technician.
The majority of sterile processing technicians work in hospitals.
However, there are also opportunities in dental offices, doctors’ offices, and urgent care clinics.
Sterile Processing Technician Schools in Oklahoma
Unfortunately, there are no in-person schools that offer a sterile processing technician diploma or degree in Oklahoma.
However, there are a few online programs that you can consider.
US Career Institute
- Length of Program: self-paced, 12-24 months
- Cost: $979-$1279
- Degree or Diploma: Diploma
US Career Institute offers a self-paced online program to become a sterile processing technician.
Most students complete the course in 12-24 months.
Because it’s self-paced, you can work while you study.
You may find an entry-level job in a hospital while you work towards your sterile processing technician diploma and certification.
This gives you a head start.
The cost is $979 if you pay in full.
If you choose to make payments, the cost is $1,379.
You’ll make payments of $69 for 18 months.
- Length of Program: 14 weeks
- Cost: $4,000
- Degree or Diploma: Diploma
MedCerts offers the training you need to get started as a sterile processing technician.
The program can be completed in only 14 weeks.
The curriculum is video-based and prepares you to take the CRST exam, so you can become certified.
The cost of the program is $4,000.
However, financing options are available.
- Length of Program: 8 months
- Cost: $10,704
- Degree or Diploma: Diploma
If you want to further your education after becoming a sterile processing technician, you should consider Herzing.
When you complete the program, you’ll receive a diploma.
However, you’ll earn 24 credits through the program, which can be applied towards a degree in a related healthcare field.
You can earn your sterile processing diploma in as little as 8 months.
This is the most expensive program on our list, but the college credits make it worth the cost, particularly if you may further your education later on.
Financial aid, scholarships, and financing options are available.
Sterile Processing Technician Schools in Oklahoma – Summary Table
Top 3 Schools in Oklahoma
|US Career Institute||2001 Lowe St, Fort Collins, CO 80525, USA|
|Herzing||1600 South Arlington St, 100. Akron, OH 44306|
The average salary for a sterile processing technician in Oklahoma is $41,992.
The lowest salary is $33,082.
The highest salary is $54,785.
This is slightly lower than the national average.
The national average salary for a sterile processing technician is $45,891.
The lowest salary is $36,214, and the highest is $59,977.Annual Salary Range:
Average Salary of Sterile Processing Technicians in Oklahoma
Regional Salary in Oklahoma
|Region||Employed||Avg. Annual Salary||Avg. Hourly Pay||Top 10% Annual Salary||Bottom 10% Annual Salary|
|Oklahoma City, OK||300||$39,610||$19.04||$49,560||$31,020|
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are sterile processing technicians in demand in Oklahoma?
Yes, sterile processing technicians are in demand in Oklahoma.
The demand for this career has grown 58% since 2018.
Are there annual license fees?
Once you have your certification, you won’t need to pay an annual fee in Oklahoma.
Are there different levels of sterile processing technicians in Oklahoma?
Some facilities classify sterile processing technicians into different levels, but there’s no state or national standard for this.
However, there are certifications that you can obtain after your basic CRST certification.
Is the sterile processing certification exam difficult?
The exam to become a sterile processing technician in Oklahoma is challenging.
Only 75% of those who take the exam pass.