Modern healthcare techniques and practice is centered around effective infection control.
This starts with sterilizing all equipment used to treat a patient.
This equipment ranges from the mirrors dental hygienists use to look at the back of a patient’s teeth to high-tech surgical equipment used during a heart transplant.
The sterilization and maintenance of this equipment aren’t the responsibility of a random worker.
Instead, medical locations hire sterile processing technicians to maintain high safety against disease and bacteria.
Keep reading to learn more about how to become a sterile processing technician in Texas!
- Steps to Become a Sterile Processing Technician in Texas
- Sterile Processing Technician Schools in Texas
- Sterile Processing Technician Schools in Texas – Summary Table
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Do sterile processing technicians have to work a lot of overtime?
- What are the Texas requirements to enter a sterile processing program?
- What are some critical skills a sterile processing technician can possess?
- Does the Texas government regulate sterile processors?
- What does a sterile processing technician do?
Steps to Become a Sterile Processing Technician in Texas
Although Texas doesn’t require certification or licensure, there is an essential process to become a sterile processor, which includes the following:
One: Finish High School
All employers and training programs require a high school degree.
For high school students interested in this career path, taking classes like chemistry, biology, and medicine can be of significant value.
Many students apply to a program before graduating.
Two: Select a Sterile Processing Technician School
Reputable sterile processing technician programs are available online, in trade schools, and in community colleges.
Depending on the program type, completing the education can range from as fast as ten weeks to two years.
Three: Talk to an Advisor
Before enrolling, creating a list of questions and discussing the process with an adviser is essential.
They can answer questions about the field and offer scheduling and course information.
Advisors can also help with financial aid and give candidates the right contacts for different school departments, like career services for post-graduation.
Four: Complete the Program
The next step is to enroll in and complete a program.
Some programs are more difficult than others and may have challenging acceptance requirements.
Most sterile processing technician programs cover the following topics:
- Anatomy and physiology
- Disinfection and cleaning
- Infection prevention and control
- Inventory management
- Medical terminology
- Storing and using surgical instruments
Five: Finish an internship
While pursuing a diploma, students can apply for internships, so they are lined up after graduation.
Clinical internships further develop classroom techniques and concepts which can be used in a practical environment.
In addition, many sterile processing technician interns earn permanent employment from the internship.
Six: Complete the Certification Exam
CBSPD (Certification Board for Sterile Processing and Distribution) and IAHCSMM (International Association of Healthcare Central Service Material Management) are two sterile processing technician accrediting bodies.
Both organizations offer a certification exam leading to certification, which is valid for five years.
Seven: Seek Employment
The final goal of this process is to find employment.
After completing a program and internship and earning a certification, graduates will be highly marketable to employers and well-prepared for an actual medical environment.
Sterile Processing Technician Schools in Texas
While Texas has a variety of sterile processing technician schools, some of the best include the following:
Austin Community College
The sterile processing program offered at Austin Community College features clinical rotations for firsthand training and on-site opportunities.
This gives students direct access to employers for career development and as potential hires post-graduation.
In addition, upon completion of the course, graduates are well-prepared to sit for the Certification Board for Sterile Processing and Distribution exam.
Completing this exam can boost candidates’ status during the job search.
Houston Community College
Houston Community College offers two sterile processing options: on-campus or an online hybrid.
The program starts with one semester of lectures and instruction.
The second semester requires hands-on training through clinical rotations at local medical locations.
Tarrant County College
Tarrant County College boasts a 16-credit sterile processing program in Dallas.
The school requires two lab and classwork semesters to complete part one of the course.
Part two requires 240 hours of clinical rotations at approved local facilities.
Sterile Processing Technician Schools in Texas – Summary Table
Top 3 Schools in Texas
|Austin Community College||6101 Highland Campus Dr, Austin, TX 78752, United States|
|Houston Community College||1300 Holman St, Houston, TX 77004, USA|
|Tarrant County College||300 Trinity Campus Cir, Fort Worth, TX 76102, USA|
The average U.S. annual pay for a sterile processing technician is $45,000, ranging from $36,200 to $60,000. The average Texas annual pay is slightly higher at $45,600, ranging from $36,000 to $59,600.Annual Salary Range:
Average Salary of Sterile Processing Technicians in Texas
Frequently Asked Questions
Do sterile processing technicians have to work a lot of overtime?
Sterile processing technicians who work for a dedicated hospital or a medical facility usually don’t work longer than 40 hours per week.
However, contractors can perform all shifts and pick up as much work as possible.
While 40 hours isn’t a requirement for contractors, most want to maximize their finances and work beyond that time commitment.
What are the Texas requirements to enter a sterile processing program?
Since the government doesn’t regulate this position, employers must find ways to identify qualified candidates.
This is accomplished by developing in-house standards all applicants must meet, which include:
- At least 18 when applying.
- Proof of high school graduation.
- Training or experience in the field.
Additionally, many employers request the national sterile processing certification, which proves the candidate’s ability.
What are some critical skills a sterile processing technician can possess?
Attention to detail is one of the essential skills the best sterile processors possess.
Technicians are responsible for preparing and maintaining medical equipment for safe use, so attention to detail is critical to ensure each step is completed.
Other essential skills include collaboration with medical professionals, communication with medical teams, problem-solving skills when equipment needs repair or adjusting or an emergency, and basic healthcare knowledge.
Does the Texas government regulate sterile processors?
Sterile processing technicians are essential workers but don’t require state licensure.
They also aren’t required to register with the state healthcare oversight board.
Furthermore, Texas-based sterile processing technicians don’t need national certification.
What does a sterile processing technician do?
Sterile processing technicians are responsible for all aspects of medical equipment at hospitals and dentist offices.
This includes sterilization between uses, repairing broken equipment, performing preventative maintenance, logging the results, ensuring effective equipment operation, and installing new equipment.
Also, since medical equipment changes and advances regularly, sterile processing technicians must be updated on the latest hardware releases by attending seminars, trade shows, and training sessions for new equipment.