The job of a sterile processing technician varies from day-to-day and from workplace-to-workplace, therefore, this is just a general overview of what a typical day may look like.

Day-to-Day Operations

The responsibility of a sterile processing technician is a very important and serious one. Your job is to ensure that surgical instruments — and all of their various parts — are cleaned, sterilized, reassembled correctly, packaged, stored, and labeled for future use. In some instances, you will also be responsible for ensuring the sterilization, cleanliness, and safety of operating rooms, tables, and equipment. Each and every part of the instruments must be taken apart to be cleaned and sanitized properly. Every screw, hinge, tube, and crevice must be thoroughly cleaned, flushed, dried, and then sanitized at high temperatures. Then each piece must be reassembled properly for patient safety and surgical effectiveness. Instruments are subsequently delivered to each department for reuse or sent back to the manufacturer for disposal or melting if the material is prone to rusting.

Sterile processing technicians must also protect themselves to prevent contamination or exposure to blood and bodily fluids on each instrument. Most technicians wear gowns, masks, face shields, shoe covers, and two pairs of gloves to protect from fluids and harsh cleaning agents.

Types of Hours You will Work

The shifts of a sterile processing technician vary according to each work environment. Most positions offer three shifts, there are also swing shifts and per-diem positions:

7:30am to 3:30pm

3:00pm to 11:00pm

11:00pm to 7:30am

Sterile Processing Techs decontaminate, disinfect, clean, prepare, package, sterilize, store, and deliver all surgical instrumentation and equipment to the operating room for surgery.

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