A central processing technician is an allied healthcare professional who decontaminates, sterilizes, and assembles surgical instruments and equipment. They also assemble invasive and non-invasive medical devices. Many hospital facilities have their own central processing departments where these technicians work. Others may be employed by medical and surgical supply companies. When employed by a hospital, the techs generally report to a manager or supervisor within the Central Service department.  


The first thing central processing technicians do when they arrive for their shift is check the instruments and equipment that need to be sterilized. They load the sterilizers, turn them on, and then begin to prep the instruments and equipment for sterilization. This involves taking apart complex instruments, such as microscopes, and cleaning each component thoroughly. Once everything is clean, they load it into the sterilizer and set it to run.  


While the sterilizer is running, central processing technicians check on the status of the sterile supply room. They restock items as needed and make sure that all of the supplies are properly organized.  


Once everything is taken care of in the sterile supply room, central processing technicians take care of any instruments or equipment that need to be repaired. This might involve replacing a broken component or recalibrating a piece of equipment. After that, they document their work in the hospital’s computer system and then restock any supplies that were used during their shift.  


If you’re interested in working in healthcare but don’t want direct patient contact, becoming a central processing technician might be your perfect career choice! Central processing technicians play an important role in keeping hospitals running efficiently. They are responsible for maintaining sterility in the surgical environment, repairing instruments and equipment, and stocking supplies. 


If you’re interested in becoming a central processing technician, you’ll need to complete a certified surgical technologist program. With this career, you can expect to perform a variety of tasks, including decontaminating equipment, assembling surgical instruments, and sterilizing medical devices. Once you’ve completed your certification, you’ll be able to find employment in hospitals, medical supply companies, or other healthcare facilities.