Sterile Processing Technician

Start your future in healthcare as the first line of defense against infection: Help keep patients safe by ensuring a clean, well-prepared medical environment.

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Are you meticulous, detail-oriented, or a self-professed clean freak?

Do you want a career keeping medical environments safe for patients and medical staff?

Are you excited about the idea of working in a variety of medical settings, including general hospitals, public health clinics, private doctors' offices, and specialized surgical centers?

The Job

As a sterile processing technician, you will:

  • Stock, sterilize, package, and prepare tools and equipment used in surgery
  • Take inventory of surgical tools and instruments
  • Ensure the cleanliness and safety of operating rooms, tables, and equipment

With the baby boomer population aging, the job market for Sterile Processing Technicians is expected to grow by 20% from 2012-2020, according to the Bureau of Labor Services.

Begin a rewarding career assuring pristine medical environments by enrolling in our Sterile Processing Technician program.

What to Expect

The Institute for Health Professionals’ Sterile Processing Technician program includes 42 hours of online live lecture, self-directed study and in-class training.

You will learn the basics of sterile processing, including:

  • Infection control and prevention
  • Decontamination, cleaning, disinfection, and sterilization
  • Surgical instruments and storage
  • Distribution and inventory control
  • Microbiology
  • Medical terminology
  • Anatomy & physiology
  • Bonus Features

After you have worked in a sterile processing department for at least a year, and have met a minimum number of hours performing various duties, you may become certified through the Certification Board for Sterile Processing and Distribution, Inc. (CBSPD) and the International Association of Healthcare Central Service Materiel Management (IAHCSMM).

Who should enroll in the Sterile Processing Technician Program?

A career as a Sterile Processing Technician may be right if you are the type of person who:

  • Isn’t bothered by blood or bodily fluids
  • Recognizes the chain of command and follows company policies
  • Demonstrates ability to work under direction, yet independently as needed
  • Has strong verbal and nonverbal communication skills
  • Can build relationships in customer service with operating room staff and vendors
  • Wants to gain mastery of best practices in all areas of sterilization

The Investment

Time: 1 term

42 hours of online and in-hospital training

$1,498 excluding book. Tuition is due at the time of registration, or students may set up a 3 month payment plan with the Portland Community College Business Office. For Information about the payment plan, please visit the PCC Payment Plan webpage.

Meet your Lead Instructor

Jerry Hutchinson, Instructor of Sterile Processing Technician Program
Jerry Hutchison is currently the Manager of Central Sterile Processing at Legacy Good Samaritan Medical Center. He has 20+ years of leadership experience, mostly in healthcare. He considers himself a patient advocate, continually seeking to prevent harm to patients and teaching students to do the same. In his spare time, Jerry loves to travel, go to the beach, work in his garden, and entertain family and friends at home.

How to Enroll

There is an application process. For more information about how to apply, or to have this information emailed to you, please fill out the form on the right of this page.

To apply for the Sterile Processing Technician program:

If you are not a PCC student, create an account.

Mail or deliver a complete Application Packet [pdf]. Make sure you include the required documentation.

We REQUIRE (the following documentation) to be submitted for consideration into the program. Please do not submit original documentation.

18 years of age when class begins

Official Proof of your high school completion or GED certificate. A college or university degree can be substituted for HS diploma or GED Certificate.

Mail or deliver your completed application to:

Attn: Sterile Processing
PCC CLIMB for Health Professionals
1626 SE Water Ave, Room 114
Portland, OR 97214

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use federal financial aid?
No, federal financial aid does not apply to non-credit courses. Students are required to pay in full once they are notified of their acceptance into the program.

How long does this course take to complete?
One term,  42 hours

Will this prepare me for a national certification exam?
Once you have worked in a sterile processing department for 1 year, and meet a minimum number of hours performing a variety of tasks within Sterile Processing, you may obtain certification through the Certification Board for Sterile Processing and Distribution, Inc. (CBSPD) and the International Association of Healthcare Central Service Materiel Management (IAHCSMM).

What vaccinations do I have to have?
  • Titer test result that shows Hep. B immunity” or complete Hep. B series in the last 10 years
  • Tuberculosis Testing (PPD or X-ray for the current year)
  • Influenza Vaccine for current season
  • MMR with second dose Measles
  • Varicella with second (post childhood) titer or immunization
  • Tetanus within last 10 years

Do I have to submit to a drug screen and background check?
Yes, students tentatively selected for the course will be asked to submit a background check to receive final approval and acceptance into the course. Approximate cost to student will be $68.00.

Will incomplete applications be accepted?
No, we will not accept incomplete applications.

Have a more specific question?
For more information, please contact Bem Hanamoto at bem.hanamoto@pcc.edu or 971-722-6627.

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