What does a Sterile Processing Tech do?

by | Mar 1, 2016 | Health & Medical

Recent Articles



There are quite a few careers in the medical field that are kind of like the unsung heroes, so to speak. Everyone who works in the healthcare industry plays an important role in making sure that each procedure is performed with 100% accuracy. A sterile processing technician works out of the limelight but plays a big part in the surgical process. It is hard to imagine how these procedures would go without them in the picture. If you want to become a sterile processing technician it is important to first know what the job consists of.

Primary Responsibilities

Simply put, a sterile processing technician is responsible for cleaning and sterilizing medical instruments, supplies, and other equipments in preparing them for surgical procedures. It is a very important part of the surgical process because there are so many different pieces of instruments used every single day and they have to be sterilized so they can be reused safely. This helps to decrease the chances of passing on infections that could have been prevented.

However, they have many other tasks that they are responsible for.

Deliver and provide sterile supplies and take contaminated supplies away
They manually clean equipment and instruments to get rid of any of the contaminates that they may contain
Maintenance and operation of decontamination equipment
Triple checking all instruments to make sure that they are 100% clean at all times
Report any issues that arise with sterilizing equipment
Storing and record keeping of sterile supplies
Remove any waste matter from carts and equipment
Restocking crash carts
Keep record of all items that have been sterilized and cleaned
Operation sterilization equipment such as an autoclave

Work Environments

Sterile processing technicians work in a variety of different types of healthcare facilities.
However, many of them work in surgical centers as well as hospitals. There are specialized departments that distribute the sterile processing requirements. There is a step by step process that is required when you sterilize medical equipment.


Wherever it is that they work they play a very crucial role. Even though it does not happen very often, disease such as HIV and hepatitis can be spread through unsterilized equipment. They help to prevent unwanted infections and keep patients safe during and after the surgical process. These technicians work hard to make sure that no one acquires a nosocomial or hospital-derived infection , they only get better.

Altamont Healthcare provides training in sterile processing and other careers in the medical field. Visit their website to find out more about the different programs they offer.

Related Articles