Article Table of Contents
- 1 Begin Your Allied Health Career as a Sterile Processing Technician Online!
- 2 Benefits of Online Sterile Processing Training
- 2.1 1. Online SPT Students Can Access Interactive Learning Options to Perfect Their Skills
- 2.2 2. Online Coursework Can Be Less Expensive Than In-Person Learning Options
- 2.3 3. Flexible Learning Options Can Accommodate Busy Student Schedules
- 2.4 4. Self Paced Learning Options Allow Students to Learn at Their Leisure
- 3 Drawbacks of Online Sterile Processing Programs
- 4 Benefits and Drawbacks of Online Sterile Processing Training – Summary Table
- 5 Online Sterile Processing Program – Coursework
- 6 Can You Earn an Online Sterile Processing Certification Completely Online?
- 7 How Long Does it Take to Earn a Sterile Processing Certification Online?
- 8 How Much Does an Online Sterile Processing Certification Cost?
- 9 Types of Online Sterile Processing Certifications
- 10 Schools Offering Online Sterile Processing Programs
- 11 4 Self-Study Tips for Online Sterile Processing Students
- 12 Frequently Asked Questions
- 12.1 Is online sterile processing training as reputable as traditional in-person programs?
- 12.2 Do I need any prior healthcare experience to enroll in an online sterile processing program?
- 12.3 Are there any prerequisites for obtaining a sterile processing certification online?
- 12.4 Can I complete online sterile processing training while working a full-time job?
Begin Your Allied Health Career as a Sterile Processing Technician Online!
America’s hospitals, clinics, and laboratories rely on the skills and training of sterile processing technicians to keep surgical tools free from disease and infections between patients.
If you’re thinking about starting a career as a sterile processing technician — this is the guide for you!
Today’s sterile processing techs play crucial roles in ensuring the safety and well-being of patients treated in hospitals, clinics, and surgical centers.
Learn about the benefits of online sterile processing certification, a few potential drawbacks of taking web-based courses online, and what coursework is required to pass national certification exams below.
Benefits of Online Sterile Processing Training
If you’re looking for an easy way to make a quick entry into the medical field (without spending years of training and earning a high-paying salary), consider starting a career as an SPT online.
SPTs provide supportive healthcare services as behind-the-scenes professionals.
These allied healthcare professionals are highly regarded and critical drivers of patient safety and infection control within America’s healthcare system.
The following are more benefits of taking this allied healthcare certification training at America’s top institutions.
1. Online SPT Students Can Access Interactive Learning Options to Perfect Their Skills
Taking web-based classes offers future SPTs interactive learning options that enhance engagement by allowing for active participation in online coursework, online forums, and immersive online modules that feature interactive simulations where students can practice their sterilization and skills in a safe and controlled environment.
2. Online Coursework Can Be Less Expensive Than In-Person Learning Options
One of the best perks of taking online SPT training is a reduction in cost.
Students who take courses online can reduce tuition costs when compared to taking classes at a brick-and-mortar college or university.
Online students also save on related expenses like fuel needed to travel back and forth to class and course materials and books when these costs are bundled with online tuition and fees.
3. Flexible Learning Options Can Accommodate Busy Student Schedules
Many students taking online classes are also part-time and full-time employees working their way through school.
As such, online options have flexible start times, and many offer self-paced learning options that allow students to log in at their leisure on any day of the week.
Instructor-led options can include day, evening, and weekend classes to help accommodate student schedules.
4. Self Paced Learning Options Allow Students to Learn at Their Leisure
One of the best things about taking self-paced certification classes online is being able to tailor your learning plan.
Students who need to spend more time on specific modules can feel less pressure while students who quickly absorb the material can complete their coursework faster.
Drawbacks of Online Sterile Processing Programs
Taking online certification programs to become a certified sterile processing technician has a variety of benefits for aspiring professionals.
There can also be a few drawbacks to getting your certification training entirely online.
Below, we discuss a few factors that can arise as negatives of getting SPT certification online.
1. Limited In-Person Networking Opportunities for Online Students
One of the most significant drawbacks of taking a fully online SPT certification is that there may be a limited number of networking opportunities available for students working through self-paced options.
Students will have to rely on electronic communication channels like email, classroom discussion boards, and forums to communicate with their classmates and instructors.
2. Staying On Track Can Be Tricky without Consistent Support
Taking online classes requires students to be self-motivated to log in and complete the required coursework and practical training exercises online.
Online students who struggle with self-motivation and organization may find it difficult to stay on track.
3. Some Online SPT Students Report Feeling Isolated from Their Peers and Instructors
Students who enjoy engaging in face-to-face networking opportunities and exciting classroom debates may feel a sense of isolation as they complete distance learning classes without the direct support of their classmates and instructors.
Benefits and Drawbacks of Online Sterile Processing Training – Summary Table
|Benefits of Online Sterile Processing Training||Drawbacks of Online Sterile Processing Programs|
|1. Online SPT Students Can Access Interactive Learning Options to Perfect Their Skills||1. Limited In-Person Networking Opportunities for Online Students|
|2. Online Coursework Can Be Less Expensive Than In-Person Learning Options||2. Staying On Track Can Be Tricky without Consistent Support|
|3. Flexible Learning Options Can Accommodate Busy Student Schedules||3. Some Online SPT Students Report Feeling Isolated from Their Peers and Instructors|
|4. Self Paced Learning Options Allow Students to Learn at Their Leisure|
Online Sterile Processing Program – Coursework
Students who take online sterile technician programs are required to take a series of courses related to the functions of the human body.
They also take classes to learn about the latest infection control methodologies and techniques and other mandatory courses like regulatory compliance.
While the exact name of online sterile processing training classes may differ, the following are examples of coursework commonly found in online SPT certification training programs.
Anatomy and Physiology
SPT students learn the essential function of body systems, tissues, organs, and their processes in order to be prepared to identify signs of infection or disease while carrying out their daily duties in hospitals, clinics, and other American healthcare facilities.
Learning about how body systems work can help technicians become familiar with common infections and diseases that happen in the body and how to properly clean and sterilize instruments to prevent the spread of disease.
Surgical Equipment Packaging and Storage
Studying technicians will learn the basic procedures for packaging and repackaging surgical tools and equipment after sterilization.
Repackaging and storage ensure that tools meet quality standards and are ready for use with new patients.
Quality Assurance Training
All SPTs must undergo quality assurance training to learn about the legal standards and requirements for packaging, sterilizing, storing, and handling surgical tools and related materials.
Allied health professionals preparing to become technicians must undergo training to ensure they remain in compliance with the latest legal and medical standards for carrying out the functions of their roles.
Students will get in-depth training on the latest infection control techniques used in hospitals, medical clinics, private practices, laboratories, and surgical centers that staff sterile processing technicians to prevent the spread of infectious and deadly diseases as a measure of public health.
Technicians will learn about medical terminology used when working alongside doctors, nurses, and other licensed medical staff members who use charts, labels, and the spoken word to communicate essential details about patient care and safety.
Online sterile processing students will learn best practices and techniques based on microbiology, infection control, and sterile processing workflows in order to maintain environmental safety and prevent public health disasters.
One of the most important classes aspiring SPTs will take will relate to surgical equipment maintenance.
Students will learn how to identify surgical equipment along with calibration, validation, preventative maintenance, troubleshooting, and equipment lifecycle maintenance.
Can You Earn an Online Sterile Processing Certification Completely Online?
Many SPTs enter the field by completing online training courses and taking their certification exams online.
Students interested in earning an online certification must complete an approved training program and pass the relevant certification exam for their credential of choice.
How Long Does it Take to Earn a Sterile Processing Certification Online?
Although the length of time it takes to complete sterile processing technician certification online can vary by school, most students can typically complete certification programs within six to twelve months.
A few factors that affect online program completion times are below:
- Program Length: Each online SPT program will have different program lengths. Some programs may last for a few months, while self-paced options can allow learners as much as one year to complete their online requirements.
- Number of Credit Hours Required: Your certification program completion time can be affected by how long it takes to complete the number of mandatory credit hours required for graduation.
- Self-Paced Learning Options: Self-paced learning programs may offer students longer time frames to complete their programs while working a full-time job or attending to other personal needs that may affect the amount of time they can dedicate to their coursework.
- Student Work Schedules: Working students with parental or family responsibilities often find that it takes them longer to complete their online training programs while they juggle multiple responsibilities simultaneously.
How Much Does an Online Sterile Processing Certification Cost?
A number of different factors can affect the costs of getting sterile processing certification online.
The type of institution and your program provider are two primary factors that will affect costs.
Other factors like program duration, accreditation, and the availability of financial aid or scholarships are all factors that can affect costs.
With these factors in mind, most US-based SPT certificate programs cost between $1,000-$8,000.00 to complete online.
It is vital to verify the complete cost of attendance with your program provider before committing to an online program.
Talk to your provider or financial aid office about online tuition costs and additional fees that may apply, like books, materials, and technology fees.
Types of Online Sterile Processing Certifications
Certified Registered Central Service Technician (CRCST)
The International Association of Healthcare Central Service Material Management manages the CRSCT exam and certification credential.
This certification is recognized as an industry standard of excellence, which shows that the certificate holder has met or exceeded training and certification requirements.
Certified Sterile Processing and Distribution Technician (CSPDT)
The Certification Board for Sterile Processing and Distribution issues the CSPDT credential for students who meet the skills and training requirements of accredited programs and successfully pass their certification exams.
Schools Offering Online Sterile Processing Programs
|Ashworth College||5051 Peachtree Corners Circle, Suite 200 Norcross, Georgia 30092|
|Penn Foster Career School||925 Oak Street Scranton, PA 18515 USA|
|MedCerts LLC||14143 Farmington Road Livonia, MI 48154|
|Oklahoma State University-Oklahoma City||900 N. Portland Ave. Oklahoma City, OK 73107 US|
|HERZING UNIVERSITY||275 W. Wisconsin Ave., Ste. 210 Milwaukee, WI 53203|
|University of New Orleans||2000 Lakeshore Drive New Orleans, LA 70148|
|Kishwaukee College||21193 Malta Road Malta, IL 60150|
|Purdue University||610 Purdue Mall, West Lafayette, IN 47907|
|Portland Community College||6713 SW Bonita Rd. Bldg. C Suite 200 Portland, OR 97224|
|Franklin University||201 S Grant Ave. Columbus, OH 43215|
4 Self-Study Tips for Online Sterile Processing Students
Planning for success in earning your sterile processing technician certification requires dedication, determination, and preparation.
Following are four self-study tips to help students navigate web-based coursework.
Tip #1. – Create a Schedule
One of the most important tips for planning for success as an online SPT student is to create and follow a daily and weekly schedule.
Set aside a designated number of hours and days of study to stay on track with self-paced and instructor-led online certification programs.
Tip #2. – Get Organized!
A key component of working as a certified sterile processing technician is organization.
Organize your coursework according to your syllabus and label all notes, key terms, and job aides for easy access and pre-certification test preparation.
Look for apps and tools online to help you organize your learning plan and daily or weekly coursework.
Tip #3. – Connect with School Resources and Take Advantage of Online Networking Opportunities
One of the best ways to immerse yourself into the reality of a sterile processing technician is to take advantage of networking opportunities.
Many online training programs offer face-to-face options for students to engage with their instructors and peers and ask questions about coursework, materials, or certification test questions.
Tip #4. – Take Part in Experiential Learning via Practical Clinical Experiences
While not all online programs will offer students a local clinical or practical experience, some do.
Take advantage of on-the-job training and clinical experiences offered by online programs as experiential learning options.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is online sterile processing training as reputable as traditional in-person programs?
Whether you complete your sterile processing training online or in person, the credential earned from passing local and national certification exams is the same and recognized by many of America’s top health career employers.
Do I need any prior healthcare experience to enroll in an online sterile processing program?
Most online sterile processing technician programs will not require students to have prior healthcare experience — but they will require prospective students to have reached the age of 18 and have proof of earning a high school diploma or an equivalent.
Are there any prerequisites for obtaining a sterile processing certification online?
At this time, there are currently no prerequisites other than being at least 18 and having a high school diploma required to enter US-based sterile processing technician certification programs online.
Now that you know what to expect from an online SPT training program take the next steps to jumpstart your new allied health career by doing research on the best online sterile processing certification training programs!
Can I complete online sterile processing training while working a full-time job?
While completing online coursework for SPT certification while working a full-time job may be challenging — students can complete their programs by taking evening classes, weekend classes, or using self-paced options that allow for independent studies.