The healthcare industry offers an excellent work environment known for its stability compared to other industries.
One career path worth considering is that of a sterile processing technician.
If you’re interested in pursuing this profession, it’s essential to familiarize yourself with the requirements.
Below, we will guide you on how to become a sterile processing technician in North Carolina.
Article Table of Contents
- 1 Sterile Processing Technician Job Duties and Skills in North Carolina
- 2 Becoming a Sterile Processing Technician in North Carolina
- 3 Training Programs for Sterile Processing Technicians in North Carolina
- 4 Sterile Processing Technician Salaries in North Carolina
- 5 Frequently Asked Questions
Sterile Processing Technician Job Duties and Skills in North Carolina
In North Carolina, obtaining a license is not necessary for your first job.
This is the case for most jurisdictions, except for 3 of them.
But, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t pursue certification.
Many medical facilities hiring sterile processing technicians typically require prior experience.
Thus, certification becomes crucial when demonstrating the skills and knowledge required for the job.
The daily tasks of a sterile processing technician include:
- Conducting inventory checks
- Managing and monitoring the spread of illnesses and infections
- Cleaning, sterilizing, packaging, and storing medical tools
- Maintaining and repairing medical equipment
- Following specific methods for disinfection and sterilization of medical tools and equipment
It’s also beneficial to acquire additional skills, such as:
- Strong organizational skills
- Problem-solving abilities related to the position
- Medical terminology knowledge
- A comprehensive understanding of aseptic techniques
Job responsibilities and required skills may vary depending on the employer.
Becoming a Sterile Processing Technician in North Carolina
Now, let’s explore the steps to obtain certification as a sterile processing technician.
There are several pathways to achieve your goal.
The simplest route is to take and pass the three-hour national certification exam.
Multiple organizations offer certification exams in North Carolina, including the Healthcare Sterile Processing Association (HSPA).
Following that, you will take the Certified Registered Central Service Technician (CRCST) certification exam.
Another option is obtaining certification through the Certification Board for Sterile Processing and Distribution (CBSPD).
To become licensed, you must not only pass the exam but also have 12 months of experience.
Additional requirements may include:
- Approximately 400 hours of lab experience
- Paying a fee
- High school diploma or GED
- Passing a background check and some drug tests
- Passing the licensing exam
Remember that your sterile processing technician certification will require annual renewal.
You can also consider attending additional classes and workshops.
These educational opportunities will keep you updated with industry changes.
Training Programs for Sterile Processing Technicians in North Carolina
Enrolling in a school offering a sterile processing technician program will yield the best results.
In North Carolina, there are several schools offering sterile processing technician programs.
This sterile processing technician program prepares you for the Certification Board for Sterile Processing and Distribution test.
No matter what program you choose, you will study the following topics:
- Sterilization processing techniques
- Managing the central service supply unit
- Distribution of instruments, supplies, and equipment
- Identifying common pathogens
- Techniques to avoid disease contraction & contamination
- Classification of common and specialized surgical tools
- Proper transportation and storing of equipment
- Medical Terminology
- Basic treatment practices
- Maintaining the best level of procedural care
Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College
While this school does not provide a central sterile processing program, it does have a surgical technology program.
Surgical technology concentrates on the particular skills and knowledge required to help surgeons in operating rooms.
After the program is over, you will be prepared to pass the national exam and start looking for a job.
Durham Technical Community College
This college offers a program that doesn’t offer credits to accumulate toward another diploma.
The course will be completed in one semester.
When done with the training, you’ll be able to sit the Health Care Sterile Processing and Distribution Technician exam and earn a certification.
Fayetteville Technical Community College
This community college has several campuses and the course it organizes prepares you for the certification exam.
The duration of this class is also just one semester.
If you think about tuition, this is subject to change as it’s decided by other institutions.
Wake Technical Community College
At this college, you can accumulate 112 credit hours by attending this training course.
The classes take place both in person and online.
At under $200, this is one of the most affordable programs you can find.
|Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College||340 Victoria Rd, Asheville, NC 28801|
|Durham Tech||1637 East Lawson Street Durham, NC 27703|
|Fayetteville Technical Community College||240 Hull Rd, Fayetteville, NC 28303|
|Wake Technical Community College||9101 Fayetteville Rd, Raleigh, NC 27603|
Sterile Processing Technician Salaries in North Carolina
Once you obtain your license, you will likely be eager to secure employment as soon as possible.
Fortunately, this should not be difficult at all, given your certification and ample experience.
You might also have inquiries about the potential earnings as a sterile processing technician.
In North Carolina, salaries average around $44,056 per year and $22 per hour.
Of course, these figures depend on several factors, such as your field experience.
The more experience you accumulate, the higher your pay can be.
Moreover, the medical field offers favorable opportunities for career advancement.
As per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, sterile processing technicians will only increase within the next 10 years.
Here are the cities where salaries in the field are highest.Annual Salary Range:
|Location||Avg. Annual Salary|
Frequently Asked Questions
Where do sterile processing technicians work in North Carolina?
Several types of healthcare facilities in North Carolina hire sterile processing technicians, such as:
- Doctors’ offices
- Dentist practices
Must I hold a license to work as a sterile processing technician in North Carolina?
There are no regulations in North Caroline that mandate sterile processing technicians to hold a license before getting hired.
Despite this, you should check with your local authorities as some jurisdictions might require it.
How can I maintain certification as a sterile processing tech in North Carolina?
The North Carolina Association for Hospital Central Service Professionals decides which are the requirements you must meet and the fees to pay to maintain your certification.
Usually, continuing your education is also mandatory.
Read the full guide: How to Become a Sterile Processing Technician