How to Become a Sterile Processing Technician in Tennessee

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How to Become a Sterile Processing Technician in Tennessee

The healthcare industry in Tennessee provides an exceptional working environment known for its stability and security, attracting individuals seeking a rewarding career path.

One such profession within this industry is that of a sterile processing technician.

If you are considering pursuing this career in Tennessee, it is essential to acquaint yourself with the requirements and necessary steps.

This article will serve as a guide on how to become a certified sterile processing technician in Tennessee.

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Job Duties and Skills of a Sterile Processing Technician in Tennessee

In Tennessee, you need to get certified after 1.5 to 3 years of work.

As a sterile processing technician, your daily responsibilities will encompass crucial tasks such as:

  • Cleaning, sterilizing, decontaminating, packaging, and storing medical equipment
  • Maintaining and repairing medical tools and equipment
  • Controlling and monitoring the spread of disease and infection
  • Following protocol and techniques for proper disinfection and sterilization of equipment
  • Performing inventory checks
  • Working in a fast-paced environment

Additional skills that can be advantageous for sterile processing technicians include:

  • Strong organizational skills
  • A good understanding of medical terminology and aseptic techniques
  • Identifying and troubleshooting common sterilization and storage problems
  • Good conversation skills
  • Critical thinking
  • Accountability and personal responsibility
  • Being respectful

How to Become a Sterile Processing Technician in Tennessee

Let’s see how you can get your certification in this state.

National Certification Exam: The most straightforward method is to take and successfully pass the national certification exam, which typically lasts for three hours.

Healthcare Sterile Processing Association (HSPA) Certification: HSPA offers certification exams in Tennessee, providing five levels of certification.

However, the entry-level certification is generally sufficient. Upon obtaining the entry-level certification, you can progress to take the Certified Registered Central Service Technician (CRCST) certification exam.

Certification Board for Sterile Processing and Distribution (CBSPD): Alternatively, you can pursue certification through the CBSPD.

Meeting the requirements includes:

  • 400 hours of lab experience in a laboratory
  • Paying a fee
  • Having a high school diploma or a GED
  • Taking a background check and submitting drug tests
  • Taking and passing the licensing exam

Remember to renew your license annually and consider attending additional classes.

Training Programs for Sterile Processing Technicians in Tennessee

If you want to be certain that you’ll pass the exam, you can consider attending a training course.

The schools I’ll present next offer some of the best courses in Tennessee.

Some of the classes you’ll attend are:

  • The sterile processing cycle
  • Implement infection control practices
  • Medical terminology
  • Wrapping of uncontained items
  • Infection control
  • Sterile processing regulations
  • Medical equipment packaging

Usually, it’s the university that ensures you’ll be able to attend practice hours.

Nashville State Community College Nashville State Community College Logo

Located in the vibrant city of Nashville, Tennessee, offers an excellent educational program for sterile processing technicians.

The Central Processing Technology Certificate provided by the college gives students the necessary knowledge to have a successful career in this field.

Throughout the program, students receive specialized training in anatomy, medical terminology, and surgical instrumentation.

Fortis Institute

This school is an outstanding option with campuses in Cookeville and Nashville.

This program is designed to prepare graduates for entry-level positions in the field.

Students enrolled in the course benefit from a well-rounded education that includes classroom instruction, lab practice, and clinical rotations.

Tennessee College of Applied Technology Tennessee College of Applied Technology Logo

With campuses in Murfreesboro and Smyrna, this college provides a certificate program that covers areas like decontamination, storage, cleaning, packaging, sterilization, and distribution of medical equipment.

Students at Tennessee College of Applied Technology receive hands-on training, preparing them to meet the demands of the rapidly evolving healthcare industry.

Pellissippi State Community College Pellissippi State CC logo.png

It offers an accessible and convenient option for future sterile processing technicians.

Their online program focuses on preparing medical instruments for surgery.

Additionally, Pellissippi State Community College offers the opportunity for students to participate in unpaid clinical work, allowing them to become familiar with the healthcare environment.

By combining theoretical coursework with hands-on training, this program ensures that graduates are well-prepared for the challenges and responsibilities of their profession.

Upon successful completion of the program, students are eligible to take the Central Sterile Processing Technology (CSPT) certification.

School Name Address
Fortis Institute 3354 Perimeter Hill Dr. Suite 200, Nashville, TN 37211
Nashville State Community College 120 White Bridge Rd, Nashville, TN 37209
Pellissippi State Community College 10915 Hardin Valley Rd, Knoxville, TN 37932
Tennessee College of Applied Technology 100 White Bridge Pike, Nashville, TN 37205
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Sterile Processing Technician Salaries in Tennessee

While pursuing a career in sterile processing, it is natural to be curious about the earning potential.

In Tennessee, sterile processing technicians can expect a competitive median annual salary of $42,000, with an hourly rate of $21.

However, it is important to note that salaries may vary based on factors such as experience, location, and specific job responsibilities.

As you gain experience and demonstrate your capabilities in the field, you will have various avenues for career development and growth.

Sterile processing technicians can explore opportunities to take on leadership roles, pursue specialized certifications or additional training, or even consider transitioning to related fields within the healthcare industry.

This allows for continuous learning and professional advancement, ensuring a fulfilling and dynamic career trajectory.

Embarking on a career as a sterile processing technician in Tennessee offers promising opportunities for professional growth and contribution to the thriving healthcare sector.

Annual Salary Range:
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
Nashville $42,786
Hendersonville $42,722
Franklin $42,637
Memphis $42,528
Murfreesboro $42,465
Germantown $42,421
Jackson $42,206
Knoxville $42,105
Clarksville $41,683
Chattanooga $41,375

Regional Salary in Tennessee

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
Chattanooga, TN-GA90$33,690$16.2$49,660$17,630
Kingsport-Bristol-Bristol, TN-VA80$31,310$15.06$44,390$22,880
Knoxville, TN180$29,800$14.33$44,200$17,760
Memphis, TN-MS-AR180$39,710$19.09$50,400$29,020
Nashville-Davidson--Murfreesboro--Franklin, TN580$42,800$20.58$58,440$30,380
* Salary information based on the May 2022 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for Medical Equipment Preparers, OCC Code 31-9093, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which facilities from Tennessee hire sterile processing technicians?

Tennessee is home to a wide range of healthcare facilities, including hospitals, laboratories, doctor’s offices, clinics, and dental practices, which actively seek skilled professionals in the field of sterile processing.

What are the prerequisites for entering a Tennessee sterile processing technician program?

Most programs have the following requirements:

  • Minimum age of 18
  • Submission of a health form
  • Possess a clear criminal record
  • Possession of a high school diploma
  • Capability to lift 50 pounds and endure prolonged periods of standing
  • Proof of immunizations

Must sterile processing technicians be licensed to work in Tennessee?

The good news is that no, you don’t need a license to work as a sterile processing technician in Tennessee.

Being licensed will increase the chances of being selected for the job.

USA Sterile Processing Technician by State

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