The healthcare industry in West Virginia offers a reliable work environment for anyone.
Among the various career paths within the industry, one option that stands out is becoming a sterile processing technician.
If you are considering this, you should familiarize yourself with the requirements and job responsibilities.
Article Table of Contents
- 1 Sterile Processing Technician Job Duties and Skills in West Virginia
- 2 How to Become a Sterile Processing Technician in West Virginia
- 3 Training Programs for Sterile Processing Technicians in West Virginia
- 4 Sterile Processing Technician Salaries in West Virginia
- 5 Frequently Asked Questions
Sterile Processing Technician Job Duties and Skills in West Virginia
While West Virginia does not mandate a license for entry-level positions in sterile processing, obtaining certification is recommended.
Many medical facilities in the state prefer candidates with certification as it demonstrates your competence and skills.
This state has also more strict rules and regulations compared to other jurisdictions.
This means that you will typically be assisted by a licensed nurse or someone in a higher position.
As a sterile processing technician, your daily duties will revolve around maintaining the cleanliness and functionality of medical tools and equipment.
These duties may include:
- Performing inventory checks
- Managing and keeping track of the spread of illness and infection
- Cleaning, sterilizing, packaging, and storing medical tools
- Maintaining and fixing medical equipment
Besides these core responsibilities, developing additional skills can further enhance your effectiveness in the role.
For instance, strong organizational skills are crucial for managing inventory and maintaining efficient workflows.
Problem-solving abilities will help you address common challenges that may arise during the sterilization process.
Familiarity with medical terminology is essential for effective communication with healthcare professionals.
Lastly, a solid understanding of aseptic techniques is vital to prevent the spread of infections.
It is worth noting that the specific job tasks and required skills may vary depending on the employer and the healthcare facility you work in.
So, it is advisable to be adaptable to different environments.
How to Become a Sterile Processing Technician in West Virginia
Now let’s explore the process of becoming a certified sterile processing technician in West Virginia.
There are multiple ways in which you can do this.
One method is to take and pass the national certification exam, which lasts for three hours.
Several organizations offer certification exams in West Virginia, such as the Healthcare Sterile Processing Association (HSPA).
While HSPA provides five licensing levels, the very first certification is sufficient for starting your career.
After obtaining this certification, you can further enhance your credentials by taking the Certified Registered Central Service Technician (CRCST) certification exam.
Another pathway to certification is through the Certification Board for Sterile Processing and Distribution (CBSPD).
To become licensed through CBSPD, you must not only pass the exam but also have a minimum of 12 months of practical experience.
Other requirements for certification may include completing around 400 hours of lab experience, submitting the necessary fees, possessing a high school diploma or GED, passing a background check, and undergoing drug testing.
Once you obtain your sterile processing technician certification, it is important to remember that it needs to be renewed annually.
Continuing education through additional classes is suggested to refine your skills and maintain your professional competence.
Training Programs for Sterile Processing Technicians in West Virginia
Here are some institutions in West Virginia that offer programs related to sterile processing technicians and surgical technology.
Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College
At this institution, students pursuing a career as sterile processing technicians can enroll in the Central Sterile Technician Certificate program.
The comprehensive curriculum combines classroom learning with hands-on experience, totaling 400 hours.
Carver Career and Technical Education Center
For individuals interested in a career in both sterile processing and surgical technology Carver Career and Technical Education Center offers a Surgical Technology certificate program.
This program equips students with a broad range of knowledge and practical skills relevant to both disciplines.
Graduates from this program will be well-prepared to pursue opportunities in sterile processing or surgical technology.
Martinsburg College offers a specialized program called the Surgical Instrument Processing Certificate.
Students enrolled in this program gain in-depth knowledge in infection prevention, anatomy and physiology, and inventory management.
The curriculum emphasizes the critical skills necessary for handling and processing surgical instruments in a sterile environment.
James Rumsey Technical Institute
Although James Rumsey Technical Institute does not offer a specific sterile processing technician program, it does provide a surgical technology program.
Through this course, students learn how to effectively operate in an operating room setting and gain hands-on experience in decontaminating and maintaining medical tools.
This program gives students with skills to support surgical teams and ensure a safe and sterile environment.
|Carver Career and Technical Education Center||4799 Midland Dr, Charleston, WV 25306|
|James Rumsey Technical Institute||3274 Hedgesville Rd, Martinsburg, WV 25403|
|Martinsburg College||341 Aikens Center, Martinsburg, WV 25404|
|Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College||1601 Co Hwy 52/27, Williamson, WV 25661|
Sterile Processing Technician Salaries in West Virginia
Upon acquiring your sterile processing technician license in West Virginia, a plethora of employment opportunities awaits you.
The medical industry in West Virginia is flourishing, boasting a wide array of settings where you can apply your valuable skills.
So, how much does a sterile processing technician earn in West Virginia?
On average, professionals in this field can expect an annual salary of approximately $41,000.
Certain facilities may offer higher salaries or additional enticing benefits as part of their efforts to attract and retain highly qualified technicians.
West Virginia offers a promising job market with abundant opportunities for career growth and advancement.Annual Salary Range: Annual Salary by Location:
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Regional Salary in West Virginia
|Region||Employed||Avg. Annual Salary||Avg. Hourly Pay||Top 10% Annual Salary||Bottom 10% Annual Salary|
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are some of the areas of study in a sterile processing technician program?
Sterile processing tech programs offer training in these areas:
- Introduction to Sterile Processing
- Surgical Instrumentation
- Equipment Safety Management and Tracking
- Decontamination & Sterilization Procedures and Practices
- Computer Basics
- CPR & First Aid
- Infection control practices
Is there a fee for certification?
The cost of obtaining the CRCST certification is $140, and this fee must be paid prior to taking the exam.
Additionally, to maintain your certification, there is an annual fee of $50 that needs to be paid.
What’s the outlook for people who work in this field in West Virginia?
The sterile processing technician field is expected to experience a 7% growth rate in the next decade, which is consistent with the average growth rate across industries.
Furthermore, there is a significant number of online job listings specifically seeking sterile processing technicians, indicating a demand for professionals in this field.