Sterile processing technicians (SPT) continue to become a high-demand profession. Medical workers with SPT certification are seen as critical members of healthcare institutions. Aside from flexible hours and numerous career advancements, the industry offers many advantages to aspiring SPTs.
You can start a career in sterile processing tech by enrolling in an online sterile processing technician course or by learning the following commonly used terms in sterile processing:
Sterilization eliminates all forms of microorganisms, including bacteria, viruses, and spores, from medical instruments and equipment. This is done to prevent the spread of infection from one patient to another.
Disinfection refers to reducing the number of microorganisms on surfaces or objects to a level that is considered safe. This is performed with chemical solutions or other methods,such as ultraviolet rays,to kill or remove microorganisms.
Decontamination is the process of removing or neutralizing hazardous materials. This includes infectious agents, physical obstructions, or chemical substances from surfaces, objects, or areas. It is done to ensure the safe use of equipment or sites.
Aseptic technique is a set of procedures to prevent contamination during medical procedures. This includes hand washing, wearing gloves, and using sterile equipment and supplies.
Instrument cleaning is the process of removing debris, blood, and other biological material from medical instruments. This is done using specialized equipment and cleaning solutions to clean the tools before sterilization thoroughly.
Biological indicators are used to ensure that sterilization processes are effective. These are test strips or vials that contain spores of heat-resistant bacteria. They are placed inside sterilization equipment and tested to ensure all bacteria have been killed.
Quality control is a set of procedures to ensure that medical instruments and equipment are properly cleaned, sterilized, and maintained. This includes regular testing and monitoring of equipment, as well as documentation of procedures and processes.
Inventory management refers to tracking and maintaining medical instruments and equipment. This includes organizing equipment, tracking usage, and ensuring that tools are available when needed.
Aside from these, there are more commonly used terms in sterile processing tech. Read this infographic by Martinson College, a leading SPT training institution, to learn about the medical terms every aspiring sterile processing tech should know.