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Oct
19
What Is The Pay Scale For A Sterile Processing Technician?

In a restaurant, chefs rely on automatic dishwashers to provide a steady supply of clean, sanitized dishes and utensils. In the more demanding world of hospitals and clinics, sterile processing technicians play a similar role in sterilizing instruments and equipment for physicians, surgeons, nurses and other caregivers. It's meticulous work requiring a high level of attention to detail.

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What They Do

Sterile processing technicians receive reusable equipment and supplies after they've been used in patient care. They'll separate items by type, disassembling them if necessary for thorough cleaning. If any items are broken or damaged, the technician disposes of them safely. Most items must be physically cleaned using equipment similar to a professional dishwashing machine, then sterilized in a pressurized steamer called an autoclave. Processing technicians also act as storekeepers, maintaining inventory records of their equipment and supplies. They organize orders for specific procedures or surgeons, arranging customized trays of instruments, equipment and supplies and then sending them out to the appropriate department.

In a restaurant, chefs rely on automatic dishwashers to provide a steady supply of clean, sanitized dishes and utensils. In the more demanding world of hospitals and clinics, sterile processing technicians play a similar role in sterilizing instruments and equipment for physicians, surgeons, nurses and other caregivers. It's meticulous work requiring a high level of attention to detail.

Pay Scale

In its May 2012 figures, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported an average wage of $15.51 for sterile processing technicians and other medical equipment preparers, or $32,360 per year. Actual wages spanned a relatively broad wage. At the entry level, the lowest-paid 10 percent of equipment preparers earned up to $21,200 per year, or $10.19 per hour. The top 10 percent earned $45,630 or more, or $21.94 per hour. The median or mid-point wage was $14.82 per hour, or $30,820 per year.

In a restaurant, chefs rely on automatic dishwashers to provide a steady supply of clean, sanitized dishes and utensils. In the more demanding world of hospitals and clinics, sterile processing technicians play a similar role in sterilizing instruments and equipment for physicians, surgeons, nurses and other caregivers. It's meticulous work requiring a high level of attention to detail.

Variables

Wages for medical equipment preparers varied widely by geographic location and workplace. Technicians in Massachussetts enjoyed the country's highest wages, at an average of $40,300 per year. Alaska, Nevada, Hawaii and California also offered above-average wages. At the opposite end of the scale, Alabama's equipment preparers were the country's lowest-paid at $24,640 per year. General hospitals were the most common workplace, paying an average of $32,430. Specialty hospitals paid an average of $36,320, while outpatient clinics paid an average of $34,530.

In a restaurant, chefs rely on automatic dishwashers to provide a steady supply of clean, sanitized dishes and utensils. In the more demanding world of hospitals and clinics, sterile processing technicians play a similar role in sterilizing instruments and equipment for physicians, surgeons, nurses and other caregivers. It's meticulous work requiring a high level of attention to detail.

Career

Most sterile processing technicians learn their profession through on-the-job training, or through short-term certificate programs at a community or technical college. Technicians who want to advance in the field can earn professional certification from the International Association of Healthcare Central Service Materiel Management, or take a degree in health care administration and become a supervisor or manager. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projected 17 percent employment growth for medical equipment preparers through 2020, slightly better than the 14 percent average for all occupations.


Mar
24
Qualities of the Best Allied Health School

One of the first step that you need to take if you want to become a certified sterile processing technician is finding a school that offers this course. There are currently a number of schools offering this course today, but you need to choose one that will provide you a good return in your investment in time and money.

Here are the main factors that you need to consider when looking for a sterile processing technician school.

Accreditation

There are government and private organizations whose main objective is to ensure that all medical or healthcare schools offering allied healthcare courses abide to the standard rules and regulations. Only enroll in a school that is legally accredited and possess the credentials as an official training fa...


Mar
13
Essential Qualities of a Professional Sterile Processing Technician

Becoming a professional sterile processing technician is one of the best career decisions that you can make in life. There are hundreds if not thousands of job opportunities in the market today that you can take advantage of to achieve your life goals. Unlike other careers, there is minimal competition for these jobs, as there are few certified technicians.

Here are some questions and answers to help you get a clear perspective of this profession.

What is the role of this career in healthcare?

This is one of the most common questions that students interested in this field ask. Sterile processing technicians are also referred to as central services technicians. Once you are certified and hired, you will be working hand in hand with the steri...


Mar
13
Getting Sterile Processing Certification Online

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Sterile Processing Certification is a mandatory requirement if you want to work in a medical facility and a sterile processing technician. To get this certification, you need to first enroll in one of the accredited learning facilities and pass all the examinations and practical tests. The facilities are monitored by various professional and regulatory bodies in a bid to ensure that they abide by the stipulated rules and regulations.


Mar
31
Can Anything Kill the Deadly Bacteria on Endoscopes?

The Seattle hospital that increased controls after a superbug outbreak still finds contamination 3 percent of the time

Hospitals are discovering that it's nearly impossible to clean endoscopes blamed for spreading deadly bacteria that have sparked lawsuits from patients and sent device regulators scrambling for a fix.

To continue reading this article you must be a Bloomberg Professional Service Subscriber.


Mar
23
Reasons to Become A Certified Sterile Processing Technician

Santa Ana, Ca – Currently New Jersey and New York are the only states that requires certification for Sterile Processing Technicians. However, other states are highly considering this requirement in the future. Becoming a Certified Sterile Processing Technician will give you an extra level of professionalism. It means that you have shown that you are serious in your career field and would like to ensure a higher standard of protection to your fellow healthcare workers and the public. Being certified means you are keeping up with the latest changes in the healthcare industry, especially with medical sterilization technology.

In 2015, a growing number of medical facilities such as hospitals, surgical centers and even biotech companies...


Mar
20
Google made a tablet for Ebola fighters that can be sanitized with chlorine

Doctors working to fight Ebola in West Africa must wear full body suits, gloves, and masks in 90-degree weather. They also work with limited resources — one important, but laborious aspect of treating Ebola involves recording medical information on paper. Doctors in a medical enclosure must write a patient's information down, walk to the edge of the enclosure, yell the information to their colleagues outside the tent, and then destroy the paper. Up until now, that was the safest way to contain the disease while transferring information. Now, a new Google tablet that can withstand chlorine sanitization renders that process unnecessary, Wired reports.

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Jay Achar, a doctor stationed in Sierra Leone as part of Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), or Doctors Without Borders, spoke to Wired about the tablet. Achar works in a high-risk medical facility in the city of Magburaka, and asked his collegue Ivan Gayton to find a more efficient way to transfer medical records. Gayton, in turn, asked developers at Google.org — Google's charitable branch — for a solution. The company responded by creating a wireless tablet that could travel safely outside medical facilities.

THE TABLET CAN WITHSTAND BEING DIPPED IN CHLORINE

The tablet is encased in polycarbonate, a durable polymer often used because of its temperature and impact-resistant properties. Google's tablet can withstand being dipped in chlorine, which doctors in high-risk zones must do for 10 minutes to sanitize it before moving outside high-risk zones, Wired reports.

Eric D. Perakslis, a doctor at Harvard Medical School, is working with MSF to open source the tablet's technology in the hopes that developers will be able to modify the software and hardware design to fight other diseases.

The Ebola epidemic has claimed more than 10,000 lives, according to the World Health Organization's latest report. Although the outbreak is shrinking, and a promising vaccine surfaced in January, donation deployment has been slow, and contributions like Google's tablet take important steps towards eradicating the outbreak entirely.


Mar
14
Dirty Instruments In Hospitals A Growing Problem: Demand for Certified Sterile Processing Technicians Increasing

National City, Ca – Just recently Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center reported that 179 patients were exposed to an antibiotic resistant “superbug” during endoscopic procedures. These “superbugs” also called carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae, or CRE, may have infected seven patients and might have been the cause of two deaths. Similar outbreaks of CRE and other infectious diseases associated with improperly cleaned or sterilized medical instruments have been reported around the nation. Last year, a Seattle Hospital was under investigation after hospital officials reported that more than 100 patients were put at risk of infection because of dirty medical instruments.

Hospital Acquired or Associated Infecti...


Mar
11
Is There a Better Way to Sterilize Spacecraft?

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Could NASA send humans to Mars orbit by 2033 and onto the surface of the planet by 2039? The Planetary Society — a nongovernmental space advocacy group — has announced that it thinks this timeline is achievable.

Earth's microbes are a hardy bunch. They can survive in extreme environments, such as inside hot springs at the bottom of the ocean. Some have even remained alive despite being exposed to ultraviolet and ionizing radiation, extreme low temperatures, and the vacuum of space.

This is why planetary protection advocates are so concerned about our exploration of other planets in the solar system. Concerns about the contamination of the icy moon Europa, for example, prompted controllers of NASA's Galileo mission to crash the spacecraft into Jupiter in 2003 so that microbes wouldn't accidentally take seed on what could be a habitable moon.

Nevertheless, despite the best efforts of spacecraft cleaners, some microbes seem to survive conventional cleaning processes. This is why a new method is emerging that uses ionized gas to kill the microbes. [Extremophiles: World's Weirdest Life]

The method was presented at the European Astrobiology Meeting in October 2014, in an effort led by Ralf Moeller, a space microbiologist at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and Katharina Stapelmann, a plasma researcher at Ruhr-University Bochum in Germany.

"Plasma sterilization is a process not only compatible with modern spacecraft, but it also enables successful removal and inactivation of most resistant microbial species isolated in spacecraft assembly facilities," Moeller wrote in an email to Astrobiology Magazine.

"It is in the best interest of all spacefaring nations and research agencies, such as NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA), to characterize spacecraft-assembly inhibiting microorganisms thoroughly in order to assess their potential for forward contamination, and development of more effective reduction, cleaning and sterilization technologies," Moeller added.

Cleanroom menaces

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When a NASA mission leaves Earth, it is designed to meet internationally accepted standards for planetary protection established by the Committee on Space Research (COSPAR). COSPAR was created in 1958 by the International Council for Science, a non-governmental organization with members from most of the countries of the world.

The standards vary depending on mission design, noted Moeller. Perhaps a spacecraft is put on a trajectory that won't put it near the planet or moon's environment. Other standards address how it is assembled in a "clean room" on Earth, and how it is sterilized.

For most Mars missions — including fairly recent ones, such as Europe's Mars Express and NASA's Mars Exploration Rovers (Spirit and Opportunity) — scientists examined the microbial diversity of organisms that were left over after these steps.

"In most cases, spore-forming bacteria constituted a dominant fraction of those microorganisms cultivated after heat-shock treatment," Moeller said. [The Search for Life on Mars (A Photo Timeline)]

The standard protocol is to cook the microbes to 176 degrees Fahrenheit (80 degrees Celsius) for 15 minutes, he said. But there are highly resistant bacteria that can survive these treatments. In 2013, astrobiologists from Germany and the United States found a new bacterial variant called Tersicoccus phoenicis in two clean rooms on different continents.

"The presence of Tersicoccus phoenicis and other (spore- and non-spore forming) microbial species isolated from spacecraft assembly facilities exclusively in the cleanroom environments suggests selective adaptation and a significant role for these microorganisms in these environments," Moeller said.

"Microbes residing in the clean rooms during the spacecraft assembly process could gain access to a spacecraft, and possibly survive en route to extraterrestrial systems."

Plasma purging

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Mar
11
FDA releases final guidance on reprocessing of reusable medical devices

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today announced new actions to enhance the safety of reusable medical devices and address the possible spread of infectious agents between uses.

The new recommendations are outlined in a final industry guidance aimed at helping device manufacturers develop safer reusable devices, especially those devices that pose a greater risk of infection.

Medical devices intended for repeated use are commonplace in health care settings. They are typically made of durable substances that can withstand reprocessing, a multi-step process designed to remove soil and contaminants by cleaning and to inactivate microorganisms by disinfection or sterilization. While the majority of reusable devices are successfully reproce...


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