This is a good career for someone who likes to have things clean and orderly. Those who like to work with their hands will find this type of work enjoyable because there are a lot of manual dexterity tasks required.

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Job Tasks:

  • Operate and maintain steam autoclaves, keeping records of loads completed, items in loads, and maintenance procedures performed.

  • Clean instruments to prepare them for sterilization.

  • Record sterilizer test results.

  • Organize and assemble routine or specialty surgical instrument trays or other sterilized supplies, filling special requests as needed.

  • Deliver equipment to specific hospital locations or other treatment areas.

  • Check sterile supplies to ensure that they are not outdated.

  • Examine equipment to detect leaks, worn or loose parts or other indications of disrepair.

  • Maintain records of inventory or equipment usage and other medical instruments or supplies when inventory is low

Skills and Abilities Needed to Perform Job:

  • Operate and maintain steam autoclaves, keeping records of loads completed, items in loads, and maintenance procedures performed.

  • Clean instruments to prepare them for sterilization.

  • Record sterilizer test results.

  • Organize and assemble routine or specialty surgical instrument trays or other sterilized supplies, filling special requests as needed.

  • Deliver equipment to specific hospital locations or other treatment areas.

  • Check sterile supplies to ensure that they are not outdated.

  • Examine equipment to detect leaks, worn or loose parts or other indications of disrepair.

  • Maintain records of inventory or equipment usage and other medical instruments or supplies when inventory is low

Desired Work Style Attributes:

  • Attention to details

  • Integrity – Honest and ethical

  • Dependability – Reliable and responsible

  • Independence – Developing one's own way of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision and depending on oneself to get things done

  • Cooperation – Pleasant with others

  • Stress Tolerance – Accepting criticism and dealing calming in stressful situations

  • Self-Control – Maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check

  • Concern for Others – Sensitive to needs of others

  • Social Orientation – Preferring to work with others rather than alone

Education Requirements:

One wishing to become a medical equipment preparer needs to have at least a high school degree to gain employment. There are vocational programs to train workers in this field, and it is also possible to get a technical degree at a community college as well. While there are no standard educational requirements to get a job in this occupation, it is becoming more and more common for medical equipment preparers to have some formal training. This is most likely due to the important nature of the work and training to help pay attention to detail and proper procedure helps workers be successful for the long run.

The curriculum included in a Central Services Technician certificate program covers introductory topics in the healthcare field as well as specific topics relating to medical tools and sterilization. A sterile processing technician certificate program teaches students the proper procedures for sterilizing, stocking and preparing medical tools, supplies and equipment within clinical facilities.

Training/Work Experience

You may need some previous work-related skills, knowledge or experience to be a medical equipment preparer.

To become a medical equipment preparer, you will need anywhere from a few months to one year of working in this field.

License and certification are recommended but not required.

The Certification Board for Sterile Processing and Distribution offers national certification for medical equipment preparers. To gain eligibility to sit for the certification examination, individuals must have completed two years of employment in the field, completed a certificate program in the field, or completed two years in the field of surgical instrument and equipment sales.