Sterile Processing I-BEST

Sterile processing technicians are a critical part of infection control in any hospital or clinical environment.

As a sterile processing technician, you’ll be responsible for keeping everything from surgical instruments to high-tech equipment safe, sterile, and ready for use by doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals.

What do Sterile Processing Technicians do?

They ensure surgical instruments and other medical equipment are properly cleaned, sterilized, inventoried, and maintained. Sterile processing technicians work in equipment-processing or central supply departments rather than in surgery, which means they’re not usually present during an actual operation.

Some of the responsibilities of Sterile Processing Techs include:

  • Cleaning and sterilizing medical instruments and equipment
  • Checking equipment for damage and ensuring proper function
  • Keeping accurate records of sterilization and supply inventory
  • Packaging freshly sterilized instruments for use in surgery or other medical procedures
  • Transporting and delivering medical equipment and supplies to different departments

What career opportunities are available with a Sterile Processing certificate?

  • Sterile Processing Technician
  • Central Service Technician
  • Medical Equipment Preparer

Find current wage information at Career Bridge or Career Coach.

What are the requirements?

To be eligible to enroll through I-BEST, you’ll need to meet one of the following requirements:

  • Currently enrolled in Basic Studies at English level ESL 81A or ABE 4
  • Currently enrolled in Basic Studies with CASAS Reading and Listening CASAS scores at 227-256 and CASAS Math at 215-256
  • English Placement of English 98 or ESL 98/99, OR
  • Math placement or level in Basic Studies

Find other requirements on the Sterile Processing get started page.

When can I start?

This program starts in Spring Quarter only.

How long is the program?

Two Quarters: One quarter of classroom training, followed by a 400-hour practicum at an assigned hospital sterile processing department. Classroom classes:

Quarter Courses Credits
Spring AHE 140 Sterile Processing
AHE 151: Essential Skills for the Healthcare Professional (CPR)
ABE 49 / ESL 59: I-BEST support class
Summer SPS 141 Sterile Processing Tech Practicum 9

After successful completion of the sterile processing course, and the 400-hour hospital practicum, you are eligible to sit for the certification examination through IAHCSMM. Upon passing the certification exam, you will become a certified Sterile Supply and Instrument Technician and be ready to work in hospitals and clinics.

Can I continue to study after completing the program?

The courses taken in Sterile Processing will apply toward Seattle Central's Surgical Technology Certificate and Associate of Applied Science Transfer (AAS–T) degree, as well as the Allied Health AAS-T degree. Students can also choose to pursue other careers in healthcare.

Who can I talk to if I have questions about Nursing Assistant I-BEST?

Visit the BTS Transitions Center.