Top Sterile Processing Technician Training in Florida

Are you considering a career as a sterile processing technician in Florida? Discover the pathway to securing a role in this crucial healthcare support field, including the accredited training programs, certification processes, and essential skills required for success. Our guide provides a comprehensive overview of sterile processing technician training in Florida to kickstart your career with confidence.

  • A variety of sterile processing technician training programs in Florida offer hands-on experience and theoretical knowledge, with some programs providing the flexibility of evening classes and online learning options.
  • Certification for sterile processing technicians, while not mandatory, is highly recommended for career advancement and requires passing the CRCST exam after completing a minimum of 400 hours of practical experience.
  • Successful sterile processing technicians need a solid understanding of sterilization processes, skills in the preparation and packaging of medical instruments, and good customer relations, enhanced through certification and continuous professional development.
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Training Programs for Sterile Processing Technicians in Florida

The journey to becoming a skilled sterile processing technician starts with the right education. In Florida, known for its state-of-the-art healthcare facilities, a multitude of sterile processing technician training programs are available. These programs, such as those offered by the Florida Institute for Sterile Processing (FISP), equip students with a comprehensive understanding of sterile processing functions, from handling surgical instruments to managing medical equipment.

To qualify for enrollment in these programs, students need a high school diploma or GED. This requirement broadens the accessibility of these programs to individuals of varying educational backgrounds. These programs don’t just focus on theoretical learning. They offer students the unique opportunity to engage in clinical experiences, allowing them to apply the theoretical knowledge gained in real-world healthcare settings.

Accredited Sterile Processing Technician Schools in Florida

Accredited schools are distinguished by a commitment to stringent standards and a comprehensive curriculum, making them worthwhile considerations for training programs.

The Florida Institute for Sterile Processing (FISP)

The Florida Institute for Sterile Processing (FISP) offers training programs for individuals looking to start or advance their careers as Sterile Processing and Distribution Technicians (SPD). With the growing demand for healthcare occupations, including sterile processing, FISP provides both onsite and online classes to equip students with the necessary skills to handle surgical instruments and medical equipment safely and effectively. The program caters to various job arrangements, including full-time, part-time, and travel assignments.

Key Features:

  • Course Offerings: Onsite and online classes are available.
  • Growing Demand: Increasing need for qualified SPD technicians due to heightened concerns about infection control in healthcare facilities.

The Florida Institute for Sterile Processing offers comprehensive training programs to meet the rising demand for skilled sterile processing technicians, providing flexible learning options and preparing students for diverse job opportunities in the healthcare industry

University of Central Florida Continuing Education

Program Structure:

  • Online Learning: Many programs offer 100% online courses for flexibility.
  • Duration: Programs can often be completed in less than a year.
  • Certification Preparation: Courses prepare students for the Certified Registered Central Service Technician (CRCST) exam, often including a voucher for the exam.

Curriculum Highlights:

  • Medical Terminology: Understanding medical terms related to various body systems, diagnostic procedures, and pharmacology.
  • Infection Control: Learning about decontamination, sterilization processes, and proper handling of surgical instruments.
  • Instrument Management: Identifying, cleaning, and managing medical instruments and supplies.
  • Professional Skills: Developing communication, compliance, documentation, and inventory management skills.

The Sterile Processing Technician program at the University of Central Florida Continuing Education likely offers comprehensive online training, preparing students for certification and equipping them with the necessary skills to succeed in healthcare settings. The program includes theoretical knowledge, practical training, and certification exam preparation to ensure students are ready for their roles in the medical field.

Online Sterile Processing Technician Programs

In the digital age, online programs offer a dynamic alternative to traditional classroom settings. These programs cater to a wide array of students, providing significant flexibility and allowing for a self-paced learning environment. This program prepares students to:

  • Manage their study schedules around their work and family commitments
  • Access course materials and lectures at any time and from anywhere
  • Interact with instructors and classmates through online platforms
  • Complete assignments and exams at their own pace

This makes online learning an appealing option for many.

While the course content in these online sterile processing technician programs prepares students thoroughly for the role of a sterile processing technician, the hands-on experience may need to be arranged separately. Blending online learning and practical experience, these programs ensure students acquire a balanced skill set, which is vital for sterile processing.

Certification Pathways for Sterile Processing Technicians

After completing their training, sterile processing technicians typically aim to attain professional certification. This certification, while not mandatory, is recommended for recognition and career advancement in the field. To become certified, candidates must complete a minimum of 400 hours of hands-on experience across various functions of sterile processing work before attempting the CRCST exam.

The CRCST exam is a rigorous assessment of the candidate’s understanding of sterile processing. To pass, candidates must score at least 70%, and newly hired technicians have an 18-month window from their hiring date to obtain the certification. Obtaining this certification reflects a technician’s commitment and expertise in the field.

Maintaining this certification requires a commitment to continuous learning. Certified sterile processing technicians must meet the annual continuing education requirements set by nationally accredited credentialing organizations. Professional associations such as the Healthcare Sterile Processing Association (HSPA) offer study resources and courses to help candidates prepare for the CRCST exam, enhancing their knowledge and professionalism.

Skills and Knowledge Required for Success as a Sterile Processing Technician

Thriving as a sterile processing technician requires a specific repertoire of skills and knowledge. A thorough understanding of various sterilization processes is central to this role. Whether it’s high-temperature sterilization using steam or dry heat, or low-temperature sterilization using gas plasma or ethylene oxide, technicians must ensure all medical equipment is safe for patient use. Working in a sterile processing department, the processing technician plays a crucial role in maintaining the highest standards of sterile processing.

Preparation and packaging skills are also critical for medical equipment preparers. Technicians need to assemble items correctly for packaging, use protective materials, and test medical instruments for functionality to maintain the integrity of sterilized items. Proficiency in personal protective equipment (PPE) use, hand hygiene practices, and maintaining electrical safety for patient care equipment is also essential to prevent cross-contamination and ensure patient safety, adhering to infection control standards.

Beyond these technical skills, sterile processing technicians must also possess good customer relations skills. Effective communication and collaboration with the healthcare team, the ability to prioritize tasks, and making critical decisions are all part of a technician’s everyday responsibilities. Pursuing certification through professional organizations enables sterile processing technicians to enhance these skills and foster personal and professional development.

The Importance of Networking and Professional Associations

The career growth of sterile processing technicians, as well as other allied health professionals, significantly benefits from networking and participation in professional associations. Networking allows technicians to share best practices and learn from the experiences of their peers, enhancing patient care outcomes. Joining professional networks can also combat the sense of isolation among sterile processing technicians, connecting them to a broader community focused on patient care.

The Healthcare Sterile Processing Association (HSPA) serves as an important platform for technicians seeking to engage with a professional community. Beyond fostering a sense of community, HSPA also facilitates certifications for sterile processing technicians, aiding in their professional development and credentialing. Associations like these not only enhance technicians’ skills but also reinforce their commitment to achieving excellence in patient care.

Tips for Preparing for the National Certification Exam

Many sterile processing technicians opt to take the national certification exam as a step in their professional journey. The CRCST exam includes 150 multiple-choice questions, with a 3-hour time limit and a required minimum score of 70% to pass. Once approved, candidates have 90 days to schedule and take the exam at a Prometric Testing Center, and in case of not pass, they can retake the exam after a 6-week waiting period, for a fee of $140 for each attempt.

Preparing for the CRCST exam can seem daunting, but there are several ways to approach it. Hands-on practice, official and online courses, and self-study with materials from the Healthcare Sterile Processing Association (HSPA) are all effective preparation methods. By focusing on areas such as cleaning, decontamination, sterilization process, and customer relations, candidates can increase their chances of passing the exam.

Real-life Experiences: Interviews with Florida Sterile Processing Technicians

For aspiring sterile processing technicians, gaining insights from those already in the field can be incredibly beneficial. Interviews with Florida technicians provide such insights. The hiring process varies, with some applying for a travel contract or a permanent position, and some facilities using third-party services for resume screening while others conduct interviews in-house.

During these interviews, questions often revolve around the candidate’s understanding of sterilization methods, handling of biohazardous materials, equipment experience, task prioritization, record maintenance, and troubleshooting sterilization issues. Applicants are encouraged to ask questions too, about procedures, orientation, department dynamics, daily case volumes, and the layout of the department. These inquiries can provide deeper insights into job expectations.

At the end of the interview, expressing a strong interest in the role and inquiring about the hiring timeline can be key in post-interview follow-up. Such insights from real-life experiences can provide a roadmap for those starting their journey in this field.

Legal and Regulatory Aspects of Sterile Processing Technician Practice in Florida

In Florida, a license is not necessary for sterile processing technicians. They work under the supervision of a registered nurse or a licensed healthcare professional, ensuring compliance with rules and regulations. A comprehensive understanding of regulations from agencies such as:

  • OSHA
  • CDC
  • FDA
  • ANSI
  • AAMI

The CRCST exam, which includes a section on medical terminology, cements its influence in the surgical technology and sterile processing technician’s field, ensuring a well-prepared surgical team.

The CRCST certification, recognized by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA), further emphasizes the national significance of this role. These certifications and knowledge of legal regulations ensure that technicians are equipped to provide the best care for patients.


Considering a career as a sterile processing technician in Florida? This guide covers the pathway to securing a role in this essential healthcare support field, including accredited training programs, certification processes, and the crucial skills needed for success. Florida offers a variety of training programs that combine hands-on experience with theoretical knowledge, with flexible options like evening classes and online learning. While certification isn’t mandatory, it is highly recommended for career advancement and requires passing the CRCST exam after completing 400 hours of practical experience. Successful technicians need a solid understanding of sterilization processes, skills in medical instrument preparation and packaging, and good customer relations, all enhanced through certification and continuous professional development. Start your journey towards a rewarding healthcare career today.