According to the Certification Board of Sterile Processing and Distribution, the sterile processing technicians can be certified after passing a national exam along with maintaining a record of the continuing educational courses.
Organizations offering sterile processing technician Certification
The certification can be obtained mainly from organizations such as a Certification Board for Sterile Processing and Distribution (CBSPD) or the International Association of Healthcare Central Service Material Management (IAHCSMM).
Each organization offers two certificates after the corresponding examinations to the eligible technicians. CBSPD provides the certificates, Certified Surgical Instrument Specialist (CSIS) and Certified Sterile Processing and Distribution Technician. Read more about schools for this occupation.
Eligibility of a candidate to enroll to a sterile processing technician Certification
The candidate will be eligible for the CSPDT certification examination if he or she has successfully completed a sterile processing training course. Candidates who have a 12 month full time experience of sterile processing or related services can also attend the exam. CSPDT exam will consist of total 125 questions, from which the candidate should get 70 percent or greater to pass the exam. Once achieved, the CSPDT certificate will be valid for the next five years, after which it should be renewed.
After acquiring the CSPDT certificate, the candidate will be eligible to attend the CSIS exam. Along with the CSPDT certificate, he or she should either pass a surgical instrument processing course or have a 24 month experience in the working field. Unlike the CSPDT exam, the CSIS exam only has 100 questions, but requires a pass percent of 70 or above. CSIS also have a validation period of five years.
While technicians who seek certification from IAHCSMM can get Central Service Technician (CRCST) and the Certified Instrument Specialist (CIS). The applicants of the CRCST examination should first attain 400 hour work experience to be eligible. This experience could be accumulated before the exam or can also be attained in the time frame of six months after passing the examination.
The CRCST examination primarily gives emphasis on testing the knowledge levels of the applicants about such as general central service, sterilization and infection control. Meeting the experience need is sure to get the applicant up and running for the CRCST exam, so the recommendation would be to get the 400 hour experience before the exam. Keeping the experience attaining process for the post – exam period could clearly lead to a pressured period of six months which is another reason for recommending the prerequisite experience.
CIS examination can only be attended by those who have attained the CRCST certificate. The CIS exam would check the applicants knowledge about the various medical instruments and how the instruments are to be operated practically. Obtaining certificates from both CBSPD and IAHCSMM will be considered to be a great achievement in the sterilize technician field and can garner better job opportunities and luxuries.
Just like in any other field, certifications can be a great game changer when applying for a job. The sterilization technicians with certificates from either CBSPD or IAHCSMM will have a better chance of finding higher paying jobs and job security compared to the one who doesn’t have any certification.