If you’d love a job in a healthcare-related field without all the hassle of going through medical school, a career as a sterile processing technician could be perfect for you!
Sterile processing techs keep surgical and medical equipment disinfected and ready for use in surgeries and other medical procedures.
Read on to find out how to become a certified SP expert in the state of Alabama. We’ll tell you all about the schooling you need and what you’ll require to succeed!
Table of Contents
- How to Become an SPT
- Sterile Processing Schools in Alabama
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Sterile Processing Technician Info by State
How to Become an SPT
Luckily, in the state of Alabama, you need no special qualifications or schooling to become a Sterile Processing Technician.
All you need is a high school diploma or a GED — then, you’re free to apply to positions in Sterile Processing at any of your local hospitals or clinics.
The downside to this path, however, is the fact that candidates who require on-the-job training usually make far less than those with experience, so if you’d like to get yourself a leg up, you can get certification straight from the source: the Healthcare Sterile Processing Association, or HSPA.
They’ve been certifying people since 1971, and have become the go-to expert on the subject.
The HSPA has five levels of certification, but only four of them directly apply to SPTs:
- Certified Registered Central Service Technician (CRCST) – the base-level certification for SPTs
- Certified Endoscope Reprocessor (CER) – an endoscope-specific certification
- Certified Instrument Specialist (CIS) – an advanced instrument certification
- Certified Healthcare Leader (CHL) – a certification for SPT management
To pass the certification test, you’ll need to study the HSPA’s Certification Handbook, the content outline for the certification you’ve selected, and any and all reference materials you’re provided for the test.
You’ll also have to fill out your application with the necessary documents for the certification of your choosing, then sign up to take the test itself.
There are also some online courses you can take to help you prepare.
Each certification is good for a year, after which you’ll have to renew your certification.
Don’t worry, though — all you’ll need to do for that is submit evidence of continuing education credits and a $50 processing fee.
Sterile Processing Schools in Alabama
Though you don’t necessarily have to be certified to become an SPT, certification can only help you in the longrun — and that’s where these SP training programs come in!
Currently, there are two schools in Alabama that offer SP specific training.
Jefferson State Community College
Jefferson State offers students everything they need to sit for the HSPA certification exams.
Their coursework covers everything from infection control to inventory management and distribution, and they keep students up to date on current events in the medical world so they can have the most up-to-date information possible.
They also go over the overall structure of hospitals and professionalism within them, a must-have for anyone pursuing a career in healthcare.
The program requires applicants to be fully vaccinated and pass a drug screening test.
The course is $1,795 in total, and also requires that all students complete 103 hours of clinical rotation.
Both the Jefferson and Shelby-Hoover campuses in Birmingham offer open enrollment, meaning you can apply whenever is right for you — no need to wait for a new schoolyear to roll around.
Southern Union State Community College
Southern Union State not only prepares students for a future in SP by teaching them how to prepare packages of tools before a surgical procedure — they also focus on Central Supply, the main inventory hub of the hospital as a whole, to better prepare their students for the inventory side of being a Sterile Processing Technician.
Students are also required to complete 400 hours of hands-on experience either during the program or within 6 months of receiving their provisional certification in order to official complete the course.
Part of their hands-on experience is clinical rotation as well, and applicants will need to be fully vaccinated and provide their own scrubs.
|Jefferson State Community College||Jefferson Campus 2601 Carson Road George Wallace Hall, Office 202 Birmingham, AL 35215|
|Jefferson State Community College||Shelby-Hoover Campus 4600 Valleydale Road Health Science Building, Office 432 Birmingham, AL 35242|
|Southern Union State Community College||750 Roberts St, Wadley, AL 36276|
Now for the big question: What can you make as an SPT?
Well, in the state of Alabama, your prognosis is decent: on average, SPTs make $41,339, but there’s room for growth.
Some SPTs are paid upwards of $46,000 — and the higher earners are the ones who keep up with their certification and put in the time and effort to continue their education.
Annual Salary Range:
Avg. Annual Salary
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need a college degree to be a Sterile Processing Technician in Alabama?
You can apply for SPT positions right out of high school or with your GED — however, certified SPTs usually make more.
Where can I get certified as a Sterile Processing Technician in Alabama?
You can get certified online through the Healthcare Sterile Processing Association’s certification programs.
You can also attend programs at Jefferson State Community College and Southern Union State Community College to help prepare you for those programs.
How much can I make as a Sterile Processing Technician in Alabama?
The average salary for an SPT in the state of Alabama is $41,339 but some professionals have reported salaries as high as $46,081.