Students in class

Central Sterile Technician

Career Studies Certificate

PURPOSE: This program is designed to provide the technical knowledge and skills, along with the four-hundred (400) hours of clinical practical experience, needed for employment as a central sterile technician. Graduates of this program are educated and trained in central sterile technology under the guidelines of the International Association of Healthcare Central Service Materiel Management (IAHCSMM) and the Reynolds CSP Advisory Committee. Upon completion, students are eligible to sit for the IAHSCMM Certified Registered Central Service Technician (CRCST) certification exam. 

The curriculum consists of basic science, infection control, sterilization, human relations, and the necessary job skills, combined with clinical experiences in area health care facilities. There is an emphasis on care and preparation of surgical instruments. Classroom instruction and clinical experiences prepare the student to assume the role of a central service technician in a variety of health care delivery settings. 

Program Length: This program is a combination of classroom, laboratory, and clinical learning experiences. The program can be completed in three semesters full-time. Program progress is based on whether the student is a part-time or full-time student.

OCCUPATIONAL OBJECTIVES: Certified central sterile technicians work in hospitals, doctors’ and dental offices, and outpatient surgical centers. Essential functions include cognitive, physical, and behavioral abilities necessary to perform the duties of a professional central sterile technician in a health care facility.Central service technicians can be trained on the job, depending on the employer, but employers may favor applicants who have formal training and certification, which requires 400 hours of clinical experience.

ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS: General college curricular admission

PROGRAM NOTES: In addition to the general college curricular admission requirements, students must meet with the program head for advising prior to enrollment in the first Central Sterile Technician course. Courses need to be taken in the sequence listed or program head permission is required. Students will be required to repeat any course in which a grade lower than “C” is received. This program must be completed within two (2) years. If there is a break in enrollment, students will be moved into the most recent catalog.

ADDITIONAL ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS: 

  • Completion of one unit of high school biology with a grade of “C” or better; BIO 1 at Reynolds is the high school equivalent course, or an acceptable substitute for this requirement may be provided.
  • Completion of Reynolds’ developmental English if required. Please see the information titled Placement Test Waivers in the College Catalog for waiver criteria. 
  • For students who complete all of the admission requirements, admission is based on a first come, first served basis.
  • Students must meet with the program director prior to enrolling in a CSP course to review medical, Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI), Sex Offender Registry Information (SORI), and drug clearance information.
  • Submission of official high school transcript, GED, or certificate of completion of home schooling transcripts to Central Admissions & Records.

Competency-based Credit-By-Able: Students who have documented work experience can receive competency-based credit for the clinical areas below. Competency-based credits are only provided for hands-on work experience. Students are required to complete the related theory course. Competency-based credit can only be applied after the student receives a “C” on the related theory course and completion of 12 credits in the Reynolds CSP program. If a student receives a theory grade below a “C”, the theory course must be repeated, and the clinical course must be taken. Students should meet with the program head to determine if they qualify for competency-based credit.

  1. General Cleaning (32 hours)
  2. Wrapping Packaging (36 hours)
  3. Assemble Instrument/Procedure Trays (60 hours)
  4. Sterilization (64 hours)
  5. Storage Clean and Sterile (36 hours)
  6. Miscellaneous (40 hours)
  7. Patient Care Equipment (32 hours)
  8. Case Carts (32 hours)*
  9. Linen Folding (36 Hours)*
  10. Distribution (32 Hours)* 

* Clinical hours may be distributed in other competency-based clinical areas above.  

Program Outcomes:

At the conclusion of the program, students are able to:

  • Apply the principles and techniques of decontamination to render medical devices safe to handle without protective attire (decontamination);
  • Inspect, assemble, pack, and wrap medical devices in preparation for appropriate sterilization process and/or distribution (assembly);
  • Safely select and perform proper sterilization techniques, validate sterility assurance level monitoring, and maintain sterilization integrity during storage (sterilization and sterile storage);
  • Demonstrate professional conduct, communication, and work practices according to appropriate federal regulations, industry standards, and facility policies (professionalism and communication); and
  • Integrate knowledge, skills, and dispositions acquired throughout the program to be prepared to function as a competent certified central sterile technician following guidelines established by IAHCSMM (practitioner). 

Clinical Requirements

Prior to the student’s first clinical course

  1. Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) and Sex Offender Registry Information (SORI) requests must be processed. These checks are required due to potential contact with children, persons with disabilities, or the elderly during a clinical experience. Students found to have certain criminal convictions or pending criminal actions may be ineligible for clinical placement. CORI and SORI are processed through an independent third-party vendor. Clinical sites will review results.
  2. Students must have current CPR certification from the American Heart Association (Heart Saver). This can be taken as part of the program, but must be completed prior to a clinical course.
  3. A physical examination and health form completed by the student’s physician for documentation of tetanus, measles, mumps, rubella, hepatitis B, and varicella (chicken pox) immunizations, or titer (a blood test to prove immunity). A TB test is required. 

EXPECTATIONS: The student is required to complete a sequence of courses and learning experiences provided at the college and selected community agencies, such as acute care (hospitals) or long-term care facilities, clinics, or comparable agencies and facilities. During these experiences, the assigned faculty will observe, monitor, and evaluate the student’s ability to achieve program outcomes through direct clinical experiences. Professional conduct and meeting program and course requirements related to dress code, program, and health care orientation are required.

CLINICAL CONTRACTS: Individual contracts are in effect with each affiliate clinical agency, and these contracts differ in requirements for students. In general, contracts include the following:

  1. Clinical agencies reserve the right to dismiss a student from their agency at any time with due cause. This will be done with advance notice except in an emergency.
  2. Student must wear the proper uniform, conforming to program and health care agency standards.
  3. Student must follow published hospital policies.
  4. Student must meet health, immunity, and immunization requirements.
  5. Student releases the facility, its agents, and its employees from any liability for any injury or death to self or damage to personal property arising out of the clinical agreement or use of the facility. (Assessment of Risk document is signed and on file once the student is accepted into the program.)
  6. Student is financially responsible for any medical care required while in the clinical setting.
  7. Student must have a current American Heart Association CPR Heart Saver.
  8. Demonstration of professional behavior is expected at all clinical learning experiences.  Faculty will direct a student to leave the learning environment if unacceptable behaviors are observed.
  9. Student must complete a CORI, SORI, and drug screen, which may be repeated during the program of study.  The health care agency may deny a student participation in direct patient care based on results of background and drug screen.
  10. Student must attend the health care agency orientation as scheduled to remain enrolled in a clinical nursing course.
  11. Student must submit required clinical documents with each clinical rotation. A student who does not meet published deadlines for submission forfeits his/her enrollment.
  12. If a student is dismissed by a clinical facility, alternate placement will require disclosure of information related to the dismissal.  The student must consent to disclosure through completion of a FERPA form.

Contracts for each agency are available in the School of Nursing and Allied Health Office in the Division Office and may be reviewed by students upon request. 

PROGRESSION THROUGH THE PROGRAM: Reynolds offers this program in affiliation with the health care agencies and practitioners in the communities the college serves and relies on its community affiliates to provide clinical education opportunities for its many courses. The rapid changes in health care law, standards of practice, technology, content of credentialing examinations, and availability of qualified faculty increasingly necessitate sudden changes in the program’s course content, policies, procedures, and course scheduling.

As a result, the college cannot guarantee every student continuous and uninterrupted clinical and course instruction as outlined in the printed catalog curriculum for this program. Circumstances beyond the control of the college may necessitate the postponement of course offerings or changes in the sequencing and/or location of scheduled courses or clinical assignments. Additionally, the college may have to change the instructor for courses after instruction has started.

If a student is dismissed by a clinical facility, alternate placement may require disclosure of information related to the dismissal.  The student must consent to disclosure.   

CONTINUATION IN THE PROGRAM:

  • Students must maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher.
  • Students must achieve a course grade of at least “C” (80) in each course.  

ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS: Technicians work in environmentally controlled conditions and practice infection control as they are exposed to disease and/or infectious material.  Potential students need to be aware that the work environment includes frequent exposure to electricity, electromagnetic fields, electronic media and latex; and chemical hazards, including (but not limited to) disinfecting solutions, dyes, acetone, bleach, and alcohol. There is also possible exposure to toxic drugs, anesthetic gases, ionizing radiation, and infectious agents (blood, urine, mucus, saliva, etc.). 

In order to meet the course requirements the student must be able to perform the following without assistance: 

Communication

  • Follow written and oral/verbal instructions in English;
  • Demonstrate ability to comprehend and interpret written material;
  • Demonstrate cognitive ability sufficient to learn and use the body of knowledge necessary to meet the program curriculum requirements and attain career entry status in the profession;
  • Make judgments and decisions that are appropriate to the role of a central sterile technician;
  • Demonstrate emotional stability sufficient to interact professionally with instructors, staff, patients, and physicians; respect patient confidentiality; use reasonable judgment; and accept responsibility for their actions;
  • Possess short-term and long-term memory sufficient to perform tasks such as, but not limited to, mentally tracking surgical supplies and demonstrate the ability to anticipate tasks required as a central sterile technician and as a member of the health care team;
  • Synthesize information from written material and apply the knowledge to various situations in the classroom and health care environment;
  • Demonstrate the use of positive coping skills during patient, staff, and faculty interactions;
  • Demonstrate calm and effective responses, especially in emergency situations; and
  • Travel to clinical sites as assigned. 

Physical and dexterity skills

  • Smell – ability to detect odors sufficient to maintain environmental safety and patient needs. 

Physical ability (gross and fine motor skills)

  • Sufficient mobility and motor coordination to safely perform all activities required while in the upright position; 
  • Walk, bend, stoop, kneel, stand, twist, sit, carry, lift, reach hands overhead;
  • Sit and stand long periods of time (4-7 hours in class; 8 hours in clinical);
  • Pull 75 lbs.; lift 35 lbs.; and push 100 lbs.;
  • Ambulate/move around without assistive devices; and
  • Successfully complete a CPR certification course (American Heart Association Healthcare Provider). Certification must be maintained throughout the entire length of the program. 

Visual

  • Demonstrate acuity sufficient to read all appropriate instrumentation;
  • Demonstrate ability to perform precise hand/eye coordination;
  • Demonstrate ability to discriminate tactile sensations;
  • Demonstrate ability to discriminate color and depth perception;
  • Demonstrate sufficient visual ability in order to inspect fine needles and needle holders with/without corrective lenses and while wearing safety glasses; and
  • Demonstrate sufficient peripheral vision to anticipate and function while in the health care environment. 

Hearing (normal or with assistive device)

  • Demonstrate ability sufficient to respond to messages and requests from patients, physicians, and staff and to respond to equipment signals;
  • Demonstrate ability to hear activation/warning signals on equipment and respond accordingly; and
  • Demonstrate ability to hear and understand muffled communication without seeing the communicator’s mouth/lips and within 20 feet.

Program Costs: 

Tuition for Entire Program (in-state at $166.60 per credit for 24 credits – based on Fall 2018 tuition rate)

$ 3,998.40

Castlebranch® Document Manager® Background Check, Drug Screening, and Re-checks

$ 225.00

Physical Exam – proof of immunity, immunizations, TB testing from appropriate physician (varies based on insurance coverage)

$ 500.00

Books and Supplies

TBA

Scrubs (provided by the clinical site)

-0-

Lab Coat & Program Shirt

$  50.00

Shoes – recommend students select comfortable shoes. Many students prefer to set aside one pair of shoes for exclusive use in the clinical experience.

$ Varies

These costs are approximate and subject to change. The student should also consider transportation and potential parking costs for clinical assignments. 

Professional Organizations: Visit the following websites to learn more about the rewards of the central service profession.

  • International Association of Healthcare Central Service Materiel Management (IAHCSMM) at www.iahcsmm.org 
  • American Society for Healthcare Central Service Professionals (ASHCSP) - Note: as of February 2008, ASHCSP has merged with IAHCSMM and links to their website.
  • World Forum for Hospital Sterile Supply (IAHCSMM is the U.S. member) at www.efhss.com
  • Certification Board for Sterile Processing and Distribution (CBSPD) at www.sterileprocessing.org/about_cbspd.htm

GAINFUL EMPLOYMENT DISCLOSURE INFORMATION:  Please see http://www.reynolds.edu/curriculum/gainful-employment-html/ge_info_221-174-01.html to access gainful employment disclosure information for this program.

 

 

COURSE

TITLE

LEC.
HRS.

LAB.
HRS.

CRS.
CRE.

HLT 1051

Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation

1

0

1

SDV 100

College Success Skills

1

0

1

CSP 135

Central Sterile Infection Control

2

0

2

HCT 110

Therapeutic Communication in the Health Care Setting

3

0

3

HLT 145

Ethics for Health Care Personnel

1

0

1

HLT 143

Medical Terminology I

3

0

3

CSP 101

Introduction to Central Sterile Services

1

0

1

CSP 106

Surgical Instrumentation

0

3

1

CSP 1072,3

Fundamentals of Central Sterile Services

1

0

1

CSP 191

Fundamental Clinical Applications

0

9

3

CSP 205

Intermediate Central Sterile Services

1

0

1

CSP 291

Intermediate Clinical Applications

0

9

3

CSP 292

Advanced Clinical Applications: Capstone

0

9

3

TOTAL

14

30

24

Total Credits for Career Studies Certificate in Central Sterile Technician

24

03.06.18 

1 Credit-by-able can be provided for active American Heart Association BLS level or above.

2 Must be able to pass background check and drug screen.

3 Must complete health forms prior to clinical placements.

CENTRAL STERILE PROCESSING

CSP 101 Introduction to Central Sterile Services (1 cr.)

Introduces students to the central service area of health care facilities and the responsibilities and role of the Certified Registered Central Service Technician (CRCST). Explores the practical application of concepts and procedures, such as regulations and standards, safety, personal protective equipment (PPE), universal precautions, and the work flow of the central service department. Discusses disinfection, decontamination, transportation of soiled items, and cleaning processes. Explores the basics of instrumentation assembly and how to process instruments, including disassembly. Lecture 1 hour per week.

CSP 106 Surgical Instrumentation (1 cr.)

Prepares the student to visually identify surgical instruments and distinguish category, use, and name of each instrument. Emphasizes quality assurance and provides the student with the skills to package and inspect instrumentation and equipment for sterilization. Laboratory 3 hours per week.

CSP 107 Fundamentals of Central Sterile Services (1 cr.)

Prepares the student for entry level practice in assembly area of the central service department. Covers the packaging process and sterilization method with an emphasis on disposable packaging materials, package closure methods, package labeling, sterility maintenance, selection of appropriate packing material, and identification of instruments by category, use, and name. Emphasizes quality assurance to enable the student to inspect, assemble, and prepare instrumentation for packaging. Lecture 1 hour per week.

CSP 135 Central Sterile Infection Control (2 cr.)

Introduces the fundamentals of infection control. Content will include an introduction to concepts of microbiology including cell structure and theory, microbial function, human and pathogen relationships, infectious process, blood-borne and airborne pathogens, defense microorganisms, and principles of microbial control and destruction. Lecture 2 hours per week.

CSP 191 Fundamental Clinical Applications (3 cr.)

Provides students hands-on practice in the clinical setting of central sterile service with an emphasis on the decontamination and processing areas. Provides the clinical experience required for International Association of Healthcare Central Service Materiel Management (IAHCSMM) certification. Laboratory 9 hours per week.

CSP 205 Intermediate Central Sterile Services (1 cr.)

Prepares the student for point-of-use processing, immediate-use steam sterilization, and high-heat and low-heat sterilization methods. Emphasizes proper procedures involved in transporting sterile goods through facilities and between various clinical sites and quality assurance to ensure customer satisfaction and safety, records maintenance, sterile storage, and central service inventory. Prerequisite: CSP 107. Lecture 1 hour per week.

CSP 291 Intermediate Clinical Applications (3 cr.)

Provides the student with continued hands-on practice in the clinical setting with an emphasis on packaging, wrapping, and sterilization in the clinical setting within a central sterilization processing department. Provides the clinical experience required for International Association of Healthcare Central Service Materiel Management (IAHCSMM) certification. Prerequisite: CSP 191. Laboratory 9 hours per week.

CSP 292 Advanced Clinical Applications: Capstone (3 cr.)

Provides continued hands-on clinical experience in a central sterilization processing department. Emphasizes the student�s ability to demonstrate distribution, sterile storage, and case cart preparation in the clinical setting with minimal supervision and provides hours required for the International Association of Healthcare Central Service Materiel Management (IAHCSMM) certification. Prerequisite: CSP 291. Laboratory 9 hours per week.

Common Job Titles1: Central Processing Technician (CPT); Central Service Technician (CST); Central Sterile Supply Technician (CSS Technician); Certified Registered Central Service Technician (CRCST); Instrument Technician; Sterile Preparation Technician; Sterile Processing Technician; Sterile Processing and Distribution Technician (SPD Technician); Sterile Technician; Sterilization Technician


Labor Market Statistics (Richmond, MSA)

Projected Employment (2028): 223

Current Wage Range (Entry - Experienced): $26,000 - $43,600


Common Job Titles1: Certified Surgical Tech/First Assistant; Certified Surgical Technician; Certified Surgical Technologist (CST); Operating Room Surgical Technician (OR St); Operating Room Technician (OR Tech); Operating Room Technologist (OR Tech); Surgical Scrub Technician; Surgical Scrub Technologist (Surgical Scrub Tech); Surgical Technician; Surgical Technologist (Surgical Tech)


Labor Market Statistics (Richmond, MSA)

Projected Employment (2028): 532

Current Wage Range (Entry - Experienced): $37,500 - $58,600


Bright Outlook Bright Outlook occupations are expected to have rapid growth over the next 10-years (employment increase of 10% or more in the Richmond, MSA over the period of 2018-2028) or are expected to have a high demand (projected to have 750 or more job openings in the Richmond, MSA over the period of 2018-2028).

1 This program may prepare you for one or more of the listed jobs; however, graduates may not be qualified for all of the jobs listed in this section.

Reynolds Community College makes every attempt to provide students with the best, most accuarate information possible. The data was sourced from external agencies (O*NET and JobsEQ) on August 15, 2018.