Skills Every Sterile Processing Technician Must Have

Considering a career in allied healthcare will require you to have similar skillsets as medical specialists. Becoming a sterile processing and distribution technician can be demanding, but the benefits you can receive are all worth it. If you are interested in taking the role of an SPT, you will need to possess several skills.

Sterile Processing Technician

Before we start listing the distinct abilities of an SPT, let us first define what a sterile processing technician is.

Also called a central services technician, a sterile processing technician isa healthcare professional specializing in cleaning and decontaminating medical equipment and instruments to prevent infection. SPTs are also tasked with ordering, organizing, and distributing supplies to various departments. Sterile processing technicians do not interact directly with their patients but act as assistants to other medical staff, such as surgeons.

The Skills of a Sterile Processing Technician

Before an SPT is given a role in the sterile processing department, they undergo education and training to obtain skills. These skills are what every employer will look for in your resume, so be sure to consider acquiring and sharpening them.

Attention to Detail

The patient’s safety is in your hands as a sterile processing technician. You must possess a highlevel of detail orientation to ensure you effectively sterilize the tools and equipment. Every detail is crucial to the sterilization process, and there’s no room for mistakes.

Besides decontamination, you should also pay close attention to inventory and account for all instruments. Checking for expiration dates, correctly assembling tool trays, and ordering supplies are other responsibilities needing a diligent eye.


Sterile processing technicians assist surgeons by arranging and delivering tool trays for patient operations, then disposing of or decontaminating them afterward. You will need to keep your workplace tidy and maintain accurate records.Due to the nature of the job, being organized and keeping track of every file and task is essential.


Your tasks as a sterile processing technician will often revolve around used medical instruments needing thorough decontamination. While sterilizing each tool, you should be cautious enough to avoid infection or exposure from blood and other bodily fluids. SPTs must wear protective equipment such as gowns, masks, face shields, shoe covers, and gloves.


Unexpected issues may arise during the sterilization process, so you must know how to solve these problems immediately. You should know how to troubleshoot equipment failures and errors, recognize poorly cleaned instruments, and fix any issues you might encounter.

Time Management

Sterile processing technicians must properly plan their tasks to carry them out effectively. You might often juggle multiple responsibilities at once, so having effective time management can help you accomplish your goals and keep you from being overwhelmed.

Interested in becoming a sterile processing technician? Visit Martinson College at their website to enroll in their accelerated adult and online programs for SPTs.


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