Career Development

16 Sterile Processing Technician Skills for Your Career and Resume

Learn about the most important Sterile Processing Technician skills, how you can utilize them in the workplace, and what to list on your resume.

Sterile processing technicians are responsible for the decontamination, sterilization and packaging of surgical instruments and equipment. They use a variety of skills to perform their job duties, including manual dexterity, critical thinking and attention to detail. If you’re interested in becoming a sterile processing technician, it’s important to understand the skills that are necessary for the job.


Organization is the ability to keep track of multiple tasks and files. Sterile processing technicians must be able to organize their work area, tools and equipment as well as records related to sterilization procedures. Keeping accurate records ensures that patients receive sterile products when they are ready for surgery or treatment. It also helps ensure that all materials used in a procedure are disposed of properly.

Problem Solving Skills

Problem solving skills are necessary for sterile processing technicians to identify and resolve issues that may arise in the sterilization process. Sterile processing technicians must be able to recognize when a product is not properly sterilized, which can help them prevent contamination of other products or potential health risks to patients. They also use problem-solving skills to troubleshoot equipment failures, determine what steps they need to take to fix the issue and keep production moving forward.

Surgical Instrumentation

Surgical instrumentation is the ability to use surgical tools and equipment correctly. Sterile processing technicians must be able to identify, handle and store surgical instruments properly so that they don’t contaminate them or injure patients with them. This requires knowledge of sterile procedures and proper handling techniques for each type of instrument.

Physical Stamina

Sterile processing technicians must be physically fit to perform their duties. This includes lifting, moving and operating machinery as well as standing for long periods of time while working at a production line or computer station. Physical stamina also helps sterile processing technicians complete tasks quickly so they can meet production quotas and customer demands.

Attention to Detail

Sterile processing technicians must be able to follow sterile procedures precisely in order to ensure the safety of patients and medical staff. Attention to detail is also important for ensuring that all equipment, supplies and instruments are properly labeled and stored. Sterile processing technicians should also have excellent time management skills so they can complete their tasks before sterilization cycles end.

Packaging & Labeling

Sterile processing technicians must be able to package and label sterile products correctly. This includes using the correct labels, applying them in the right location and ensuring that all of the packaging is sterile. Labeling also ensures that the product can be tracked throughout its life cycle.

Autoclave Operation

Autoclave operation is the process of sterilizing medical instruments using a machine called an autoclave. Sterilization is necessary to ensure that all bacteria and other microorganisms are killed before the instrument is used on a patient. Autoclaving also ensures that any chemicals or materials used in the manufacturing of the instrument are completely removed, reducing the risk of contamination.

Equipment Maintenance

Sterile processing technicians must be able to maintain the equipment they use in their job. This includes ensuring that all of the machines are clean and free from contamination, as well as repairing or replacing any broken parts. Maintaining the sterile environment is also an important aspect of equipment maintenance because it ensures that the products coming out of the production line are safe for consumers.

Quality Assurance

Quality assurance is the ability to ensure that a product or service meets customer expectations. Sterile processing technicians use quality assurance skills when inspecting equipment, materials and processes to ensure they meet health standards. Quality assurance also ensures that products are safe for consumers. For example, sterile processing technicians may test samples of medical devices to ensure they’re free from contamination.

Chemical Handling

Sterile processing technicians use chemicals to sterilize equipment and materials. They also handle chemical solutions that are used in the production of medical devices, such as syringes or surgical instruments. This requires knowledge of how to safely store and dispose of these chemicals. It also requires knowledge of how to read chemical labels so they can determine what type of protective gear they need when handling certain chemicals.

Customer Service

Customer service skills are important for sterile processing technicians because they interact with customers on a regular basis. Sterile processing technicians must be friendly and welcoming to ensure their customers have a positive experience. They also need to listen carefully to customer requests, answer questions and resolve any issues that may arise.

AAMI Standards

AAMI standards are the guidelines for sterilization processes in hospitals and other medical facilities. A sterile processing technician must be familiar with these standards to ensure that they properly sterilize equipment, supplies and instruments. This ensures that patients receive safe treatment and reduces the risk of infection or disease transmission.

Infection Control

Sterile processing technicians must be knowledgeable about infection control procedures to ensure the safety of patients and medical staff. They should know how to properly sterilize equipment, clean work areas and handle supplies to prevent contamination. This includes knowing how to use personal protective equipment like gloves, masks and eye protection when handling contaminated materials.

Time Management

Time management is the ability to plan and execute tasks in a way that ensures you meet your goals. Sterile processing technicians often have multiple duties, so time management skills are important for completing all of their responsibilities on time. For example, if they need to sterilize equipment before an operation, they may need to work quickly to ensure the equipment is ready when needed.

SPD Certification

Sterile processing technicians need to be trained in the proper use of sterilization equipment and techniques. This ensures that they can properly sanitize medical instruments, supplies and other items used in healthcare facilities. It’s important for sterile processing technicians to have a thorough understanding of how different types of sterilization methods work so they can choose the most effective one for each situation.

Cleaning & Disinfecting

Sterile processing technicians must be able to clean and disinfect the equipment they use. This ensures that all of the equipment is free from contamination, which helps ensure patient safety. Sterile processing technicians also need to know how to properly sterilize their work area so it’s safe for patients.

How Can I Learn These Sterile Processing Technician Skills?

There are a few ways that you can learn the necessary skills to become a Sterile Processing Technician. One way is to find a program that offers certification in this field. This will give you the opportunity to learn the skills needed to perform the job and also take a test to become certified. Another way to learn the necessary skills is to find a job in a hospital or other medical facility that offers on-the-job training. This can be a great way to learn the skills needed for the job while also getting paid.


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