Sterile services technician Diploma
Sterile services technicians provide equipment and materials required by hospitals to carry out their various duties. These technicians collect re-usable instruments from operating theatres, wards and clinics, disinfect them and make sure that they are clean and working properly. The sterilised instruments are then delivered to the hospital by trolley.
The work of sterile service technicians begin by assembling instruments and supply items like dressings, syringes and needles and arranging them in trays or packs according to standard procedures. The packs or trays are sealed, labelled and sterilised in steam. Large items of medical equipment are disinfected with the help of specialised equipment.
Sterile services Technicians generally work as a team, and are considered to be an integral part of the healthcare team. They report to the manager of the sterile services department (also referred to as decontamination service) and their services are available 37 hours a week. In larger departments, staff may provide their services 24/7, in which case staff may be employed in shifts.
Sterile services departments can be found within hospitals or separately, and they could be run by commercial providers or hospital management. A sterile services technician can, with experience, climb to the position of assistant management and then on to service management.
Sterile services technicians can be found mostly at National Health Service (NHS) hospitals around the UK, but they are also found at private hospitals, health centres and dental practices. The sterile services sector presently employs around 20,000 people, and there always vacancies in this field, which can be found in the local press or NHS website. Information regarding vacancies in this sector can also be found at Jobcentre Plus Offices.
The course in sterile services technician covers prevention and control of infections, transporting and containment of reusable medical devices, cleaning and disinfecting equipment, assembly and packaging, function testing, inspection, sterilisation and storage and distribution of equipment.
Unit 2 Cleaning and Packaging
Unit 3 Sterilization
Unit 4 Quality Management in Sterilizing Services
Unit 5 Thermal and Chemical Disinfection