Sterile Processing and Distribution Certificate Program Information
Prepare to become a vital asset to the patient care process as a Sterile Processing and Distribution Technician. At Elgin Community College, the Sterile Processing and Distribution course (SGT 100) prepares students to perform Central Service departmental work in a hospital. You'll learn critical skills through classroom didactic, on-campus lab sessions, and clinical site training. ECC's Sterile Processing and Distribution graduates are instrumental to the patient care process and can obtain immediate employment in hospitals and surgery centers throughout the region. Graduates are also eligible to receive professional certification, which is preferred by most medical facilities.
Earn an industry-recognized credential that is highly valued by local employers. Successful course completion, along with other requirements, offers eligibility to take the International Association of Healthcare Central Service Materiel Management (IAHCSMM) Provisional Examination, as well as the Certification Board of Sterile Processing and Distribution (CBSPD) Sterile Processing and Distribution Technician Certification Examination.
The SPD course is a one-semester 5-credit Basic Vocational Certificate program, which consists of classroom and on-campus lab time. The course also includes clinical hours where you can get hands-on experience at a local healthcare facility under the supervision of hospital staff, and ECC instructors, and the program director. After you register for SGT 100, the ECC Health Professions office will send an email with information about these requirements.
The SPD course covers topics such as cleaning, disinfecting, decontamination, inspection, tray assembly, sterilization, and distribution of surgical instruments, equipment, and supplies. The responsibilities of the Central Service Technician are paramount to quality patient care and patient outcomes.
How do I apply for Admission to the Sterile Processing and Distribution Program?
SGT-100 Sterile Processing and Distribution Admission Requirements
- Proof of high school diploma or high school equivalency and one of the following within the last five years:
- ECC Reading Placement Score of 95 or higher
- ACT Reading Score of 19 or higher
- SAT/PSAT Reading Score of 480 or higher
- High School GPA of 3.0 or higher (unweighted, based on at least 6 semesters excluding summer)
- Grade of C or better in RDG 091 or LTC 099
- Grade of C or better in HPE 112
All students who register for SGT 100 must attend an information session and/or meet with the program director before the start of the actual ECC semester, in order to begin to learn strategies to be successful in the program.
The state of Illinois requires Health Professions students have a social security number for a required background check at the start of the program. Students will also need to complete several other requirements, such as a drug test, providing current proof of immunizations, and a medical form to be able to attend class and clinical. After you register for SGT 100, the ECC Health Professions office will send an email with information about these requirements.
What's the difference between a Central Service Tech and a Sterile Processing Tech?
The quick answer is...there is no difference. There are many names used to describe the duties and responsibilities of sterile processing, such as Central Sterile Service, Central Service, Central Processing Service, and even Medical Supply Services or Surgical Instrument Services. Both certifying organizations, the International Association of Healthcare Central Service Materiel Management (IAHCSMM), and the Certification Board of Sterile Processing and Distribution (CBSPD) recognize these titles. They offer many types of certification testing options. Central Service technicians are in high demand in the Northern Illinois region, and the hospital facilities regularly reach out to ECC with job opportunities.
Did you know that Sterile Processing and Distribution is part of the ICAPS program?
The Integrated Career & Academic Preparation System (ICAPS) enables students to earn a certificate while also working to earn a high school equivalency or improve English language skills, reading, or math. Learn more about the ICAPS support program.
What do sterile processing technicians do?
- Clean, disinfect, and sterilize surgical instruments and patient equipment.
- Responsible for the decontamination, processing, sterilization, and distribution of surgical instrumentation and supplies.