Sterile services technicians provide hospital wards and departments with the equipment and materials required for clean, hygienic procedures. Re-useable instruments from wards, clinics and operating theatres are collected, disinfected and checked to make sure they are clean and working properly. Sterile supplies are delivered by trolley, to wards and departments.
Technicians assemble instruments and supply items such as dressings, needles and syringes in packs or on trays, following standardised procedures. They seal and label the packs or trays, which are then sterilised in steam using machines called autoclaves.
Specialised equipment is used to decontaminate or disinfect large items of medical equipment.
Sterile services technicians usually work days with early starts. Shifts and on-call duties may be required.
The work can be fairly strenuous, involving standing, some lifting, and pushing trolleys. Sterile services technicians work in a clean hospital environment and protective clothing is worn. Gloves and face visors are needed for some work. Working conditions can be humid.
To be a sterile services technician, you should:
Sterile services technicians work in NHS hospitals, private hospitals or military hospitals. There can be opportunities to work abroad.
Technicians can progress in to assistant management and then service management posts. Supervisors need an S/NVQ Level 3 in Supervisory Management or an Institute of Leadership Management (ILM) qualification. The Institute of Decontamination Sciences hold information about professional membership of the Institute of Sterile Services Management; see Further Information. Experienced managers who become head of department may move into general health service management.
If you would like to know anything about Sterile Services Technician that does not appear on Hotcourses, further information can be found below.
The Institute of Decontamination Sciences