Sterile Processing Certificate

Sterile Processing

As a child, you enjoyed assembling and disassembling tools and utensils in the garage or kitchen, figuring out how they work. You have a strong desire of helping others in need of care.

If this describes you, then the Certificate of completion in Sterile Processing at Owens State Community College may be the best option for you. Owens’ Surgical Technology Department faculty members are prepared and willing to help you begin a successful career that will lead you to become a Certified Sterile Processing and Distribution Technician.

About the Program

You will learn about decontamination, preparing and packaging, sterilization, and distribution of surgical instruments as well as how to apply this knowledge in your own practice.

Upon completion of the sterile processing certificate, you will have a strong knowledge base and numerous hours of hands-on experience in sterile processing. You will also be educated on and encouraged to take the national sterile processing certification exam, such as the Certified Sterile Processing and Distribution Technician.

Ultimately, the sterile processing certificate will provide a strong education based on practices that will prepare you for an entry-level position.


The Sterile Processing curriculum at Owens boasts a background in anatomy, physiology, and medical terminology as they apply to the human body and the health of the population as a whole. This curriculum, along with approximately 180 hours of hands-on field experience, lays a strong foundation for future professionals in the field of Sterile Processing.

Additional Requirements

In addition, all Sterile Processing certificate courses must be completed within three years from the initial entrance into the program. All courses must be completed with a grade of “C” or better or the student will be academically withdrawn.

All students must be 18 years of age before the second (Spring) semester of the program.

Technical Standards

The sterile processor must be able to:

  • Stand, bend, stoop, and/or sit for long periods of time in one location with minimal/no breaks.
  • Lift and hold waist high a minimum of 20 pounds such as an instrument tray while maintaining package integrity.
  • Refrain from nourishment or rest room breaks for periods up to the duration of your shift.
  • Demonstrate sufficient visual and tactile ability to inspect fine instruments with/without corrective lenses while wearing safety glasses.
  • Demonstrate sufficient peripheral vision to anticipate and function while in the sterile processing environment.
  • Hear and understand muffled communication without visualization of the communicator’s mouth/lips within the operating room suite (an operating room suite can be up to 300 square feet).
  • Hear activation/warning signals on equipment.
  • Detect odors sufficient to maintain environmental safety and patient needs.
  • Manipulate instruments, supplies, and equipment with speed, dexterity, and good eye-hand coordination.
  • Ambulate/move around without assistive devices and within confined spaces.
  • Assist with and/or lift, move, position, and manipulate, with or without assistive devices, the patient care equipment.
  • Communicate and understand fluent English both verbally and in writing.
  • Be free of reportable communicable diseases and chemical abuse.
  • Demonstrate immunity to rubella, rubeola, tuberculosis, varicella, mumps and hepatitis B or be vaccinated against these diseases.
  • Possess short- and long-term memory sufficient to perform tasks such as, but not limited to mentally tracking surgical supplies and performing anticipation skills.
  • Make appropriate judgments and decisions.
  • Demonstrate the use of positive coping skills under stress.
  • Demonstrate calm and effective responses, especially in emergency situations.
  • Exhibit positive interpersonal skills in patient, staff, and faculty interactions.
  • Demonstrate confidentiality by not sharing “world of the OR” with others including family members.
  • Take “call” leaving family and friends at inconvenient times and within a geographic area that allows a 20-30 minute response according to policies.
  • Must be able to wear a surgical face mask for the duration of your shift.

Adapted from the Association of Surgical Technologists

Contact Us

Administration Location Phone Email
April Kesler
Health Technologies 427
Toledo-area Campus
(567) 661-7310
Catherine Ford
Health Technologies 121B
Toledo-area Campus
(567) 661-7398



Is it possible for a student to be accepted into the Sterile Processing Certificate of Completion right out of High School?

What employment opportunities are available for sterile processing technicians?

Must I be certified in the state of Ohio for employment as a sterile processing technician?

What scholarships or financial aid is available for Sterile Processing Certificate of Completion students?

Do I have to take an exam after I complete this program to practice as a sterile processing technician?

Is there a waiting list for the Sterile Processing Certificate of Completion?

Will classes taken at another college transfer in for the Sterile Processing Certificate of Completion program?

What are the college grievance policies?