surgical tools

Sterile Processing Technician Certificate

Students in the Sterile Processing Technician (SPT) Program prepare for an exciting career as an integral member of the healthcare team in sterile processing or materials management departments of hospitals and surgery centers. Main duties include care and processing of all types of medical devices, surgical equipment and instrumentation, and patient care items. Graduates sit for the National Certified Registered Central Service Technician Examination. This is the only SPT program available to students in the Yakima Valley and takes only two quarters to complete. We accept up to 10 students each Fall at the Yakima campus.

Application and Acceptance Period

We accept up to 10 students each Fall Quarter at the Yakima campus. The first 10 complete applications qualify for acceptance. A waitlist of up to 10 applicants will be kept until the beginning of the qualification quarter. If you do not get accepted, please apply for the next cohort, and see your advisor.

About the Program

  • Sterile Processing Technician Certificate (19 credits)
  • Online instruction/Lab in Yakima
  • 400 Hour Clinical Externship
  • Launch Your Career in Just 6 Months
  • Opportunity Grant Money Available
  • Average Wage Above $41,000 annually
  • Graduates Qualify to Take the National Certification Examination

Program Curriculum

Sterile Processing Technician Certificate

Sterile Processing Certificate Curriculum

  • AH 155: BLS for Healthcare Providers/First Aid/CPR/Blood-Borne Pathogen Training 2 Cr or equivalent documentation (Prerequisite)
  • AH 119: Medical Terminology 5 Cr (Prerequisite or Corequisite during 1st quarter)

Quarter 1

  • AHSP 100: Sterile Processing Fundamentals Lecture 3 Cr
  • AHSP 101: Sterile Processing Fundamentals Lab 3 Cr
  • AHSP 110: Sterile Processing Clinic I 3 Cr

Quarter 2

  • AHSP 120: Sterile Processing Clinic II, 10 Cr

Total Credits 19

Link to current catalog

Program Information

Commonly referred to as Medical Equipment Preparers or Central Service Technicians, Sterile Processing Technicians perform disinfection, decontamination and sterilization procedures required to ensure proper reprocessing of patient care items, surgical equipment and instrumentation, and a variety of other medical devices. Additional duties include assembly and inspection of surgical instruments, maintenance of patient care equipment, inventory management, quality assurance methods and surgical preoperative case preparation.

For up-to-date information consult the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook.

Sterile Processing Technicians may be employed in hospital central service departments, sterile processing in ambulatory surgical centers, dental clinics, and other medical device-related facilities. The environment is brightly lit and encompasses a decontamination area, with required personal protective equipment for each employee, as well as a sterile processing and supply storage area. The setting is clean, with attention to ensuring proper maintenance of sterile storage items. Interaction with patients is very minimal, but interaction with colleagues and other healthcare professionals is consistent. Many technicians work a 40-hour week but may also need to be available for innovative shifts or holidays and on-call opportunities.

The following costs are ESTIMATES of the expenses students can expect during the program.

  • Tuition & Fees $2551.45
  • Malpractice fee $18
  • Certification Exam Fee $ 125
  • Books $135
  • Nametag $15
  • Background Check/Drug Screen $88
  • Scrubs $50
  • Closed-Toe Shoes $50
  • YVC Sterile Processing Certificate Application $10
  • Immunizations/Titers – will vary for each student

Total $3042.45

*Tuition and lab fees are subject to change.
**Rates are subject to change; please see the current rate listed in the Business Office (Deccio Higher Education Center).
The estimated costs do not include transportation, room and board, or other personal needs.

Financial Aid

The Sterile Processing Technician Program does not qualify for traditional financial aid. However, if qualified, the Opportunity Grant will cover the program. For more information about the Opportunity Grant.

To submit requirements to qualify for acceptance, you will need to include the following with the online application:

  • Current BLS healthcare provider certification through American Heart Association
  • Current First Aid Card
  • 7 Hours Blood-Borne Pathogen/HIV Training Certificate
  • Professional Letter of Reference
  • Attest to completion of AH 119, Medical Terminology, with a minimum of 2.0 GPA OR enroll in AH 119 upon acceptance into the program
  • Prior Healthcare Experience Preferred, Not Required
  • Attest to Completion of High School Education or its Equivalent

Documentation of all required immunizations must be submitted with the Allied Health Sterile Processing Technician Program application form to be considered for acceptance into the program.  If immunizations expire, or new requirements are added while the student is in the program, the students must obtain the necessary immunizations and provide documentation at his or her own expense.

Acceptable documentation of proof of immunization may include:

  • A signed letter from your physician or physician’s office
  • A signed immunization record
  • A copy of laboratory results demonstrating proof of immunity
  • Tuberculosis (TB) PPD Testing: A one-time two step negative PPD test is required, 1-3 weeks apart.  Or student can show proof of current negative PPD’s for three consecutive years.  Students with a positive PPD must have a chest x-ray and provide documentation to the Allied Health Program office that demonstrates no active Tuberculosis, complete a QuantiFeron gold blood test showing negative results.
  • Tetanus, Diphtheria, Pertussis (Tdap): Within the last 8 years. Td is not acceptable as this vaccine does not contain Pertussis.
  • Measles, Mumps & Rubella (MMR): Documentation of 2 doses MMR vaccine or record of laboratory serology (titers) results proving immunity.
  • Varicella (Chicken Pox): Student will be required to provide documentation of inoculation series (2 shots) or record of positive serology (titer) results.
  • Hepatitis B (Hep B): Three injections are required over a six-month period. A titer may be done if the student believes they have had Hepatitis B vaccinations, but cannot find documentation. Sterile Processing Technician students must have documentation of all three injections in the application packet to be considered for acceptance. Any conditions to this rule will be evaluated on a case by case basis.
  • Hepatitis A (Hep A): Currently not required, but strongly recommended for all health care professionals. Two injections are required. The second one must be at least 6 months after the first one.
  • Current Year Seasonal Flu immunization: Many of the drug stores currently administer flu shots. Seasonal flu shots are usually administered from late September to May for the current seasonal flu season. This will be required prior to placement in externship rotation.
  • Covid Immunization: Pfizer-two injections separated by 21 days, Moderna-two injections separated by 28 days, and Jannsen-1 injection. Full vaccination may require boosters as mandated by the CDC.

If immunization status is not kept current and documented in the student’s file, the student will not be allowed to participate in the laboratory courses or the clinical courses.

PROOF OF ADDITIONAL IMMUNIZATIONS MAY BE REQUESTED FOR ACCEPTANCE INTO THE PROGRAM AS REQUIRED BY THE RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE CDC, THE STATE OF WASHINGTON AND/OR ADOPTED BY THE INFECTION CONTROL DEPARTMENT OF THE CLINICAL SITE AFFILIATES.

This currently includes full COVID-19 vaccination, per Washington State Governor Mandate.

Application Process

The Fall application period will be open between May 1-Fall Quarter start date. The first 10 complete applications will qualify for acceptance.

Contact Allied Health

Email: alliedhealth@yvcc.edu  or Phone: 509.574.4913

Program Staff & Faculty

Libby McRaeSurgical Technology Program Coordinator
Allied Health Program Assistant

Learn more about Allied Health Programs

YVC offers a unique approach to obtaining a variety of health professional certificates or degrees.

  • Our shorter-term certificate offerings range from 5 to 69 credits in length.
  • Our Associate of Applied Science Degree, we offer several options which range from 90 to 106 credits in length.

Our Allied Health Technology programs provide career and enrichment coursework and clinical experiences in order to build the knowledge, skills, and competencies for providing care for people of all ages in a variety of medical professions. Each program has different admission criteria, coursework, and degree options, ranging from introductory classes and certificates to associate of applied science degrees focused on a specific area of study. The majority of courses are offered in an online format. Clinical laboratory practice and clinical externship are required in some program courses.

West Campus Allied Health Building

YVC’s recently opened West Campus features expanded classrooms and labs for five of the college’s Allied Health programs: Medical Assisting, Medical Billing and Coding, Pharmacy Technician, Phlebotomy, Sterile Processing Technician, and Surgical Technology. The new facility is designed to prepare students to excel as healthcare professionals by providing spaces that mimic real-life healthcare settings. Learn more about West Campus and the Allied Health Building.

Contact Allied Health

Email: alliedhealth@yvcc.edu  or Phone: 509.574.4913