Jul 19, 2024  
Catalog 2024-2025 
Catalog 2024-2025

Sterile Processing Certificate

Location(s): In Person

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Program Overview

Major ID: 370C

Program Start Dates: Fall, Spring
Courses are offered as face to face day classes in a cohort model. The program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (www.caahep.org) upon the recommendation of the Accrediting Review Council on Education in Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (www.arcstsa.org).

The Saint Paul College Sterile Processing certificate is a 30-credit program that prepares graduates to work in medical facilities that prepare surgical instruments, supplies and equipment necessary for healthcare. This program includes a broad introduction to health sciences, as well as medical terminology, communication, and computers. The program curriculum includes instruction in decontamination processes, preparation, packaging, sterilization and sterile storage of surgical instrumentation and supplies.

Students who successfully complete the certificate program are prepared for entry-level employment in a sterile processing position. Graduates are eligible to take the certification examination (offered by HSPA (www.myhspa.org) following 400 hours of professional employment, and are eligible to apply to the AAS Surgical Technology Program at Saint Paul College.

Career Opportunities

The work environment is dynamic and fast-paced. The work is challenging, highly technical, and complex. The performance of this vital role has a major impact on the smooth operation of the many departments to which it provides products and services. Employment opportunities may be within hospitals, outpatient centers, and instrument processing centers. Wage information is available from the Minnesota Department of Education and the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development.

Program Outcomes

  1. To prepare competent entry-level sterile processors in the cognitive (knowledge) psycho motor (skills), and affective (behavior) learning domains.
  2. Communicate effectively and professionally with all members of a diverse sterile processing team.
  3. Apply logical and critical thinking skills as it relates to sterile processing job duties.
  4. Demonstrate safe handling of surgical instrumentation, equipment and supplies used in surgical patient care.
  5. Identify surgical instrumentation, supplies, and equipment used in surgical patient care.
  6. Use appropriate medical technology knowledge related to the role of the sterile processor.
  7. Apply computer skills required in sterile processing.
  8. Describe the cycle of sterilization, as it relates to sterile processing.
  9. Demonstrate proficiency with aseptic technique as it relates to sterile processing.

Program Faculty 

Program Director - Viki Viertel CST, MS

Clinical Director - Karen Hecimovich CST, BS

Full Time Faculty - Jan Brownlee CST, CFA, AA

Additional Program Materials 

Students should expect to spend approximately $135 for supplies. This cost is beyond the cost of tuition and fees and subject to change. Students will need to provide own scrubs for the program, as well as appropriate shoes for the skills lab. Details will be provided after acceptance to the program.

Prerequisites/Admission Guidelines:

  1. An application is required to register for SURG 14XX courses.
  2. A cumulative 2.5 GPA or above is required in general/prerequisite Sterile Processing program courses in order to register for SURG 14XX courses.
  3. Students with all prerequisites completed at the time of the application will be given priority.
  4. Remaining spots in the Sterile Processing courses will be granted based on remaining prerequisites to be completed at the time of application.
  5. The Sterile Processing Admissions Committee will review each application on the basis of overall academic ability, GPA of course prerequisites, completion of minimum entry requirements and meeting the above requirements. Students will be notified by their Saint Paul College emails as indicated on the Sterile Processing Course Application.
  6. Must complete vaccination requirements directed by faculty at required program orientation session.
  7. Mandatory attendance of the first class of each course. 
  8. Complete Basic Life Support for Healthcare provider (BLS) CPR prior to starting SURG 24XX courses.
  9. Must pass MN Department of Health and Human Services Background study at the start of the SURG 24XX courses.

Potential Hazards and Exposures

This field of work has a risk of blood and body fluid exposures, respiratory hazards, drug and disease exposure,. Physical requirements; able to lift 50 pounds, stand for long periods of time and working with a variety of machinery, noises and stressful situations specific to sterile processing.

Program Requirements

All SURG courses must be completed with a “C” or better and meet required GPA of 2.5 or more to be eligible for Sterile Processing.

Subtotal: 11 Credits

General Education/MnTC Requirements

Refer to the Minnesota Transfer Curriculum (MnTC) Course List  for each Goal Area

General Education Requirements: 19 Credits

Course Sequence

The following course sequence is recommended, with the exception of SURG core courses 1405, 1410, 1415 which MUST be taken concurrently within the cohort. Not all courses are offered each semester; a selection of courses is offered summer term. Students should consult with an academic advisor each semester.

Total Semester Credits: 8

Total Semester Credits: 12

Total Semester Credits: 10

Total Program Credits: 30

*Successful completion of the Sterile Processing Certificate with a minimum 2.85 GPA is required for admission to the Surgical Technology AAS degree at Saint Paul College.

Information is subject to change. This Program Requirements Guide is not a contract.

Minimum Program Entry Requirements
Students entering this program must meet the following minimum program entry requirements:

Reading: Score of 250+ or grade of “C” or better in READ 0722  or READ 0724  or EAPP 0900  

Writing: Score of 250+ or grade of “C” or better in ENGL 0922  or EAPP 0900  

Arithmetic: Score of 250+ or grade of “C” or better in MATH 0745  

Assessment Results and Prerequisites: Students admitted into Saint Paul College programs may need to complete additional courses based on assessment results and course prerequisite requirements. Certain MATH, READ, and ENGL courses have additional prerequisites.

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