Medical Equipment Preparer

Bandage Maker, Central Processing Technician (CPT), Central Service Technician (CST)   More Names
Central Sterile Supply Technician (CSS Technician), Central Sterile Technician, Central Sterilization Technician, Central Supply Processing Department Technician (CSPDT), Certified Registered Central Service Technician (CRCST), Certified Registered Central Services Technician (CRCST), Clinical Laboratory Aide, Equipment Technician, Health Equipment Servicer, Hot Packer, Inhalation Therapy Aide, Instrument Technician, Laboratory Equipment Cleaner, Laboratory Worker, Washing or Cleaning Laboratory Apparatus, Material Reprocessing Associate (MRA), Medical Equipment Preparers, Medical Supply Technician, Oxygen Equipment Aide, Oxygen Equipment Preparer, Pathology Laboratory Aide, Respiratory Therapy Aide, Reuse Technician, Sanitarian Aide, Sanitary Aide, Service Technician, Sterile Preparation Technician, Sterile Processing and Distribution Technician (SPD Tech), Sterile Processing and Distribution Technician (SPD Technician), Sterile Processing Technician, Sterile Technician, Sterilization Specialist, Sterilization Technician, Sterilizer, Surgery Technician (Surgery Tech), Surgical Technician

Clean, sterilize, install, and prepare laboratory or healthcare equipment for use, such as in hospitals, clinics, medical laboratories and doctor's offices. Examine equipment for wear, broken parts or signs of disrepair.

Medical equipment preparers alert supervisors when defective equipment is found. Check sterile supplies to ensure they are not outdated. In operating room settings, assemble and organize routine and specialty surgical instrument trays. Clean instruments after use and prepare them for sterilization.

Medical equipment preparers work primarily in hospitals, clinics, medical laboratories, and doctor's offices to ensure that all equipment and supplies that are used with patients are clean, sterile, and in proper working order. Their work is especially crucial in hospital surgery and critical care units - such as emergency and post-operative recovery rooms - and in medical laboratory settings where sterile working conditions are required to obtain accurate test results.

The primary responsibility of medical equipment preparers is to ensure that all needed equipment, instruments, and supplies are clean and sterilize prior to use with patients by surgeons, physicians, nurses, laboratory technicians, or other medical staff. In meeting this responsibility, they operate and maintain steam autoclaves and other sterilizing equipment, keeping records of loads completed, items in loads, and maintenance records of procedures performed.

They also clean and sterilize larger equipment and instruments using a variety of clearing and sterilizing procedures and supplies. When doing this cleaning, they will remove and dispose of any waste material, flushing water through any system pipes or tubes, and using other disinfectant as needed. When checking and examining equipment, they will start it and observe gauges and operations to detect any problems and to ensure it is performing according to prescribed standards. They will maintain a record log of the dates and times of these performance tests, and immediately report any problems or issues to their supervisors or medical equipment repair team.

When helping prepare for surgery, medical equipment preparers assist in selecting and lay out needed instruments for the operation. They also prepare needed surgical supplies in cooperation with other members of the surgical support team.

The occupation of medical equipment preparer is an entry-level healthcare industry position. With experience and training, it can lead to a supervisory position. It also can serve as a first step on a mechanical equipment support career ladder where further training may lead to employment as a medical equipment repairer. Alternatively, this entry-level position may provide exposure to a number of career options in the medical team or nursing support fields.

Credentials Needed: Medical equipment preparers are not required to be state licensed or registered. However, there are a number of voluntary industry-based, skill certifications that support this occupation. For example, the National Health Career Association  sponsors the Certified Operating/Surgical Room Technician credential while the The Certification Board for Sterile Processing and Distribution offers the Tech in Surgery - Certified. Additionally, the National Safety Council certifies individuals in Bloodborne and Airborne Pathogens.

Some Key Things to Remember: Medical equipment preparers clean, sterilize, install, and otherwise prepare laboratory or healthcare equipment for use, especially in hospitals, clinics, medical laboratories, and doctor's offices. This is an entry-level healthcare industry position for which some college coursework or associate's degree is desirable, but not usually required. Medical equipment preparers are not required to be state licensed or registered, but there are a wide range of voluntary industry-based, skill certifications that are very helpful to persons working in this occupation.

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Job Growth and Wages
Percent Job Growth:  
14% - Average
Typical Wages (National):  
Annual: $28,060 - $41,860    Hourly: $13 - $20
Physical/Medical/Health Requirements

No specifc requirement is identified at this time.

Legal Requirements
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(Data Drawn from O*NET)

Career Snapshot

Typical Education:

High School or GED (HS)
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Percent Job Growth:

14% - Average
Find Jobs

Typical Wages:

Annual: $28,060 - $41,860

Hourly: $13 - $20