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Join the Sterile Processing Team!

Posted on October 14, 2022 in Blog

Fort Sanders Regional Sterile Processing hiring for second shift

Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center is hiring a sterile processing technician for a weekday second shift (2 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.). Certification in sterile processing is preferred, but not required. Those who do not have their certification will be required to achieve it within 18 months of being hired. Covenant Health will supply the study material and help you prepare for the exam. You are responsible for paying for the exam, but will be reimbursed upon passing.

What is sterile processing?

Sterile processing is what happens behind the scenes of the operating room. Sterile processing technicians take dirty carts and instruments from surgeries and clean, prepare and sterilize them for the next surgery. Anything reusable, like scalpels, forceps, probes and scissors, are sanitized between surgeries.

How does sterile processing work?

“Fort Sanders Regional is very fortunate to have new sterilizing technology,” said Judy Hyder, the sterile processing manager for Fort Sanders Regional. “We have some of the newest sterilization machines available that significantly reduce the amount of time required to sterilize the tools. Additionally, we will have new washers, new sinks and a new cart washer by the end of the year.”

What is a typical day like in the sterile processing department?

The job of a sterile processor is very busy and requires being on your feet all day. You have to know the various types of instruments, what kind of cleaning and sterilizing they’ll require and be able to keep up with a busy schedule.

During your shift, you’ll collect used trays and carts from surgeries that day, decontaminate them, clean the instruments and assemble the trays for the next surgeries.

Meet a member of our team!

Katelyn Myers

How long have you been at Fort Sanders Regional? More than five years.

How did you get into sterile processing? It was really unconventional; I graduated with my bachelor’s degree in anthropology and was struggling to find a job. A veterinarian school was needing a seamstress, and I happened to know how to sew. There, I was sewing surgical drapes, so I got really familiar in the sterile environment. I saw the job opening in the sterile processing department at Fort Sanders Regional, moved over there and instantly fell in love with the people and the environment.

What does a typical day look like for you? I work night shift, so it’s always a surprise walking in for the night. We look over the surgery schedule for the next morning, see which trays and instruments are needed, and start cleaning. There’s a code to scan for each type of surgery so that we know which tools we need to include for the surgery.

What is your favorite part of being a sterile processor? I love the unpredictability of night shift. It’s always a surprise and we are always working together and with other departments to figure out how we can help each other. I love the team and the environment I work in.

What is your advice for someone interested in sterile processing? If you are a clean freak, this job is perfect for you. Every day is like doing a puzzle and figuring out how the pieces all fit together. It is meticulous, but so rewarding; we may not be the stars of the show, but the surgeons and operating room staff can’t do what they do without us.

To learn more about joining the sterile processing team at Fort Sanders Regional, contact Michelle Ball at mball6@covhlth.com or visit CovenantCareers.com.