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Central Service Technician

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Field description

The central service technician is responsible for the procurement of surgical supplies and equipment.

Central service technicians provide support to all patient care services in the health care facility. They are responsible for decontaminating, cleaning, processing, assembling, sterilizing, storing and distributing the medical devices and supplies needed in patient care, especially during surgery.

With the ever-expanding technological advancements in medical supplies, instrumentation, medical devices and equipment, highly trained individuals are needed in the field of central service. There is high demand today for the central service technician in the hospital and clinical settings.

Central service technicians are trained in principles, methods and control of sterilization processes; and the cleaning, processing, packaging, distributing, storing and inventory control of sterile goods, instruments, trays and equipment.

More about Central Service

The central service department of a health care facility is the hub of all activity surrounding supplies and equipment needed for surgery, obstetrics and other patient care areas. Central service technicians assume an important role in patient care by preventing infections.

As a central service technician, you will provide vital support in all patient care services and be responsible for knowing all of the tools used in an operating room, as well as sterilizing and packaging instruments used during surgery.

You will also decontaminate, clean, process, assemble, store and distribute medical devices and supplies, and keep records associated with sterilization monitors, orders, charges to patients and inventory.

Career opportunities

Central service is an emerging occupation and will expand as health-care becomes more specialized.

Employment of central service technicians is expected to grow faster than the average for all occupations through the year 2010 as the volume of surgery increases. The number of surgical procedures is expected to rise as the population grows and ages. Technological advances, such as fiber optics, laser technology, robotics and interventional radiology will also introduce new surgical procedures and equipment.

Hospitals will continue as the primary employer of central service technicians, although some employment growth is expected in offices and clinics of physicians, including ambulatory surgical centers, as well as nursing homes and assisted living facilities.

With additional training, some technicians advance to senior central service technicians, who provide technical and functional supervision to other central service personnel.

Earnings potential

Median annual earnings of central service technicians in 2006 were $30,568. Salaries ranged from $24,450 to $36,604.

Professional organizations

Visit the following Web sites to learn more about the rewards of the central service technician profession:

  • ART006568