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Career profile Medical Equipment Preparer

Also known as Central Processing Technician (CPT), Central Service Technician (CST), Central Sterile Supply Technician (CSS Technician), Certified Registered Central Service Technician (CRCST), Instrument Technician, Sterile Preparation Technician, Sterile Processing and Distribution Technician (SPD Tech), Sterile Processing Technician (Sterile Processing Tech), Sterile Technician, Sterilization Technician

Medical Equipment Preparer

Also known as Central Processing Technician (CPT), Central Service Technician (CST), Central Sterile Supply Technician (CSS Technician)

Interests Profile
  • Realistic
  • Conventional
  • Investigative
Pay Range
$27,450 - $59,370 (annual)
Required Skills
  • Critical Thinking
  • Monitoring
  • Quality Control Analysis
Knowledge Areas
  • Customer and Personal Service
  • Biology
  • Production and Processing
Core tasks
  • Operate and maintain steam autoclaves, keeping records of loads completed, items in loads, and maintenance procedures performed.
  • Clean instruments to prepare them for sterilization.
  • Organize and assemble routine or specialty surgical instrument trays or other sterilized supplies, filling special requests as needed.
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What does a Medical Equipment Preparer do?

Medical Equipment Preparers prepare, sterilize, install, or clean laboratory or healthcare equipment.

In addition, Medical Equipment Preparers may perform routine laboratory tasks and operate or inspect equipment.

What kind of tasks does a Medical Equipment Preparer perform regularly?

Medical Equipment Preparers are often responsible for overseeing or executing some or all of the following tasks:

  • Operate and maintain steam autoclaves, keeping records of loads completed, items in loads, and maintenance procedures performed.
  • Clean instruments to prepare them for sterilization.
  • Organize and assemble routine or specialty surgical instrument trays or other sterilized supplies, filling special requests as needed.
  • Record sterilizer test results.
  • Examine equipment to detect leaks, worn or loose parts, or other indications of disrepair.
  • Report defective equipment to appropriate supervisors or staff.
  • Maintain records of inventory or equipment usage and order medical instruments or supplies when inventory is low.
  • Start equipment and observe gauges and equipment operation to detect malfunctions and to ensure equipment is operating to prescribed standards.
  • Stock crash carts or other medical supplies.
  • Check sterile supplies to ensure that they are not outdated.
  • Attend hospital in-service programs related to areas of work specialization.

The above responsibilities are specific to Medical Equipment Preparers. More generally, Medical Equipment Preparers are involved in several broader types of activities:

Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards
Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
Monitoring Processes, Materials, or Surroundings
Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
Documenting/Recording Information
Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
Processing Information
Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Materials
Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.

What is a Medical Equipment Preparer salary?

The median salary for a Medical Equipment Preparer is $38,800, and the average salary is $41,070. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Medical Equipment Preparer salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many Medical Equipment Preparers earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Medical Equipment Preparers earn less than $27,450 per year, 25% earn less than $32,300, 75% earn less than $48,310, and 90% earn less than $59,370.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Medical Equipment Preparers is expected to change by 8.3%, and there should be roughly 7,900 open positions for Medical Equipment Preparers every year.

Median annual salary
$38,800
Typical salary range
$27,450 - $59,370
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)
8.3%

What personality traits are common among Medical Equipment Preparers?

Interests

Career interests describe a person's preferences for different types of working environments and activities. When a person's interest match the demands of an occupation, people are usually more engaged and satisfied in that role.

Compared to most occupations, those who work as a Medical Equipment Preparer are usually higher in their Realistic and Conventional interests.

Medical Equipment Preparers typically have very strong Realistic interests. Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

Also, Medical Equipment Preparers typically have very strong Conventional interests. Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

Values

People differ in their values, or what is most important to them for building job satisfaction and fulfillment.

Compared to most people, those working as a Medical Equipment Preparer tend to value Support, Relationships, and Working Conditions.

Most importantly, Medical Equipment Preparers strongly value Support. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees.

Second, Medical Equipment Preparers strongly value Relationships. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment.

Lastly, Medical Equipment Preparers somewhat value Working Conditions. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions.

Psychological Demands

Each occupation brings its own set of psychological demands, which describe the characteristics necessary to perform the job well.

In order to perform their job successfully, people who work as Medical Equipment Preparers must consistently demonstrate qualities such as attention to detail, dependability, and cooperation.

Below, you'll find a list of qualities typically required of Medical Equipment Preparers, ranked by importance:

Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Dependability
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Cooperation
Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Independence
Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
Stress Tolerance
Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.

What education and training do Medical Equipment Preparers need?

Working as a Medical Equipment Preparer usually requires a high school diploma.

Medical Equipment Preparers need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with this occupation.

Educational degrees among Medical Equipment Preparers

  • 6.6% did not complete high school or secondary school
  • 30.1% completed high school or secondary school
  • 30.2% completed some college coursework
  • 12.1% earned a Associate's degree
  • 15.7% earned a Bachelor's degree
  • 3.9% earned a Master's degree
  • 1.4% earned a doctorate or professional degree

Knowledge and expertise required by Medical Equipment Preparers

Medical Equipment Preparers may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as customer and personal service, biology, or production and processing knowledge.

The list below shows several areas in which most Medical Equipment Preparers might want to build proficiency, ranked by importance.

Customer and Personal Service
Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Biology
Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
Production and Processing
Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
Public Safety and Security
Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
Administrative
Knowledge of administrative and office procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and workplace terminology.

Important Abilities needed by Medical Equipment Preparers

Medical Equipment Preparers must develop a particular set of abilities to perform their job well. Abilities are individual capacities that influence a person's information processing, sensory perception, motor coordination, and physical strength or endurance. Individuals may naturally have certain abilities without explicit training, but most abilities can be sharpened somewhat through practice.

For example, Medical Equipment Preparers need abilities such as near vision, problem sensitivity, and oral comprehension in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Medical Equipment Preparers, ranked by their relative importance.

Near Vision
The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
Problem Sensitivity
The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.
Oral Comprehension
The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Oral Expression
The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Written Expression
The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.

Critical Skills needed by Medical Equipment Preparers

Skills are developed capacities that enable people to function effectively in real-world settings. Unlike abilities, skills are typically easier to build through practice and experience. Skills influence effectiveness in areas such as learning, working with others, design, troubleshooting, and more.

Medical Equipment Preparers frequently use skills like critical thinking, monitoring, and quality control analysis to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for Medical Equipment Preparers, ranked by their relative importance.

Critical Thinking
Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
Monitoring
Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Quality Control Analysis
Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
Active Listening
Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Operations Monitoring
Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.

What is the source of this information?

The information provided on this page is adapted from data and descriptions published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration under the CC BY 4.0 license. TraitLab has modified some information for ease of use and reading, and the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment, and Training Administration has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.

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