A Sterile Processing and Distribution Technician decontaminates, inspects, assembles, and sterilizes instruments and surgical trays. The technician also manages inventory control, orders supplies, inspects, maintains, delivers and retrieves equipment and instruments for the surgery suite, emergency room and intensive care units. A hands-on clinical practicum experience in an area hospital is included in the course of study. This program prepares graduates for eligibility for the Sterile Processing and Distribution Technician Certification (CSPDT) by the Certification Board for Sterile Processing and Distribution (CBSPD).

Program contact: Learn more

This certificate will be automatically awarded when the certificate requirements are completed. If you do not want to receive the certificate, please notify the Office of the Registrar at RegistrarOffice@tri-c.edu.

Learn more  about how certificate credits apply to the related degree.

Related Degrees and Certificates

Program Admission Requirements

Applications may be submitted while meeting requirements listed below. Deadline for application is May 31st.

  • High School Diploma/GED
  • ENG-1010 College Composition I with "C" or higher.
  • Complete MA-1020 Medical Terminology I with “C” or higher.
  • GPA required: 2.0 admission requirements; 2.0 overall.

Other Information

  • Criminal background check required.
  • Students wishing to apply coursework to the Surgical Technology Degree – to be eligible to enroll in BIO-2331 Anatomy and Physiology I students must either achieve the appropriate placement score on the Biology placement test or complete BIO-1100 Introduction to Biological Chemistry with “C” or higher or complete BIO-1500 Principles of Biology I with "C" or higher or complete CHEM-1010 Introduction to Inorganic Chemistry and CHEM-1020 Introduction to Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry with “C” or higher.

Program Learning Outcomes

This program is designed to prepare students to demonstrate the following learning outcomes:

  1. Apply principles and techniques of decontamination to render medical devices safe to handle without protective attire.
  2. Inspect, assemble, pack and wrap medical devices in preparation for appropriate sterilization process and/or distribution.
  3. Safely selects and performs proper sterilization techniques, validates sterility assurance level monitoring and maintains sterilization integrity during storage.
  4. Inventory, stock, and/or distribute medical/surgical supplies to meet patient care areas needs in a cost-efficient manner.
  5. Communicate verbally and in writing to co-workers, customers and suppliers to ensure that pertinent departmental information is shared in a timely manner to meet organizational needs.
  6. Demonstrate professional conduct and work practices according to appropriate federal regulations, industry standards and facility policies.
  7. Prepared to sit for Sterile Processing & Distribution Technician Certification (CSPDT) given by the Certification Board for Sterile Processing and Distribution (CBSPD).

Suggested Semester Sequence

Plan of Study Grid
Program Admissions Requirements SemesterCredit Hours
MA-1020 Medical Terminology I 3
Select one of the following: 3
College Composition I
Honors College Composition I
 Credit Hours6
First Semester
SURT-1700 Sterile Processing Techniques I 4
SURT-1720 Introduction to Hospital Administration 1
Select one of the following: 3
Human Biology 1
Introduction to Biological Chemistry
Principles of Biology I
Anatomy and Physiology I
IT-1090 Computer Applications 3
 Credit Hours11
Second Semester
SURT-1710 Sterile Processing Techniques II 4
SURT-1861 Clinical Experience: Sterile Processing 2
Select one of the following: 1-3
Ethics for Health Care Professionals
Honors Bioethics
DEGR-XXXXAny 1000-level general education/Ohio Transfer 36 approved course. 3
Select one of the following: 3
Fundamentals of Interpersonal Communication
Fundamentals of Speech Communication
Honors Speech Communication
 Credit Hours13-15
 Total Credit Hours30-32

BIO-1050 Human Biology is a lecture course only, and may be selected in place of BIO-1100 Introduction to Biological Chemistry if working for the Certificate only. Students wishing to apply coursework to the Surgical Technology degree program must take BIO-1100 Introduction to Biological Chemistry or BIO-1500 Principles of Biology I.

MATH-1140, MATH-1141, MATH-1200, MATH-1270, and MATH-1280 can no longer count towards fulfilling the college-level mathematics requirement.  These courses were re-classified as developmental mathematics by the state of Ohio in 2016.  Tri-C established a 5-year transitioning window for students who had completed these courses prior to 2016 to apply them towards meeting graduation requirements, which expired in Summer 2021. It is highly recommended to see a counselor to determine the appropriate math required for your current major.