Medical Equipment Preparer

Pros


  • This is a good career for someone who likes to have things clean and orderly, as a lot of this work will require these attributes.
  • Those who like to work with their hands will find this type of work enjoyable because there are a lot of manual dexterity tasks required.
  • Because this work is in the medical field, job growth is expected to be quite good in the future.

Cons

  • A medical equipment preparer will have to work with cleaners and other chemical substances, and exposure to these agents may be dangerous.
  • This type of work can require a lot of standing and walking around. It also can require bending and lifting.
  • This work requires attention to detail. Medical professionals will be supervising this type of work so there may be some pressure situations.

Overview

Medical equipment preparers, who are also known as sterile supply technicians, work to prepare equipment and supplies for procedures to be performed on patients. This requires medical equipment preparers to decontaminate items that are required in germ-free environments such as operating rooms or examination wards. Because medical environments have many sick patients, they may have infections or other diseases that can spread. This is why medical equipment preparers can be very important in keeping sickness isolated in what can be a very infectious environment.
A medical equipment preparer disinfects and eliminates the threat of contamination of germs or bacteria on tools and equipment by applying various means of sterilization and cleaning practices. This can include toxic cleaning agents that could be potentially dangerous. Primarily working in a hospital setting, sterile supply technicians work with physicians by preparing and organizing instrument trays, dressings and whatever enters the disinfected environment. They operate the hot steam devices called autoclaves that sterilize tools and operating utensils.
Medical equipment preparers also are responsible for assembling surgical instruments, equipment, trays and packs. Working with physician’s assistant and nurses, they also fill surgery case carts from predetermined listings and deliver case carts to the surgical floor while maintaining accurate records. Sterile supply must pay attention to detail as they need to monitor supplies to ensure they are not outdated and remain germ-free.

Education

One wishing to become a medical equipment preparer needs to have at least a high school degree to gain employment. There are vocational programs to train workers in this field, and it is also possible to get an associate’s degree at a community college as well. While there are no standard educational requirements in order to get a job in this occupation, it is becoming more and more common for medical equipment preparers to have some formal training. This is most likely do to the important nature of the work and training to help pay attention to detail and proper procedure helps workers be successful for the long run.

Job Prospects

Because of the aging population, more people are turning to medical facilities to help them with their health problems. Older people are more likely to get hurt and/or sick. While this is unfortunate, it is a characteristic of the health career field that gives medial equipment preparers excellent job prospects. Technology is advancing surgical and medical procedures, which require the sterilization expertise that medical equipment preparers provide.

Advancement Opportunities

For medical equipment preparers that do not have any formal training in their field, the opportunities for advancement are not very good. However, those who have ambition and a knack for working with people can find roles in management. Most medical equipment preparers who advance have been certified through a training program or have a degree.