It’s been widely recognized that obtaining professional certification status is the most important step CS professionals can take toward advancing their careers and driving quality within their respective departments. As a number of states look to follow in New Jersey’s footsteps by mandating certification of CS technicians, quality-driven healthcare organizations worldwide are requiring mandatory certification within their own CS departments, regardless of their state’s current involvement in state-mandated certification initiatives. It’s a decision that no doubt makes good sense given that technology continues to evolve at a rapid pace and the CS department is often plagued by a number of resource shortcomings – including limited staff who are expected to keep up with the harried pace of healthcare and the increasing demands of their many customers, such as the surgical services department.
For those reasons, and many more, it is essential that CS staff have the knowledge, skills and training to provide consistent, reliable and quality-focused service. Certification – which makes CS professionals privy to the latest technology, industry standards and processing practices – is perhaps the most direct route toward helping technicians reach that goal.
Training for CRCST
Those interested in becoming a Certified Registered Central Service Technician (CRCST) have a wealth of resources at their fingertips. Not only does IAHCSMM offer a host of educational tools to prep technicians for their exam, the Association’s certification programs are the most highly recognized for quality and comprehensiveness within the healthcare industry.
To study for the CRCST certification, in addition to the accumulation of 400 hours of hands-on experience (accrued either before the exam or within 6 months of passing the exam), the following options are available to you (note: courses are preparation for the exam; passing a course does not equate to Certification):
- Online Course – Sterile Processing Consulting Group offers an online course that is designed to prepare Central Service Technicians for the CRCST exam. You can find out more about that course by visiting: htts://www.continuinged.purdue.edu/media/cssp/central/
- Distance Learning Course – Sterile Processing Consulting Group offers a traditional correspondence course that is designed to prepare Central Service Technicians for the CRCST exam. You can find out more by visiting:
- Approved Instructor Courses – classes are offered by hospitals, independent educators, and colleges, with certification as a possible final result
- Self Study – You may also purchase the study materials (boxed course with textbook and accompanying workbook) and study on your own to prepare for the CRCST exam (please note, this version is designed to be studied open book, verifying answers as you go through each chapter; answer keys are not provided) Click Here to Purchase the Text or Boxed Course
- Challenge the Exam – Indicating that you have not taken or passed a preparatory course nor studied materials on your own, but wish to take the exam based on your personal knowledge base from working in the field
The CRCST exam will then test your proficiency in two general categories:
General CS Knowledge
- Introduction to Central Service
- Medical Terminology
- Anatomy and Physiology
- Regulations and Standards
- Tools for Cleaning
- Surgical Instrumentation
- Complex Surgical Instruments
- Inventory Management
- Management of Patient Care Equipment
- Tracking Systems
- Quality Assurance
- Human Relations Skills
- Ambulatory Surgery and Related Practices
- Infection Control
- Decontamination (Point of Use Prep and Transport)
- Cleaning and Decontamination
- Sterile Packaging and Storage
- Point of Use Processing
- High Temperature Sterilization
- Low Temperature Sterilization
CRCSTs interested in pushing their professional know-how to the next level can do so by obtaining advanced certifications through IAHCSMM.
Training for CIS
To help CRCST-certified professionals stay abreast of rapidly changing medical technology, IAHCSMM offers the Certified Instrument Specialist (CIS) exam, which tests knowledge and recognition of medical instruments, as well as reviews instrumentation practice skills. The CIS course not only prepares CS professionals for the CIS exam, but also provides them with a valuable educational resource to keep on hand. The workbook, Instrumentation Resource Course, and guidebook, Inspecting Surgical Instruments, an Illustrated Guide, outline instrument handling practices from cleaning to inspection and assembly.
To study for the CIS certification, the following options are available to you (note: courses are preparation for the exam; passing a course does not equate to Certification):
- Self Study – You may also purchase the study materials (course with guidebook and accompanying workbook) and study on your own to prepare for the CIS exam (please note, answer keys are provided for progress quizzes within this course) Click Here to Purchase the Boxed Course
- Challenge the Exam – Indicating that you have not studied materials on your own, but wish to take the exam based on your personal knowledge base from working in the field
Training for CHL
IAHCSMM also offers Certification in Healthcare Leadership (CHL), which prepares CS professionals, with an existing CRCST certification, for management and supervisory responsibilities.
To study for the CHL certification, the following options are available to you (note: courses are preparation for the exam; passing a course does not equate to Certification):
- Distance Learning Course – Sterile Processing Consulting Group offers a traditional correspondence course that is designed
to prepare Supervisors or Managers (already in a leadership position
or in training to become a CS leader) for the CHL exam. You can
find out more by visiting: