by Adam Okada
Finding sterile processing jobs can be a frustrating task. Endless searching on job boards, applying online using time consuming application processes, with usually, very few results. I know I get that twinge of disappointment every time I get that form email stating, “We’re sorry, but the position has been filled.”
But I’m here to help, and over the years I’ve found a fairly bulletproof system for applying into the right jobs (and finding the right people to talk to).
If you aren’t currently certified, the single best thing you can do for your career prospects is to get your Sterile Processing certification. Find a local Sterile Processing school or program that teaches the CRCST certification classes and sign up! Sterile Education (located in Fresno, CA) offers online Sterile Processing certification classes for only $995 and through our contracts we are able to help students find hands-on hours all over the United States. If you are interested in getting certified to help further your career in Sterile Processing, find out about our certification prep classes here.
What’s Your Dream Job?
Usually, every Sterile Processing Technician has that one SPD dream job they talk and think about someday getting to. It might close to home for a shorter commute, or the best paying job in the area, but hopefully, there’s a department in your area that you really want to be a part of.
Are you thinking of that job? Now, go to their website and bookmark the career search page.
The best way to get that dream job that you want, is to keep checking their career page and searching for open positions.
Sure, occasionally major hospitals will post their openings on Indeed or Monster, but the best way to get the job you want is by being persistent and continuing to search for their open positions. If you can get to it directly, and apply into the HR portal before the Indeed and Monster searchers can get there, you now have the advantage.
Some facilities even have the option to email you if a position opens in your chosed department, so make sure you sign up for those alerts! Often, this alert is sent to you and a small group upon a position being posted, so this is a great way to be first in line for a job opening.
Join Your Local Chapter
Here in Central California, we have the Central California Chapter of IAHCSMM. I bet you didn’t know that they have a database of managers across Central California that will search through the Chapter to find certified technicians for their openings. Sometimes, they won’t even post their positions online, because qualified candidates are supplied like a pipeline in from the Chapter.
Other benefits of joining your local chapter are to find out who the local managers and local technicians are, and make sure you meet them at your chapter’s educational seminars. If you’ve ever heard the term, “it’s all about who you know”, it’s absolutely true.
So join your local chapter, start making those connections, and possibly meet and make a good impression on your future boss!
The Application Process
So now that you’ve found the opening you want to go for, make sure you read another of our articles: Sterile Processing Technician Cover Letter: Tips & Examples on the importance of writing a Cover Letter. Trust me and write one for each opening you find and make sure you make it individual and personal to each different facility. Yes, this is time consuming. But is it worth the extra 15-30 minutes to get the job you really want?
One more tip for getting that elusive interview with the boss? Talk to them directly.
It’s easier than you might think to get in touch with the Manager or Director of Sterile Processing:
- Call the facility main line.
- Ask to be transferred to Sterile Processing.
- Ask for the name and phone number of the Manager or whoever is hiring the open position.
And voila! You now have the name and phone number of the manager of the department you want to work for. Call them and let them know who you are.
That conversation should sound something like this: “Hello (hiring manager’s name), my name is Adam Okada, and I am applying for the position of Sterile Processing Technician at your facility. I am a hard worker, dependable, and I work well as part of a team. Your facility is one that I’ve heard so many good things about, and I’m excited about the prospect of working with you and helping to improve patient care through Sterile Processing. Thank you for your time!”
Make sure they write down your name and phone number and make double sure to thank them for their time (especially if they have spoken to you in person). If you must leave a message, make sure you follow up a few days later with another call. Do not leave another message (one is plenty) but keep trying to call them and get through in person. The point of this exercise is to form a personal connection to the manager, and that they associate you with someone who is passionate about working at their facility.
If you are needing help with the interview portion of the job application process, make sure to read our article on that: Sterile Processing Job Interview Questions & Answers
So to sum up:
- Get certified! Link to classes for only $995 here.
- Find and bookmark the career search page of your dream hospital.
- Sign up for job opening alerts from your chosen facility.
- Join your local Sterile Processing chapter.
- Write a Cover Letter when applying.
- Contact the manager of the department directly.
And good luck to you on your way to becoming a Sterile Processing Technician!