Medical Device Reprocessing Technician

Fall 2016 start: applications are accepted Oct. 21, 2015 to Sept. 6, 2016.
Winter 2017 start: applications are accepted June 1, 2016 to Jan. 9, 2017. 

Program description

Watch a video about Sterile Processing Technician studies at SAIT PolytechnicAs a five-month program offered full-time, the Medical Device Reprocessing Technician program provides entry-level training for the critical role of cleaning, packaging, sterilizing, storing and handling of sterile supplies and instruments, with a focus on infection prevention and control and aseptic techniques. It includes a practicum, arranged by SAIT, at an accredited clinical facility. This type of employment requires flexibility (shift work), manual dexterity and good health. 

The Medical Device Reprocessing Technician program is 21 weeks in length and includes classroom instruction with integrated practical learning experiences. This is followed by 400 hours of practicum, of which eight weeks take place at a clinical site. Theory will be integrated throughout the practicum to increase knowledge, skills and employability.
Students in this program require access to a personal computer and the Internet to facilitate completion of the required courses.
This program is also available part-time through distance education. Visit the Medical Device Reprocessing Technician distance page for details.

Your Career

Graduates find work as medical device reprocessing technicians, sterile processors, service aides, and in related positions in health care medical device reprocessing departments, operating rooms, doctor's offices, dental clinics, surgical centers, and specialty areas at acute care, community care and extended care facilities. Graduates are often hired into casual positions initially which usually progress to full-time positions within one year of hire. In order to find employment, many graduates must relocate across Alberta and potentially even throughout Canada.

Student success

  • In order to be successful in this program, applicants must have basic computer literacy including the ability to use word processing and communication software. Educational interaction in this program depends on these basic computer skills, and medical device reprocessing technicians work with hospital information systems. It is the student's responsibility to ensure adequacy of these skills prior to program admission.
  • Students with higher secondary or post-secondary marks usually experience greater success in SAIT programs.
  • Students who experience success in this program and career:
    • Have effective communication skills in English,
    • Are detail-oriented in the care they provide and enjoy working in a team environment,
    • Must be able to lift up to 18 kg/40 pounds and push/pull 114 kg/250 pounds on an ongoing basis,
    • Demonstrate good motor coordination and manual dexterity and are able to perform repetitive tasks in a noisy, stressful environment,
    • Able to stand or walk for long periods of time with repeated bending at the knees and waist, and
    • Have no sensitivities to latex, disinfection and sterilization chemicals, or to the sight of blood and human tissue.