Health Sciences Degree Programs

Health Sciences Associate in Applied Science Degree (AAS) Patient Care Technician Specialization
Health Sciences Associate in Applied Science Degree (AAS) Surgical Processing Technician Specialization
Patient Care Technician Certificate
Surgical Processing Technician Certificate

A career dedicated to improving the lives of clients and the community.

The Berkeley College Health Sciences programs are a great way to enter the in-demand healthcare field. You’ll have the option of choosing a certificate program in Patient Care Technician or Surgical Processing Technician, or opting for the Associate’s degree program in Health Sciences. Many students complete one of the certificate programs and then continue on toward a degree to broaden their career options and increase their earning potential.

Associate’s degree graduates may have the opportunity to continue on and apply their credits to even more advanced studies in healthcare and additional career paths.

Health Sciences Associate in Applied Science Degree (AAS)

The Health Sciences Associate's degree program prepares students to meet the challenges of today’s complex healthcare environment through a combination of concentration-specific and general coursework. Students are able to select either a Patient Care Technician or Surgical Processing Technician concentration, based on their individual interests and career goals.

Health Sciences Students Benefit From:

  • A program that provides a strong foundation in the fundamentals of healthcare
  • Hands-on learning using modern equipment in simulated healthcare environments
  • Opportunities to practice communication and interpersonal skills needed for developing a rapport with colleagues and patients
  • Valuable, practical experience through a program-related, faculty-monitored practicum
  • Liberal arts and science courses that provide students with the foundation of skills and knowledge necessary to reason clearly and communicate effectively

Patient Care Technician Certificate Program

Patient Care Technicians work with doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals to oversee and monitor patients. As vital members of the healthcare team, they provide direct patient care and comfort measures, take vital signs, collect specimens, and much more.

Graduates of the Patient Care Technician program are eligible to participate in a variety of certification examinations, including:

  • Certified Patient Care Technician (CPCT)
  • Certified Electrocardiography (CET)
  • Certified Phlebotomy (CPT)
  • Basic Cardiac Life Support for Healthcare Providers (BLS)

Although certification is not required to work in most states, employers prefer to hire certified Patient Care Technicians.

Students who wish to enhance their career opportunities can apply Patient Care Technician certificate program credits toward the Berkeley College Health Sciences Associate in Applied Science degree program.

Patient Care Technicians Students Benefit From:

  • A strong foundation in both the theory and techniques of patient care
  • Hands-on learning in on-site medical laboratories that simulate the clinical environment
  • Opportunities to practice communication and interpersonal skills needed for developing a rapport with colleagues and patients
  • Valuable, practical experience gained through the completion of a Patient Care practicum at an off-campus healthcare facility, under the supervision of a New Jersey licensed Registered Professional Nurse (RN) instructor

The two-semester Patient Care Technician Certificate program is designed to be completed in 30 weeks. 

Surgical Processing Technician Certificate Program

Explore one of the most exciting, highly technical, and specialized environments in healthcare. The surgical processing department of a healthcare facility is the center of all activity involving cleaning and sterilizing supplies and equipment needed for surgery and other patient care areas.

The Surgical Processing Technician program provides students with the knowledge and professional skills necessary to deliver support to all patient care areas within a healthcare facility. Students learn processes for maintaining medical instruments and devices that must be decontaminated, processed, sterilized, and distributed in hospitals and surgical centers. Graduates have in-depth knowledge of infection control as it relates to sterile processing and decontamination procedures, instruments used in operating rooms, and processes for sterilizing and packaging instruments used during surgery.

Students who wish to enhance their career opportunities can apply Surgical Processing Technician certificate program credits toward the Berkeley College Health Sciences Associate in Applied Science degree program.

Surgical Processing Technician Students Benefit From:

  • A strong foundation in both the theory and techniques of decontamination
  • Hands-on learning in on-site medical laboratories that simulate the surgical processing environment
  • Opportunities to practice communication and interpersonal skills needed for developing a rapport with colleagues and patients
  • Valuable, practical experience gained through the completion of a practicum at an off-campus healthcare facility under the supervision of instructors and professional practitioners

The Berkeley College Surgical Processing Technician program meets the requirements of the Healthcare Sterile Processing Association (HSPA), formerly the International Association of Healthcare Central Service Materiel Management (IAHCSMM). As a result, graduates of the Surgical Processing Technician program are eligible to sit for the Certified Registered Central Service Technician (CRCST) examination. Passing this examination is required to work as a Surgical Processing Technician in some states, including New Jersey and New York.

The two-semester Surgical Processing Technician Certificate program is designed to be completed in 30 weeks.

Career Opportunities

Patient Care Technicians provide basic care for patients in hospitals and residents of long-term care facilities, such as nursing homes. Some responsibilities include:

  • Clean and bathe patients or residents
  • Help patients use the toilet and dress
  • Turn, reposition, and transfer patients between beds and wheelchairs
  • Listen to and record patients’ health concerns and report that information to nurses
  • Measure patients’ vital signs, such as blood pressure and temperature
  • Serve meals and help patients eat

Facilities that employ Patient Care Technicians include:

  • Nursing care facilities (skilled nursing facilities)
  • Hospitals; state, local, and private
  • Residential care facilities
  • Home healthcare services
  • Government

Information about professional licensure and/or certification requirements for this program is available online at: https://berkeleycollege.edu/about/accreditation-regulatory/professional-licensure-and-certification/index.html

Although certification is not required to work in most states, employers may prefer to hire certified Patient Care Technicians.

Students who wish to enhance their career opportunities can apply Patient Care Technician program credits toward the Berkeley College Health Sciences Associate in Applied Science degree program.

Surgical Processing Technicians are responsible for sterilizing and assembling routine or specialty surgical instrument trays or other sterilized supplies, filling special requests as needed. Some other responsibilities may include:

  • Clean instruments to prepare them for sterilization
  • Organize and assemble routine or specialty surgical instrument trays or other sterilized supplies
  • Examine equipment to detect leaks, worn or loose parts, or other indications of disrepair
  • Report defective equipment to appropriate supervisors or staff
  • Maintain records of inventory or equipment usage and order medical instruments or supplies when inventory is low
  • Check sterile supplies to ensure that they are not outdated

Facilities that employ Surgical Processing Technicians include:

  • General medical and surgical hospitals
  • Outpatient care centers
  • Physician offices
  • Medical equipment and supplies manufacturing

Information about professional licensure and/or certification requirements for this program is available online at: https://berkeleycollege.edu/about/accreditation-regulatory/professional-licensure-and-certification/index.html

Locations Offered

The Health Sciences Associate in Applied Science Degree (AAS) Patient Care Technician Specialization is offered by Berkeley College New Jersey in Newark and Woodland Park campuses and online.*

*The Online Health Sciences Patient Care Technician Specialization degree completion program is open to patient care technicians who hold field-specific certifications as outlined in the College’s Credit for Prior Learning guide. Please navigate to the School of Health Studies, Credit for Completion of Certificate or Diploma Training Program section of the Credit for Prior Learning guide for specific certification requirements.

The Health Sciences Associate in Applied Science Degree (AAS) Surgical Processing Technician Specialization is offered by Berkeley College New Jersey at the Newark and Woodland Park campuses and online.** Effective Fall 2024, the AAS Surgical Processing Technician Specialization degree program will be offered at the Woodbridge campus.

**The online option is only available to individuals who hold a current  Certified Registered Central Service Technician (CRCST) credential issued by the Healthcare Sterile Processing Association (HSPA), formerly the International Association of Healthcare Central Service Materiel Management (IAHCSMM), or a current Certified Sterile Processing and Distribution Tech (CSPDT) credential issued by the Certification Board for Sterile Processing and Distribution (CBSPD).

and

Hold a current Certified Endoscope Reprocessor (CER) credential issued by the Healthcare Sterile Processing Association (HSPA), formerly the International Association of Healthcare Central Service Materiel Management (IAHCSMM), or a current  Certified Flexible Endoscope Reprocessor (CFER) credential issued by the Certification Board for Sterile Processing and Distribution (CBSPD), or who can provide employer verification of 30 hours hands-on experience reprocessing endoscopes prior to admission.

The Patient Care Technician certificate program is only offered at the campuses in Newark and Woodland Park.

The Surgical Processing Technician certificate program is only offered at the campuses in Newark and Woodland Park. However, effective Fall 2024, the Surgical Processing Technician certificate program will also be offered at the campus in Woodbridge.

Frequently Asked Questions: Health Sciences, Patient Care Technician, and Surgical Processing Technician

The Health Sciences Associate's degree program prepares students to meet the challenges of today’s complex healthcare environment through a combination of concentration-specific and general coursework.

Students are able to select either a Patient Care Technician or Surgical Processing Technician concentration, based on their individual interests and career goals. The program provides a strong foundation in the fundamentals of healthcare including:

  • Hands-on learning using modern equipment in simulated healthcare environments
  • Opportunities to practice communication and interpersonal skills needed for developing a rapport with colleagues and patients
  • Valuable, practical experience through a program-related, faculty-monitored practicum
  • Liberal arts and science courses that provides students with the foundation of skills and knowledge necessary to reason clearly and communicate effectively

The College considers students for admission to degree and certificate programs on the basis of future potential, the motivation and interest to succeed in a chosen profession, and past academic achievement.

Graduation from high school or the equivalent is a basic requirement for admission to degree and certificate programs. In evaluating candidates, the Committee on Admissions takes into consideration your individual interests, your motivation to succeed in a chosen profession, and prior academic achievement. Basic requirements for admission include graduation from an accredited high school or equivalent and an entrance exam or SAT/ACT scores. Applicants to some programs offered within the School of Health Studies may have additional requirements, including successful completion of the HESI® Admission Assessment (A2) with Critical Thinking entrance examination. Documentation of successful completion of high school or the equivalent must be submitted to the College prior to starting classes.

A personal interview is strongly recommended. Applicants are encouraged to contact the Director of Admissions at the campus of their choice to arrange for an appointment with an Admissions Associate. For further information, students may also call the College at 866-317-6087 or email info@BerkeleyCollege.edu.

Berkeley maintains a rolling admissions policy, so students are encouraged to apply as early as possible. Applicants will be notified of a decision as soon as all credentials have been evaluated. Certain programs may have specific application deadline requirements. 

For further questions about the enrollment process, schedule an appointment with an associate.

The Health Sciences Associate in Applied Science Degree (AAS) Patient Care Technician Specialization is offered by Berkeley College New Jersey in Newark and Woodland Park campuses and online.*

*The Online Health Sciences Patient Care Technician Specialization degree completion program is open to patient care technicians who hold field-specific certifications as outlined in the College’s Credit for Prior Learning guide. Please navigate to the School of Health Studies, Credit for Completion of Certificate or Diploma Training Program section of the Credit for Prior Learning guide for specific certification requirements.

The Health Sciences Associate in Applied Science Degree (AAS) Surgical Processing Technician Specialization is offered by Berkeley College New Jersey at the Newark and Woodland Park campuses and online.** Effective Fall 2024, the AAS Surgical Processing Technician Specialization degree program will be offered at the Woodbridge campus.

**The online option is only available to individuals who hold a current  Certified Registered Central Service Technician (CRCST) credential issued by the Healthcare Sterile Processing Association (HSPA), formerly the International Association of Healthcare Central Service Materiel Management (IAHCSMM), or a current Certified Sterile Processing and Distribution Tech (CSPDT) credential issued by the Certification Board for Sterile Processing and Distribution (CBSPD).

and

Hold a current Certified Endoscope Reprocessor (CER) credential issued by the Healthcare Sterile Processing Association (HSPA), formerly the International Association of Healthcare Central Service Materiel Management (IAHCSMM), or a current  Certified Flexible Endoscope Reprocessor (CFER) credential issued by the Certification Board for Sterile Processing and Distribution (CBSPD), or who can provide employer verification of 30 hours hands-on experience reprocessing endoscopes prior to admission.

The Patient Care Technician certificate program is only offered at the campuses in Newark and Woodland Park.

The Surgical Processing Technician certificate program is only offered at the campuses in Newark and Woodland Park. However, effective Fall 2024, the Surgical Processing Technician certificate program will also be offered at the campus in Woodbridge.

Patient Care Technicians provide basic care for patients in hospitals and residents of long-term care facilities, such as nursing homes. Some responsibilities include:

  • Clean and bathe patients or residents
  • Help patients use the toilet and dress
  • Turn, reposition, and transfer patients between beds and wheelchairs
  • Listen to and record patients’ health concerns and report that information to nurses
  • Measure patients’ vital signs, such as blood pressure and temperature
  • Serve meals and help patients eat

Facilities that employ Patient Care Technicians include:

  • Nursing care facilities (skilled nursing facilities)
  • Hospitals; state, local, and private
  • Residential care facilities
  • Home healthcare services
  • Government

Information about professional licensure and/or certification requirements for this program is available online at: https://berkeleycollege.edu/about/accreditation-regulatory/professional-licensure-and-certification/index.html

Although certification is not required to work in most states, employers may prefer to hire certified Patient Care Technicians.

Students who wish to enhance their career opportunities can apply Patient Care Technician program credits toward the Berkeley College Health Sciences Associate in Applied Science degree program.

Surgical Processing Technicians are responsible for sterilizing and assembling routine or specialty surgical instrument trays or other sterilized supplies, filling special requests as needed. Some other responsibilities may include:

  • Clean instruments to prepare them for sterilization
  • Organize and assemble routine or specialty surgical instrument trays or other sterilized supplies
  • Examine equipment to detect leaks, worn or loose parts, or other indications of disrepair
  • Report defective equipment to appropriate supervisors or staff
  • Maintain records of inventory or equipment usage and order medical instruments or supplies when inventory is low
  • Check sterile supplies to ensure that they are not outdated

Facilities that employ Surgical Processing Technicians include:

  • General medical and surgical hospitals
  • Outpatient care centers
  • Physician offices
  • Medical equipment and supplies manufacturing

Information about professional licensure and/or certification requirements for this program is available online at: https://berkeleycollege.edu/about/accreditation-regulatory/professional-licensure-and-certification/index.html

Testimonials

Renuka Rupee

Health Sciences, Patient Care Technician – Berkeley College Alumna

“The classes were challenging, but the instruction was excellent. The hands-on clinical experiences we had were very helpful. Working in the Emergency Room during clinicals made a big impression on me and I knew I wanted to work there. Shortly after graduation, I got my first job in the ER at St. Joseph’s Medical Center! Everyone in the Career Services department was so helpful.”

Headshot of Renuka Rupee

Tamara Kostadinova

Surgical Processing Technician and Surgical Technology – Berkeley College Alumna

“The professors are very informative and take a hands-on approach to the material to help us understand. This is a huge thing for me because I’m a hands-on learner. Having professors with backgrounds in the medical field is also very important to me.”

Headshot of Sean Smith

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