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 operating rooms, operating room 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 program credits toward the Berkeley College Health Sciences Associate in Applied Science degree program.

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

The Berkeley College Surgical Processing Technician program meets the requirements of 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.

Not all programs are offered for completion at each campus or through Berkeley College Online®. Please review the academic program pages ( for information on where each program is offered. Additionally, all students may be required to take some courses at another campus or online. The Career Development and Internship courses are only offered online.


Course Requirements


HEA2200 Medical Terminology

3 Credits

Provides a solid foundation and understanding of the medical language used by healthcare professionals through the introduction, reinforcement, and combination of medical word parts including prefixes, suffixes, and combining forms. Emphasis is placed on word building, analysis of word parts, spelling, special endings, plural forms, correct pronunciation of terminology related to procedures, and diseases of the various body systems. Commonly used abbreviations and symbols will also be introduced.

HEA2203 Ethical and Legal Aspects of Health Services

3 Credits

An introduction to the principles of law as applied to the healthcare field. Students learn ethical standards and issues as related to healthcare.

SPT1110 Fundamentals of Surgical Processing

4 Credits 

Introduces the important role of the Central Service Department. Government regulations/standards, infection prevention/control, quality assurance, safety, communication, human relations skills, body systems and related surgical procedures, and medical terms and abbreviations used in surgery are discussed.

SPT2100 Surgical Instrumentation

4 Credits 

Examines the basic categories of surgical instruments (simple to complex), processing standards accompanying flash sterilization, concepts of inventory management, and management of commonly used patient care equipment. Students learn the sterile packaging process and factors impacting sterilization.

Prerequisite or Corequisite: SPT1110

SPT2110 Basic Infection Control

3 Credits

Provides an overview of water purification systems, factors impacting water quality, distillation, deionization, reverse osmosis systems, cleaning chemicals, and various methods of cleaning and decontamination.

Prerequisite: SPT2100

SPT2150 Surgical Processing Clinical Practicum

8 Credits

Offers supervised practical work experience in a sterile processing environment, which provides students with handson experience. Didactic and laboratory skills acquired in the program are applied in the clinical setting.

Prerequisite: Departmental permission

Corequisite: SPT2151

SPT2151 Surgical Processing Clinical Seminar

2 Credits 

Focuses on integrating the skills learned throughout the program with the work experience while also participating in focused discussions and special projects. This course stresses entry-level job requirements and upward career paths, resume writing skills, interviewing techniques, and networking.

Corequisite: SPT2150


SCI1120 Human Biology

3 Credits

Study of the structure and function of the human body. Students are introduced to the various body systems, including the integumentary, skeletal, muscular, nervous, special senses, endocrine, respiratory, digestive, urinary, reproductive, hematological/immunological, and cardiovascular. Course includes definitions, terminology, chemical basis of life, and energy, as well as microbiology.

SCI2228 Microbiology

3 Credits

The morphology and function of microorganisms, especially viruses and bacteria, are studied. The characteristics of microorganisms, the disease process, and the immune response are discussed.



Governing regulations may disqualify individuals from obtaining professional certification in this field based upon health or criminal records. Therefore, in addition to meeting the immunization requirements of Berkeley College and the State of New Jersey, students applying to the Health Sciences program must provide authorization for a criminal background check prior to registration and submit a physical assessment by a licensed medical professional prior to participating in clinical rotations.

Extensive criminal background checks may be repeated after admission at the request of clinical facilities, and positive findings may prevent students from completing the clinical portion of the program, graduating, and participating in certification exams. Health requirements required for clinical courses are extensive and may total several hundred dollars. The costs of these health requirements are borne by the student.

To qualify for graduation, students enrolled in the Surgical Processing Technician (SPT) specialization must pass all SPT courses and Microbiology with a minimum grade of C+, as well as participate in the Certified Registered Central Service Technician (CRCST) certification examination. Passing this examination is required to work as a Surgical Processing Technician in some states, including New Jersey and New York.

This program also requires students to obtain specific supplies. Detailed information describing the required supplies and listing typical prices is available at

Any required traditional textbooks and/or some required supplies are included as part of the charge for tuition and fees and will be distributed to students. Please note, however, that students have the right to obtain traditional textbooks, and/or certain required items, from other sources. Students who demonstrate that they have obtained required item(s) from another source may return the items distributed by the College and receive a refund of the amount charged by the College for the specific item.