10 Medical Terms Every Aspiring Sterile Processing Tech Should Know

Sterile processing is an integral part of any hospital’s operations in reducing the number of HAIs (hospital-acquired infections). These infections can be deadly, affecting both staff members and patients alike. Therefore, there must be someone responsible for preventing and controlling these infections. 

A sterile processing technician prevents HAIs by ensuring all surgical instruments and ancillary equipment are properly cleaned, sanitized, and assembled before use in the operating room. They also inspect, transport and distribute these instruments throughout the facility.

Due to the heavy weight of their responsibility, an online sterile processing technician course must be taken by aspiring technologists. In addition to this, they must also earn an SPT certification, where they will learn various course lists like basic medical terminologies. 

The Importance of Understanding Medical Jargon for SPTs

Medical terminologies can look and sound complex, and it is because they truly are. Many of these medical terms have Latin and Greek origins. There are also eponyms, which are words derived from someone’s name. All these make up the medical jargons that people not working in the field might not understand. 

Therefore, as a sterile processing technician, understanding medical jargon should also be part of your duties. Being aware of the terminologies being used in the healthcare field is vital to a successful SPT career. Without proper knowledge of these terms, you could make critical errors that may lead to health complications for your patients or fellow team members.

Some terms you will encounter working in the field include autoclave and bioburden. 

Autoclave is a sterilizer that uses steam to perform its microbicidal function. Bioburden, on the other hand, refers to the number of viable microorganisms that have contaminated an item, such as products, instruments, devices, and/or packages. 

More medical jargon you should know as a future SPT can be found in this infographic.

Get to Know More about SPT with Martinson College

As mentioned, medical terminologies are complicated. Hence, it is understandable if you have difficulty familiarizing yourself with them. However, you do not have to suffer trying to understand everything independently. 

With Martinson College, you will be guided throughout your journey as an aspiring sterile processing technician. Martinson offers online courses that can help you become a better SPT in the future. 

Learn more about Martinson College by visiting their website at