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Two students in dark blue scrubs working with surgical implements in the Aims Sterile Instrument Processing Certificate program

Sterile Instrument Processing Certificate

Earn a Sterile Instrument Processing Certificate at Aims

Are you considering a career in healthcare? Learn about this vital role working behind the scenes helping prepare instruments and equipment for patient surgeries and get on a fast track to employment in this in-demand field. Whether you’re a first-time student interested in healthcare or changing careers and looking for an exciting new challenge, the Aims Sterile Instrument Processing program will give you the knowledge and skills you need to work in healthcare materials management.

Sterile processing technicians work to ensure that instruments are cleaned, sterilized and properly packaged before medical and surgical procedures. In just one semester that includes two courses and a clinical internship, you can gain the knowledge and skills to enter the workforce in a hospital or day surgery center.

In this program, you will get expert training from experienced instructors who have local industry connections. You can earn this certificate and enter the workforce immediately, or go on to earn an associate degree either as an Allied Health Professional or a Surgical Technologist, which can give you a professional edge for future employment. Credits earned in this certificate program can be applied toward earning the Allied Health Professional Associate Degree.

The Aims sterile processing program will help you prepare for the professional certification required for employment through the Healthcare Sterile Processing Association. After completing the program, you can take the exam with confidence and become a Certified Instrument Specialist.

If you want to work in healthcare keeping important equipment expertly cleaned, sterilized and ready for use by medical teams, take the next step toward starting your career.

Gain the knowledge and skills to start your career as a sterile processing technician

While this certificate program is short in duration (one semester), it is academically challenging and will require a considerable number of hours each week.

During the first five weeks, you will simultaneously complete the lecture and lab portions of the program. You’ll work through a 24-chapter textbook in an online lecture class and attend lab classes five days per week on the Greeley Campus. After that, your internship begins, and you’ll spend 40 hours per week working in an onsite clinical setting for 10 weeks.

Sterile instrument processing classes at Aims give you the practical knowledge you need to excel in the healthcare workplace. A clinical internship with placement facilitated by the program will give you hands-on work experience beyond the classroom, with academic guidance from an Aims instructor.

In this program, you will learn skills and responsibilities related to medical instruments including:

  • Rules and regulations for medical protocols
  • Medical terminology, anatomy and microbiology
  • Types of surgical and medical instruments and how they are used
  • Infection prevention and environmental controls and safety factors
  • Decontamination, cleaning, processing and sterilization methods
  • Quality assurance processes
  • Professionalism, including communication skills

If you have good attention to detail and enjoy working behind the scenes as a foundational part of a team, you’ll find engaging and satisfying work in this field. 

Earn a Sterile Instrument Processing Certificate at Aims and Start Your Healthcare Career

Medical facilities and labs are always seeking skilled professionals for entry-level sterile processing positions. As an Aims student, you can connect with potential employers through a one-semester clinical internship that will give you experience working in a medical facility. Your instructors also have working relationships with local employers who share job openings for them to share with their students.

Sterile instrument processors work in healthcare settings including:

  • University or nonprofit healthcare systems
  • Surgical Centers
  • Healthcare clinics
  • Hospitals
  • Orthodontic or dental offices
  • Veterinary practices or hospitals
  • Laboratories

Questions about the Aims Sterile Processing Program?

Contact Program Coordinator Erin Miyoshi at

Note that there are entrance requirements for this program. See the program admission page for more information.

Sterile Instrument Processing Certificate Faculty

Aims faculty have real-world healthcare experience and knowledge of employer expectations. With small class sizes, you’ll get plenty of one-on-one attention from instructors who are invested in your success.

  • Headshot of Erin Miyoshi

    Erin Miyoshi

    Program Coordinator, Radiologic Technology, Surgical Technology and Sterile Processing
  • headshot of Donald Cisneros

    Donald Cisneros

    Part-Time: Assistant Instructor, Sterile Processing
  • Headshot of Melissa Lickfeldt

    Melissa Lickfeldt

    Instructor, Surgical Technology & Sterile Processing
  • Katie Overturf headshot

    Katie Overturf

    Chair, Surgical Technology and Sterile Processing