5 Workplace Lessons You Can Learn From A Sterile Processing Technician


This week especially, we’re celebrating Central Service professionals! After reading the IAHCSMM Celebration Magazine, I was impressed by the article, “Tools of the Trade.” In the article, Certified Sterile Processing Technician II,  Margi Mattfeld, was quoted with one of the best summaries on working in the CS field. The insight she shared from her CS career is something every member of the workforce could learn a thing or two from.

“I truly believe that we need to lead by example in order to achieve positive results. I show up to work with a smile on my face, and a positive outlook, despite the possible heavy workload in my eight-hour shift. I compliment co-workers doing the work with me, or extend a helping hand during my work shift to lift the burden of them getting too stressed or feeling behind in their work. I am present to learn, ask questions, pay attention, and accomplish the task accurately and positively. Positive teamwork is crucial within the Sterile Processing Department.

I also believe that positive teaching and forgiving minor mistakes in Sterile Processing boosts employee morale and creates future successes. Sterile Processing involves specific training and constant change, so guiding a co-worker positively in their work is key. I learn more and complete a task better if I work closely with positive leaders who are willing to show me clear direction at a task, and follow up with reference books, etc.

Everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses. As a supervisor or manager, identifying your employee’s strengths in a positive way will benefit your department in productive, efficient methods. I have learned my own strengths and weaknesses as a technician by making a minor mistake, thus avoiding making the same mistake twice.

Being Certified in Sterile Processing means continual education, and continual learning. I have learned to be proactive in learning new tasks at work, in order to achieve success in handling these tasks on a weekend or holiday shift. Sterile Processing Departments need proactive, positive leaders, supervisors, managers, and co-workers to accomplish the critical task of meeting patients’ needs.

Working in Sterile Processing the past five years, (four years certified), I have learned many hat tricks to this type of critical work. These are five lessons I have learned from a collaboration of Managers, Supervisors and co-workers:

  1. Focus more on the task at hand; talk less.
  2. Pay attention to detail per task. ALWAYS double-check your work!
  3. Work as a proactive, positive team member. Sterile Processing work can be very tedious; therefore, combining a positive, uplifting spirit at work will boost morale and provide less tension during busy times. Laughter and small talk is good medicine amongst co-workers when the going gets tough!
  4. Develop strong work ethics and continue to learn new tasks. Remember, the needs of the patient come first!
  5. Find the right fit, and the right hospital for you.

We need to lead by example in order to achieve positive results. I have found this particular job position very challenging and educational.” – Margi Mattfeld

In honor and support of CS Week (October 13th-19th) share with us some of the workplace lessons you’ve learned!


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