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Anoka Technical College and St. Paul College join resources to offer Sterile Processing certificate

Anoka Technical College and St. Paul College have joined resources to better serve students and save funds while offering a Sterile Processing certificate. To achieve this, the certificate program will be taught through both face-to-face and hybrid (online) instruction beginning fall 2015 at St. Paul College, and students will attend two courses during the first year of instruction at Anoka Technical College.

“This collaboration is very exciting for several reasons,” said Anoka Tech Vice President Heidi Haagenson. “First, we have two Minnesota State College and Universities from opposite ends of the metro service area collaborating on programming. Secondly, each college is offering the courses that most fully embody their expertise. And finally, students in the certificate program will become familiar with Anoka Tech so, if they decide to apply to the two-year Surgical Technology degree and transfer their certificate credits, they will be familiar with the campus and faculty.”

The 24-credit Sterile Processing certificate program serves as a broad introduction to health sciences, medical language, communication and computers. The program curriculum includes decontamination, preparation, packaging sterilization and sterile storage to prepare graduates for work in medical facilities that prepare surgical equipment, supplies and equipment.

Sterile processing technologists are vital in the medical field. They ensure all instruments and supplies for surgical procedures are appropriately sterilized. Sterile processing technologists are part of the surgical services department within health care organizations.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics expect the field of surgical technology, including sterile processing technologists, to increase 30 percent from 2012–2022, adding 29,300 jobs. Much faster than average employment growth is expected in the same period. Further, the demand for health services is expected to increase as the population ages.

This career is intended for anyone interested in a health care career without direct patient care, including those with previous medical experience who want to return to the workforce, and those who want to work in the medical profession and learn while pursuing other medical education.

This certificate is also an excellent choice for a student wishing to follow a pathway to a four-year degree. Students who successfully complete the certificate program are prepared for entry-level employment in a sterile processing position, to take the certification examination following 400 hours of employment and to apply to the associate of applied science in Surgical Technology degree program at Anoka Technical College, which can transfer into a four-year degree program.

“This collaboration between St. Paul College and Anoka Technical College indeed focuses on working together to provide an in-demand program to students across the metro region,” added Haagenson. “It also provides the best possible Surg Tech graduates for the health care institutions where they are ultimately hired, and serves as a model for future collaborations within the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system.”

For more information about this high-quality, in-demand program at Anoka Technical College, visit

Sterile Processing

Anoka Technical College and St. Paul College have joined resources to better serve students and save funds while offering a Sterile Processing certificate beginning fall 2015.

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