Central supply technicians typically work in central service departments within various medical facilities. Hospitals, clinics, and other types of facilities all have central service divisions, so a central supply technician may work in a variety of settings. As an employee in a central service division, a central supply technician may be responsible for procuring supplies, sterilizing equipment, and filling requests from other departments. They typically have extensive training in the various principles and methods of sterilization, materials handling, and inventory control. All of the other departments in a medical facility depend on central services to provide them with the necessary tools and equipment to administer the highest levels of patient care.
One of the main divisions present in most medical facilities is referred to as central services. These departments are responsible for all of the equipment and supplies within the hospital. Central services is responsible for procuring new supplies, the sterilization of existing equipment, and providing necessary support to all of the other departments within a medical facility. Sterile equipment for surgeries, and various medical supplies for all of the other departments, are typically handled by a central services division.
Generally speaking, central supply technicians are responsible for carrying out the various duties of a central services division. Each central supply technician can have slightly different responsibilities, depending on the resources of the particular facility. Some of these technicians focus primarily on sterilizing surgical implements and other equipment so that it is ready for the next procedure. Other technicians specialize in inventory control, or materials handling, and some are responsible for ordering all of the various supplies required for the smooth operation of a medical facility. Some central supply departments require their technicians to perform all of these duties, so this type of job can be highly technical, and requires both a great deal of knowledge and meticulous attention to detail.
In order to become a central supply technician, some type of post-secondary education is typically required. Since central services can handle such a wide range of duties, it is necessary for each central supply technician to be an expert in sterilization methods, the principles of inventory control, and the latest practices in efficient materials handling. These jobs sometimes only require a high school diploma, and some level of work experience, though there are also certificate programs from vocational schools and community colleges that can provide the necessary background in sterilization techniques and inventory control. More advanced training and education may lead to management roles within central services, which can come with an additional set of responsibilities and duties.