- Provide, clean and sterilised equipment for hospitals
- You'll need good spoken and written communication skills
- Progress to assistant manager, service manager or head of department
- Collecting reusable medical and surgical instruments and devices from wards, clinics and operating theatres
- Taking apart pieces of equipment for cleaning
- Cleaning and sterilising equipment
- Putting equipment pieces back together when sterilised
- Checking that all instruments are clean and working properly
- Delivering sterile supplies by trolley to wards and departments
- Restocking supplies of items like dressings, needles and syringes
- Operating a steam sterilising machine
You may work within a 24-hour, 7 day a week shift system. The work can be physically demanding, and involve lifting equipment and pushing heavy trolleys. You'll work in the sterile services department of a hospital, and wear protective clothing like gloves and face visors. Working conditions can be humid when operating sterilising equipment.
This role would be ideal for someone with good spoken and written communication skills, the ability to follow detailed instructions, and the ability to work quickly and precisely.
You'll usually need 5 GCSEs, including English, maths and science, or equivalent and pass enhanced background checks.
You could start by taking a healthcare science intermediate apprenticeship or higher apprenticeship for healthcare science associates.
You can get some work experience by volunteering in the NHS which could help if you apply for an apprenticeship or a job.
You could also do a college course like a Level 3 Diploma in Applied Science or A level Biology or Chemistry. This may give you an advantage when applying for a trainee job after you finish.
It may be helpful to join organisations like The Institute of Decontamination Sciences for professional development, training opportunities and to make industry contacts.
With experience, you could progress to assistant manager, service manager, head of department or general health service management.