2021-2022 Catalog 
    Jun 22, 2024  
2021-2022 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Central Processing Technology Technical Certificate

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Programs of Study

Technical Certificate
Contact Information: Program Office 615-353-3691, Program Site,CentralProcessing@nscc.edu.
A graduate may become credentialed through the International Association of Healthcare Central Service Materials Management (IAHCSMM) as a Certified Registered Central Service Technician (CRCST) and by the Certification Board for Sterile Processing and Distribution (CBSPD) as a Central Service Processing and Distribution Technician (CSPDT).

The Central Processing Technology program prepares students for employment in a variety of surgical support settings.  The Central Processing Technical Certificate readies the graduate for a successful healthcare career in preparing the operating room for surgical procedures: sterilizing instruments, gathering supplies, and delivering equipment properly ahead of surgery. The program is built on a solid foundation of knowledge in anatomy, medical terminology, and microbiology. Students receive specialized training in what surgical instruments are, the handling and use of instruments for specific surgical procedures, and the clinical setting experience needed for employment. The program includes extensive classroom time as well as practical experience which prepares students for all major job duties in central processing and distribution facilities.

NSCC Central Processing Technology Program Goal Statement:

The Central Processing Technology program is an educational experience that produces competent entry-level central processing technicians in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (behavior) learning domains and prepares them to successfully complete the certification exam of their choice. The program provides the qualified and motivated applicant with experiences in a learner-centered environment that is supportive and responsive to their individual needs. Learning experiences are facilitated by qualified faculty and/or preceptors and are designed to help the student learn to independently apply sound theory to practice.

Graduates of the program should be able to:

  • Recognize elements of good patient care and prioritize them before less important elements in the surgical support setting;
  • Behave professionally in a stressful environment with demanding personalities while remaining calm and focused; and
  • Accurately plan for and perform duties of a central processing technician in common surgical support roles.

Admission Requirements

  • Must submit an NSCC Application for Admission;
  • Must have high school diploma or GED;
  • Must have satisfied all ENGL and READ learning support  and ESOL requirements in English and reading prior to starting the program (MATH not required);
  • Must submit a complete CSPT Program application by the appropriate deadline;
  • Selection will be based on a composite score consisting of points from GPA, related work experience, and courses taken toward the program. 


Completion of this certificate will give the graduate advanced placement in the selection process for the Surgical Technology program.

Anticipated estimated costs to the student will include tuition, books, lab supplies, medical services (lab analysis for titers), CPR certification, and membership and exam fees. Taking a credentialing examination is a requirement to complete the program.

NOTE: Prospective students will be required to provide a copy of a background check and may be required to complete a drug screening. NSCC does not use the background check or drug screenings as criteria for admission to the program. Background checks and/or drug screenings are required by clinical sites as a condition of participation. Students are required to participate in a variety of clinical experiences to successfully complete the program.

Grading Policy

The student majoring in Central Sterile Processing must receive a “C” or above in each course in order to meet prerequisite requirements for subsequent courses. “C” or higher in all courses is also a graduation requirement.

Total Certificate Requirements: 26 Credits


Additional course requirements: The Tennessee Board of Regents requires that students either demonstrate the appropriate skill levels in math, reading, and/or writing before enrolling in college-level courses or enroll in appropriate co-requisite experiences with college-level courses to develop competency in those skills while performing college-level work. ACT/SAT scores, classic ACCUPLACER test scores, next-generation ACCUPLACER test scores, or other relevant information determine whether a student needs to enroll in co-requisite courses in math, reading, and/or writing (English).



Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Programs of Study