Deon Hemingway was in the automotive industry when he first learned of work as a sterile processing technician (STP).
His interest led to job offers, and soon he found a position giving him a unique opportunity to help people — which is important to him.
As a technician responsible for sterilizing medical equipment such as surgical instruments, he protects patients from disease and infection. Deon has been in the field for nearly nine years, giving him the chance to grow and learn. Sterile processing technicians play an essential role in preventing surgical site infections and the spread of blood-transmitted diseases like hepatitis and HIV.
STP training provides graduates with instruction in basic microbiology. Additional certification possibilities are also available after completed training.
The position isn’t free from its challenges as Deon has discovered over the years. Although vital players in the delivery of quality care, STPs often struggle with not feeling like a part of the team. But, at the end of the day, helping patients and ensuring safety pays dividends.
Deon says the responsibilities of sterile processing technicians take time, so it’s important to manage resources and be careful. He points out that the issues faced daily affect patients, so it is essential that every action is in the patient's best interest.
Deon loves his job, and urges men to consider becoming STPs despite the field being dominated by women. It's the perfect job for those looking for new opportunities.
As a long-time member of this female-dominated field, Deon is a pioneer. Fewer men than women work in nursing and health care — with men accounting for less than 10 percent of the nursing field alone — despite a growing demand for professionals within this realm. Deon advises young men not to get intimidated by the number of women in nursing, as there is always a demand for qualified and talented individuals in health care.
Deon is married with eight children, and working with HPC has allowed him to work close to home. He is also a movie buff who enjoys the chance to be with his family as much as possible.