Surgical tech students travel to the golden state


A group from Western Dakota Tech attended the Association of Surgical Technologists (AST) 47th National Conference in San Diego at the beginning of June.

Instructor Tiffany Howe attended the conference with 13 first-year students in the Surgical Tech program. The group had the opportunity to network with more than 1,400 surgical technicians and 200 students.

Students were introduced to the AST Student Officers and listened to presentations with topics such as various career options, job search techniques, certification exam Q&A, and professionalism in the workplace.

Instructors at the conference had the opportunity to update knowledge and skills through presentations on the latest technology and updates to safety in the operating room, comparing various methods of surgical treatment, learning about legislative efforts in relation to credentialing, and learning from renowned surgeons.

One student in attendance ran for a national student liaison position and placed fifth, the top four places were selected for positions. Another student in attendance received a $400 scholarship from the Accreditation Review Council on Education in Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting.

The next conference will be held in New Orleans in 2017.

For more information about the Surgical Technology program, visit WDT Surgical Technology.

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New program filling fast

Students are taking a bite out of the new Dental Assistant program at Western Dakota Tech. The program will begin fall 2016 and is in high-demand with an estimated 19 of the 24 spaces already full and nearly 30 prospective students.

Vice President of Accreditation and Advancement, Steve Buchholz, says the program was added because of the need for dental assistants.

“We want our programs to reflect the needs of the community and give our students the best opportunity to obtain employment after graduation,” Buchholz said. “There’s currently high demand for dental assistants so the program was a natural fit.”

Sarah McCormick will be leading the program. McCormick has 7 years of experience in dental assisting.

The Dental Assistant program is a 36 credit hour, 11-month program.

Graduates of the diploma program will attain knowledge in technical and interpersonal skills, obtain the necessary preparation to successfully complete the Dental Assisting National Board’s exam (DANB), and have the ability to perform a wide range of tasks.

For more information about the new Western Dakota Tech Dental Assistant program, click here.

Throwing hoses


Fire Science students had the opportunity to change into some new gear yesterday and practice their wildfire fighting skills.

Representatives from the U.S. Forest Service were on campus to help students practice hose lays. Students received an overview of techniques for fighting wildfires and practice rolling and throwing out hoses. They also practiced water-spraying techniques.

Instructor Tom Smith said it was a chance for the students to expand their skills.

“It’s a good opportunity to get the students in wildland gear instead of the usual bunker gear,” said Smith. “Fires can happen anywhere, and it’s important to cover a variety of scenarios.”

Forest Service representatives spoke to the students about how fire behaviors vary greatly in different geographical regions and the importance of listening to local crews who are familiar with the terrain.

For more information about the Western Dakota Tech Fire Science program, click here.

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