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Surgical Technology

The mission of the Surgical Technology program is to provide students with the knowledge, skills, and dedication necessary to become successful, valuable, and effective surgical technologists in the communities that they serve.

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Degree Description

The goal of the Surgical Technology Program is to prepare competent, entry-level surgical technologists in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (behavior) learning domains.

This program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP), 9355 - 113th St. N, #7709
Seminole, FL 33775, which allows graduates to take the national certifying examination sponsored by the National Board for Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA). For more information about accreditation, click here.

Qualities of a Surgical Technologist
  • Ability to work well under stressful and emergency situations
  • Able to act quickly and accurately
  • Work well with other people
  • Exhibit manual dexterity
  • Physical stamina
  • Good communication skills
  • Empathy
Surgical Technology Career Information

Graduates of accredited surgical technology programs complete a comprehensive education in which they receive in-depth knowledge related to the operating room. This includes completion of a surgical rotation during a clinical experience. Throughout the educational experience, the surgical technology student learns the principles of asepsis and application of sterile technique. It is the position of The Association of Surgical Technologists (AST) that surgical technologists are subject matter experts in these principles. Other healthcare providers are recommended to draw upon the expertise of the surgical technologist to share their knowledge and skills in order to prevent the patient from acquiring an infection.

During the clinical portion of the program, students will complete a minimum of 120 cases of various specialties in the first or second scrub role. At the completion of all clinical requirements, students will sit for the national Certified Surgical Technologist (CST) exam. Surgical technologists stand at the leading edge of advancements in surgical techniques and interventions using their professionalism, expertise, and abilities to make a difference.

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Application Process

To gain acceptance into the WDT Surgical Technology program, applicants must:

1. Complete WDTC Application online at
2. Submit High School transcript or GED scores.
3. Submit Immunization Records verifying two doses of MMR vaccinations.
4. Submit official college transcripts if you have previously attended a post-secondary institution.
5. Schedule an Admissions Advising Session (can be completed on campus or by phone).
6. Complete the ACCUPLACER test ($15.00 fee). Call 605-718-2565 to schedule an appointment.

The ACCUPLACER test will be waived if you have an ACT sub-score of 18 or better in English, Math, and Reading.  To waive the ACCUPLACER with SAT scores a student will need a 500 on the MATH subsection of ACT and a composite of 970 to waive Writing and Reading. To place into MATH 114 a student will need a 520 on the MATH subsection.  

7. Test of Essential Academic Skills for Allied Health (TEAS for AH), $70.00 fee. (Individual total score – 60 minimum) call 605-718-2565 to schedule an appointment. 

You can take the TEAS a maximum of 3 times, with a 1 week waiting period between re-tests ($70.00 testing fee each time).

The TEAS-V evaluates four areas that are essential for academic success, they include:

Reading 64 minutes 53
Mathematics 54 minutes 36
Science 63 minutes 53
English and Language Usage 28 minutes 28

To continue into Surgical Technology clinical, students must provide the following:

1. Current American Heart Association Healthcare Provider BLS CPR certification*
2. Immunization records (Hepatitis B Series, TB Test, MMR, Polio, DPT, Varicella (Chicken Pox), COVID-19, annual Flu  Shot)*

Depending on clinical site, students may have to provide the following:

1. Background check *
2. Complete a drug test*
3. Provide a copy of liability insurance*

*Students are responsible for additional costs.

The program director will assist students with any clinical or internship site requirements.

Note: If you are or have been convicted, pleaded guilty or no contest to, or received a suspended imposition of sentence for a felony or certain misdemeanors, you are advised that you may not be able to complete all course requirements for your chosen program, you may be prevented from taking required certification/licensure examinations in your chosen program field, and you may be prevented from gaining employment in your program field.

Students that sit out for a spring or fall semester or longer, will return under a new Catalog and may be required to repeat courses or successfully complete new or revised skills or competency assessments. Before readmittance, the program may need to determine if a student is eligible to continue in technical courses. Program sequencing and cohort size may prevent enrollment in technical courses.

Clinicals, practicums, and internships may include, but are not limited to differential shifts (evenings, nights, weekends, and holidays) to meet industry expectations. Clinicals may occur during summer semester depending on program enrollments. This may require travel outside the Rapid City Area.

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Career Description

Surgical technologists are vital members of the surgical team and are involved in all aspects of a patient’s care while in surgery. Surgical technologists are relied upon by surgeons, nurses, anesthesia providers, and numerous other health care professionals to be the technical specialists in a vast area of expertise.

Surgical technologists use a wide variety of knowledge and abilities in surgical sciences, anatomy and physiology, microbiology, and patient care to provide vital support to the patient and the surgical team. The discipline of surgery is an ever-changing arena of health care, making considerable leaps in technology, techniques, and interventions almost daily. Surgical technologists stand at the leading edge of this revolution, using their professionalism, expertise, and abilities to make a difference.

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Licensure and Certification

Professional licensure and certification requirements often vary from state to state. If you are not planning to locate and work in South Dakota and are considering an academic program that leads to a professional license or certification, it is highly recommended that you first seek guidance from the appropriate licensing agency in the state you plan to work before beginning the academic program. If you need assistance locating a state licensing agency, please contact the Vice President for Teaching and Learning: or 605.718.2905.

Current as of May 22, 2024:

  1. The program curriculum meets educational requirements for licensure/certification in the following states: AK, AL, AR, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DE, FL, GA, HI, IA, ID, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MS, MT, NC, ND, NE, NH, NJ, NM, NV, NY, OH, OK, OR, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, VT, WA, WI, WV, WY
  2. The program curriculum does not meet educational requirements for licensure/certification in the following states:
  3. WDT has not determined whether the program curriculum meets educational requirements for licensure/certification in the following states: American Samoa, DC, Guam, The Republic of the Marshall Islands, The Federated States of Micronesia, The Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, The Republic of Palau, The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, The Virgin Islands

Virtual Tour Surgical Technology Lab

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General Education EMT

After Earning Your Degree

A surgical technologist is an allied health professional working as a part of the team delivering surgical care. They work as members of the surgical team made up of surgeon, surgeon's assistant, circulation nurse and anesthesia provider. They possess knowledge and skills in sterile and aseptic techniques. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in May 2023, the average wage in western South Dakota was $51,890.

Meet Your Faculty

Western Dakota Technical College has a low student-to-faculty ratio, meaning more one-on-one learning. Individual attention from your professor can make your college experience more fulfilling.

  • Krista Hagemann

  • Dani Hersrud

Financial Aid

Continuing your education is crucial and Western Dakota Technical College wants to make sure that any student who wants to attend school, has the opportunity to do so. For this reason, WDTC is dedicated to administering the U.S. Department of Education’s Title IV Financial Assistance Program fair and consistently to anyone who needs it.

Build Dakota Scholarships

The Build Dakota Scholarship at Western Dakota Technical College will pay all your tuition and fees and prepare you for a career that is in-demand and growing in South Dakota. Build Dakota Scholarships will be awarded to students entering high-need workforce programs at South Dakota’s technical institutes to fill the state’s technical careers with skilled professionals.

Student Housing

Finding affordable housing during school can be a challenge for students. Western Dakota Technical College currently does not have on-campus housing, but partners with a Rapid City VRBO to offer a limited number of apartments for full-time students in the fall and spring semesters.

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Child Care

Finding child care during school is a challenge for many students. Western Dakota Technical College currently does not offer on-campus child care, but here are some resources that may help you in your search.

Youth & Family Services is an organization dedicated to helping children in Western South Dakota. They offer a variety of services, including child care at multiple locations.

The Y of Rapid City offers child care and other services.

Disclaimer: Western Dakota Technical College provides these links to you only as a convenience, and the inclusion of any link does not imply affiliation, endorsement or adoption by Western Dakota Technical College of any site or any information contained therein. When you leave, you should be aware that our terms and policies no longer govern. Western Dakota Technical College makes no claim or representation regarding, and accepts no responsibility for, the quality, content, nature or reliability of third-party websites or vendors.

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