Surgical Technology

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Demand is high for this program and space is limited to 16 students per year. Apply Early!

"We provide a very fast-paced, intense program! Students must be able to fully engage in the program and dedicate 10-12 hours a week outside of the classroom to study. We encourage our students to go above and beyond what is required for graduation and the dedication of the students pays off in the end as illustrated in the amazing pass-rate on the national certification exam."

Program Chair - Mona Bourbonnais

Program Overview

ANNOUNCEMENTS: Applications for the Surgical Technology Program will be accepted 1/01/14 thru 3/15/14. No applications will be accepted after the deadline.  The next program start is in Fall 2014! Students who have submitted their Fall 2014 applications, must attend a mandatory orientation on Friday, March 14, 2014 at 3:45 p.m. at our Nampa Campus Academic Building (5500 East Opportunity Drive Nampa, ID 83687) in Room 102E.  If you are interested in a career in Surgical Technology, you are also encouraged to attend this very informative orientation!!  You do not have to submit a Surgical Technology application to attend.  It is a great opportunity learn more about this exciting program! (Updated 1.30.14)

Does the thought of helping to prepare a surgical team for the operating room interest to you? Then consider preparing for an exciting new career by enrolling in our Surgical Technology program. Surgical technologists help prepare operating rooms for surgery by setting up surgical instruments, sterile drapes, and sterile solutions. During operations, they work as members of the sterile team while also helping pass instruments and assisting surgeons with procedures.

College of Western Idaho’s (CWI) program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education programs (CAAHEP). After completing the program, students are eligible to take the National Certification Exam for Surgical Technologists (CST).

Prospective students should be able to stand for long periods of time and have strong attention-to-detail skills. Instruction is provided in a classroom setting and on the job at local hospitals. Enrollment is limited to 16 students each year.

All students accepted into the Surgical Technology programs must submit to a criminal background check at their own expense. Please see to obtain more information about this policy.

What will you learn to do?

  • Sterilize, disinfect, and pass surgical instruments
  • Understand surgical procedures and anticipate the needs of the surgeon
  • Ensure quality patient care during the operative procedure
  • Set up sterile table with instruments, supplies, equipment, and medications/solutions prior to operation
  • Gown and glove surgeon and assistants
  • Prepare sterile dressings and help drape a sterile field
  • Vigilantly maintain a sterile field during surgery
  • Count supplies prior to surgery and before incision is closed
  • Assist other team members with terminal cleaning of room
  • Help prepare surgical room for next patient

What kind of degree(s) can you earn?


This program is accredited by CAAHEP
1361 Park Street
Clearwater, Fl 33756

Student Work Policy

Students in the Surgical Technology Program are not to function as paid Surgical Technologists while enrolled in the CWI Surgical Technology Program.


Degree Plan

How do I apply to the CWI Surgical Technology Program?
You must complete all steps on the application process for consideration. Applications are accepted January 1 – March 15 for a summer start. The application process and all forms are available at CWI’s One Stop Student Services office or online.

For all questions and concerns regarding completion of this application process, One Stop Student Services can assist you by phone at 208.562.3000, by e-mail, or by visiting any One Stop Student Services location. See Maps & Campus Locations for directions.

Step 1:
Apply separately to CWI ». Go to CWI One Stop Student Services and submit all official transcripts directly to CWI Registrar. Transcripts from all high schools and all colleges attended must be submitted. To complete the CWI application you will also need to complete the Proof of County & State Residency Form. You need to complete this step as soon as possible so your CWI application and transcripts are verified prior to the March 15th deadline and can be made available for review by the selection committee.

Complete Surgical Technologist Application 2014»
Now you are ready to complete the Surgical Technology Application form.

Step 2:
Assemble the following materials in this order:

  1. 3 professional references using the Professional Reference form only. No letters of recommendation will be accepted. The forms are to be filled out, signed, and placed in a sealed envelope by your reference person. The reference person should sign their name over the seal and return the sealed envelope to you. You will include the 3 sealed envelopes in your application packet. No references will be accepted if mailed or faxed directly to CWI. Check the reference box on the application form when you have included all three references.
  2. If applicable: Include copies of CURRENT certifications/licensures (examples, C.N.A., C.M.A., E.M.T.).
  3. If applicable: Submit a completed Health Care Employment Verification Form for each place of health care employment or volunteer work. No other verification will be accepted. If you have other health care experience or volunteer work which you believe will qualify for health care experience, submit the form with detailed information of the type of health care experience. Check the box on the application if this is included or write “N/A.” If you have questions on what type of health care experience is accepted, please contact One Stop Student Services at 208.562.3000.
  4. If applicable: List any previous academic degrees you have been awarded, the date and school or college. Examples of an academic degree are: AA, AS, AAS, BA, BS, BAS, MS, and MA as well as Technical Certificates. This must be verifiable on your official transcripts. Check the box on the application if this applies or write “N/A”.
  5. Personal Statement: Attach your written explanation, with a minimum of 150 words, of why you are pursuing training and a career as a Surgical Technologist. If you are re-applying, indicate what steps you have taken to improve your skills since your last application.

Step 3:
PRE-REQUISITES. The pre-requisites for the program are Biology 227/228 and Medical Terminology. You may be enrolled in Biology 228 and Medical Terminology during the Spring semester when you are applying for the program. Biology 227 must be completed prior to the Spring semester. For full credit, pre-requisite courses must be completed prior to application deadline. Enclose a non-official copy of your transcripts. Highlight courses as they appear on your transcript(s) and complete the information grid. Check each Pre-requisite completed. If you are currently attending a pre-requisite course, 1/2 credit is awarded upon verification of course credit and grade. Complete a Course Credit Verification Form for Current Enrollment and include with your application packet.

Step 4:
Complete the Follow-up/Emergency Contact Information.

Step 5:
Sign and date the application.

FINAL STEP - Submission of Application:
Include this completed application form with all the additional materials required in Steps 2 and 3. Place all the required materials in the proper order into one large envelope. Seal it and sign your name across the seal.  Please DO NOT staple any documents within your application!  Special folders and/or binders are not recommended as they only make it more difficult and cumbersome to process your application.

Write your name and “Surgical Technologist Program Application” on the front of the envelope. Bring all materials in the large envelope to One Stop Student Services, at any College of Western Idaho campus PRIOR TO 6 p.m. March 15 in order to be considered for August admission. Applications will not be accepted after that date. Applications must be hand delivered to a CWI One Stop Student Services office. Your submission will be date and time stamped and a receipt of submission of the packet will be given to you.

No additional forms or papers will be accepted toward your application after submission of your packet.

You are responsible for completing all steps and including all forms. You will not be notified of missing forms.


When will I be notified if I have been selected for admission?
You will be notified by email approx. 1 to 2 weeks after the interview process.

Instructor Info

Program Chair:
Mona Bourbonnais


1) Contact our One Stop Student Services personnel who are cross-trained in all of our health programs, student accounts, registrar, financial aid, and are available to assist students by email, by phone at 208.562.3000, or in person at a One Stop Student Services location.

2)  We highly recommend that you attend a Healthcare Information Session.

Career Info

What kind of career can you expect?

A Certified Surgical Technician (CST) assists in the operating room preparing instruments and supplies, passing them to the surgeon, anticipating and meeting physician needs, and ensuring patient safety throughout the procedure. The stakes are always high in the operating room and the job can involve stressful, pressure-filled situations. The rewards of a job well done are worth the effort. The CST enables lives to be saved and witnesses momentous changes in patients’ health every day.

What skills, traits, or prep classes would be helpful?

  • A desire to serve others
  • Ability to stand for extended periods of time
  • Excellent hearing and sight
  • Fluency in the English language- write, speak and understand.
  • Ability to function safely, effectively, and calmly in stressful situations
  • Basic science, such as biology, anatomy and physiology, and medical terminology.
  • Computer literacy