CWI Surgical Technology Program

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.
Mona Bourbonnais

Come see our new state-of-the-art Surgical Technology facility in the Ada County Campus Quail Building.  We will be accepting applications for our fall 2017 program start between January-March 2017.  Demand is very high for this program and space is limited to 18 students per year, so make sure you submit a thoroughly complete and competitive application!  All applicants must attend a mandatory Program Overview meeting in the Surgical Technology lab at our Ada Campus, Quail Bldg.  Please check back for the announcement of that date. 

A new application is in process.  Please check back here for the new application form.

Please attend one of the bimonthly Healthcare Information Sessions for more information about all of our CWI health programs!


Surgical Technologists are allied health professionals who are an integral part of the team of medical practitioners providing surgical care to patients. Surgical Technologists work under the supervision of a surgeon to facilitate the safe and effective conduct of invasive surgical procedures, ensuring that the operating room environment is safe, that equipment functions properly, and that the operative procedure is conducted under conditions that maximize patient safety. Surgical Technologists possess expertise in the theory and application of sterile and aseptic technique and combine the knowledge of human anatomy, surgical procedures, and implementation tools and technologies to facilitate a physician's performance of invasive therapeutic and diagnostic procedures.

Does the thought of helping to prepare a surgical team for the operating room interest  you? Then consider preparing for an exciting new career by applying for our Surgical Technology program. Surgical technologists help prepare operating rooms for surgery by setting up surgical instruments, surgical equipment sterile drapes, as well as preparing and passing medications . During surgery, they provide direct patient care by working as members of the sterile team.  Surgical Technologists are responsible for maintaining the sterile field during the surgical procedures, passing instruments and assisting the surgeon with the procedure. 

College of Western Idaho’s (CWI) program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education programs (CAAHEP).

CAAHEP  (    25400 U.S. Highway 19 North, Suite 158, Clearwater FL 33763

After completing the program, students are eligible to take the National Certification Exam for Surgical Technologists (CST).  The CST credential is a requirement for employment in the hospitals of the Treasure Valley.

The following is our 8-year trend on certification exams from the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA) for applicants taking the exam the first time:

  • 2016 - 100% pass rate
  • 2015 - 100% pass rate
  • 2014 - 94% pass rate
  • 2013 - 94% pass rate
  • 2012 - 100% pass rate
  • 2011 - 100% pass rate
  • 2010 - 100% pass rate
  • 2009 - 100% pass rate


The curriculum prepares students to assist in the care of the surgical patient in the operating room and to function as a member of the surgical team. Students apply theoretical knowledge to the care of surgical patients and develop the skills necessary to prepare patients for surgery; prepare supplies, equipment, and instruments; maintain aseptic conditions; and assist surgeons during operations. Employment opportunities include large hospitals, labor/delivery/emergency departments, inpatient/outpatient surgery centers, dialysis units/facilities, physicians' offices, and central supply processing units.

Why This Program

A Certified Surgical Technician (CST) assists in the operating room preparing instruments and supplies, passing them to the surgeon, anticipating and meeting the surgeon’s 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 You Will 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

Gainful Employment

For more information about our graduation rates, the median debt of students who have completed the program, and other important information, please visit our website at

Requirements and Costs

Degrees and Certificates

Associate of Applied Science in Surgical Technology



Delivery Formats:

Intermediate Technical Certificate in Surgical Technology



Delivery Formats:

Important Dates for Credit Programs

  Spring 2017 Summer 2017 Fall 2017
Registration Open November 14 April 10 April 10
Financial Aid Priority Date December 5 May 15 July 10
Admission Deadline December 30 May 19 August 4
Last Day to Register January 13 June 2 August 18
Tuition and Fees Due January 13 June 2 August 18
Classes Begin January 17* June 5* August 21
*Some classes begin before or after this date. See the class schedule for more information.

Skills, Traits, and Prep Classes

  • 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
  • Completion of pre-requisite Anatomy and Physiology, and Medical Terminology, as well as core math, Psychology, and Communications
  • Computer Literacy Skills
  • Competency in Microsoft Office Suite


Navigating your way through college can be confusing, especially if you try to go it alone. CWI One Stop Student Services offers advising assistance, to help in deciding which courses you need to take to complete your educational goals. Visit Advising for more information or contact One Stop Student Services to schedule an appointment.

Prospective students should be able to stand for long periods of time and have strong attention-to-detail skills. They must be able to lift heavy instrument trays, move quickly in emergency situations while maintaining a calm demeanor.

Instruction is provided in a classroom and lab setting, as well as clinical rotations at area hospitals and surgery centers.   Due to the requirements of the clinical component of the program, and our clinical affiliations, enrollment is limited to 16 students each year.

Assemble the following materials in this order:

  • 2 professional references using the Professional Reference form only. No letters of recommendation will be accepted. A professional reference includes employers and past employers, co-workers, supervisors in volunteer or non-volunteer positions, instructors or professors. Please do not include reference from family members, no points will be awarded for these. Clergy or physicians may be included only if they are past employers. 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 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 the two references.
  • If applicable: Include copies of CURRENT certifications/licensures (examples, C.N.A., C.M.A., E.M.T.).
  • 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.
  • 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”.

Connecting With Ideas

Connecting With Ideas (CWID 101) is the first semester student success course designed to help CWI students become engaged members of the academic community and cultivate habits for lifelong achievement and success. Each semester, students can select from a variety of themes. More information about next semesters CWID 101 themes


Look beyond your degree at CWI and plan for continuing your education by working closely with CWI advising and representatives of your intended transfer school. Planning before you transfer can save you time and money. Visit Transfer Information for more information or contact One Stop Student Services.

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).  The CST credential is a requirement for employment in the hospitals of the Treasure Valley.

Financial Aid Available

Did you know that as a student in this program you may be eligible for financial aid? Through grants, scholarships, and loans, more than 60 percent of first-time, full-time CWI students receive some form of financial assistance. To learn more about financial aid options and whether you may be eligible, visit Financial Aid.

Tuition and Fees

Tuition for a full-time CWI student averages half the cost of a state university and a third of the cost of a private college. Tuition and fees vary based on program and residence. Visit Tuition and Fees for more information.

Career Info


  • Surgical Tech
  • Surgical Technologist
  • Scrub
  • Certified Surgical Tech


Ada County Campus Quail Building
Ada County Campus Quail Building

1450 S. Eagle Flight Way, Boise, ID 83709

News and Blogs

College of Western Idaho (CWI) Surgical Technology faculty Angie Wachter has been published in the March edition of CTE Techniques magazine. The article addresses her work with Surgical Technology students to assist them with being successful and providing feedback on their education prior to...

On April 7 from 5:30-7:30 p.m., the College will showcase the healthcare programs offered at CWI's Ada County Campus.

Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center in Boise has donated a da Vinci Robotic Surgical System to CWI's Surgical Technology program.

The CWI Foundation received a $2,000 grant from the John William Jackson Fund.

CWI's Faculty of the Month for September has been given to Angie Wachter.

The CWI Surgical Technology program recently welcomed the public to its brand-new lab in celebration of National Surgical Technology Week.

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