Surgical Technology

Delivery Method: On Campus (Except AH 105 Online Only)
Program Begins: Spring Only

Program Description

The Surgical Technology Program is a job readiness program for students interested in the exciting environment of the operating room. Surgical technologists work as integral members of the operating team, along with the surgeon, nurse anesthetist or anesthesiologist, surgical first assistant, and circulating nurse. They possess an expertise in the theory and application of aseptic technique. Their combined knowledge of human anatomy, surgical procedures, and surgical instrumentation allows them to aid the surgeon in their performance of a sterile, safe, and successful surgical procedure.

Students receive both theoretical and laboratory instruction, as well as participate in a clinical internship. Study and degree completion is offered on a two-year or three-year cycle; however, the order and timing of the surgical technology courses remain the same. The Bismarck State College Surgical Technology Program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) upon the recommendation of the Accreditation Review Council on Education in Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (ARC/STSA).

Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs
9355 113th St. N Suite 7709, Seminole, FL 33775
727-210-2350, (

Accreditation Review Council on Education in Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting
19571 East Mainstreet, Suite #339, Parker CO 80138
303-694-9262, (


A strong science background is recommended with high school preparation in the biological sciences, especially anatomy and physiology. Successful students are those able to perform under pressure in stressful and emergent situations. A strong sense of responsibility, patience, concern for order, manual dexterity, mental stability, and physical stamina are vital.

Program Requirements

The Surgical Technology program is highly selective with limited enrollment. Students should first designate Surgical Technology as their intended field of study. Next, they complete one full-time semester (at least 12 credit hours), with a minimum overall 2.0 grade point average, including Anatomy & Physiology I and Lab (BIOL 220/BIOL 220L) with a “C” or better (the previous step could have been completed at another institution, providing credits successfully transfer and fulfill the requirements). The third step is to apply to the program by Nov. 15 prior to spring semester start and participate in an interview, prior to program acceptance. 

Prior to participating in the Operating Room Clinical Internship (SRGT 280) in the final semester, accepted students will need to meet clinical affiliation requirements by obtaining immunizations, required background studies, a physical exam, a 12-panel drug screen, and American Heart Association BLS (Healthcare Provider) CPR Certification. American Heart Association (AHA) Basic Life Support (BLS-Healthcare Provider) CPR can be obtained through an AHA certified training center and must remain current throughout the clinical internship. In addition, students must apply to and be accepted on the North Dakota Board of Nursing's Unlicensed Assistive Personnel Registry. (This process includes obtaining fingerprints and an additional criminal background check.) These requirements are completed at the request of the clinical affiliates of BSC's Surgical Technology Program and are at the student's cost. Payments will be made directly to the third party vendors through whom the student is completing the requirements. Costs are not covered by BSC tuition and/or fees. Documentation indicating the student has met requirements will be provided to the clinical affiliates of the Program, who maintain sole discretion as to the student's ability to participate in the Operating Room Clinical Internship (SRGT 280). 

Students who successfully complete the curriculum requirements earn an Associate in Applied Science Degree in Surgical Technology and are eligible to sit for the National Surgical Technologist Certifying Examination offered by the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA) at the end of sophomore year.

US Dept of Labor, Veterans Priority

This program receives funding from the U.S. Department of Labor; therefore, veterans and eligible spouses receive priority of service over non-covered persons. (20 CFR 1010)

Minimum Expectations

The minimum expectations of graduates of the Bismarck State College Surgical Technology Program are to prepare entry-level surgical technologists who are competent in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (behavior) learning domains to enter the profession.

Career Opportunities

Surgical technologists are in demand across the nation in hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers, clinics, labor and delivery suites, medical insurance companies, medical sales companies, and sterile supply services. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, employment of surgical technologists is projected to grow 9 percent from 2020 to 2030, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Advances in medical technology have made surgery safer, and more operations are being done to treat a variety of illnesses and injuries.

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Surgical Technologists, at (visited August 12, 2022).

Career Possibilities: A surgical technologist may function in the role of a surgical technologist or continue their education to function in the role of a surgical first assistant.

The most recent cohort from the BSC Surgical Technology program (class of 2023) had a 100% pass rate on the NBSTSA National Certified Surgical Technologist exam. The previous cohort (class of 2022) had an 80% pass rate on the NBSTSA National Certified Surgical Technologist exam.