Top Surgical Technician Schools in North Dakota: Your Guide to Quality Education

Considering a career as a surgical technician in North Dakota? Our guide cuts to the chase, bringing you direct information on surgical technician schools in North Dakota that are accredited and will equip you with the skills for this vital healthcare role. Learn about the programs that meet North Dakota’s rigorous education standards and the opportunities waiting for you upon graduation.

Key Takeaways

  • Accredited educational programs for surgical technologists in North Dakota require completion of recognized surgical technology programs, followed by registration which includes an application, fee, and proof of formal training or certification.
  • Surgical technicians play a critical role in the operating room, handling instruments, and supplies, and anticipating the surgeon’s needs throughout surgical procedures, as well as fulfilling post-surgical duties such as instrument sterilization and operating room turnover.
  • Certification as a Certified Surgical Technologist (CST) post-graduation is highly advantageous in North Dakota, offering national recognition, job opportunities, and the potential for increased salaries above the state average.

Path to Becoming a Surgical Technician in North Dakota

Surgical technician working in an operating room

Formal education marks the start of an exciting journey for aspiring surgical technicians in North Dakota. Official transcripts from a board-recognized surgical technology program form the cornerstone of your career. The North Dakota Board only recognizes programs accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) or the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES).

Upon successful completion of your surgical technology program, registration as a surgical technologist in North Dakota is necessary. This involves submitting an application, paying a $50 fee, and providing proof of your formal training or current national certification. The path to becoming a surgical technician may seem demanding, but rest assured that these meticulous requirements are designed to ensure that surgical tech jobs in North Dakota are filled by highly qualified individuals.

Remember, you’re not alone in navigating this path. Surgical tech schools in North Dakota, like Bismarck State College’s surgical technology program, are equipped to guide you through the process, providing you with the necessary theoretical and practical training.

The Role of Surgical Technicians and Assistants

Surgical technicians and surgical assistants are the backbone of the operating room during surgical procedures. They handle instruments, supplies, and equipment, and must be well-versed in surgical techniques to anticipate the surgeon’s needs. Before surgery, they:

  • Don the appropriate attire
  • Prepare the surgical scrub
  • Set up sterile tables
  • Assist in draping the patient.

During surgery, the management of instruments and supplies, holding retractors, sponging or suctioning the operative site, and maintaining sterile techniques are among the responsibilities of surgical technicians. The role doesn’t end once the surgery is over. Post-surgery, surgical technologists clean and prepare instruments for sterilization, assist with operating room turnover, and engage in quality improvement practices.

The responsibilities of a surgical tech extend beyond these duties. They may also:

  • Assist the anesthesia provider
  • Perform urinary catheterization
  • Update the surgeon’s preference records
  • Review patient charts
  • Aid in patient transfers
  • Provide care during special types of surgeries such as gastric bypass, labor and delivery, and cosmetic surgeries.

Truly, a career as a surgical technician or assistant in North Dakota provides a dynamic and fulfilling work environment.

Accredited Surgical Technology Programs in North Dakota

Bismarck State College Surgical Technology Program

Surgical technology programs accredited by the CAAHEP are available in North Dakota. While there are currently no surgical technology programs in North Dakota accredited by the ABHES, the state takes pride in its CAAHEP-accredited program at Bismarck State College.

To prepare students for the field, the Bismarck State College program balances theoretical instruction, laboratory work, and a clinical internship. This comprehensive approach ensures that aspiring surgical technicians are well-equipped for entry-level surgical technologist positions within North Dakota and beyond.

Bismarck State College Surgical Technology Program

The Surgical Technology Program at Bismarck State College spans six semesters and requires 69 credits to earn an Associate in Applied Science degree. This includes 53 technical program credits and 16 general education credits. Candidates must have a strong background in sciences, particularly in anatomy and physiology, and maintain a minimum 2.0 GPA. For English as a Second Language (ESL) candidates, there are additional English language proficiency requirements.

The program features a mix of technical and general education courses, including surgical technician programs. Students delve into Concepts of Anatomy & Physiology and Pharmacology for Surgical Technology, while also honing their skills in computer science, English composition, psychology, and communication.

Before embarking on their Operating Room Clinical Internship, students must fulfill various pre-clinical requirements and maintain a 2.0 GPA in all courses, with a cumulative 2.0 GPA to stay enrolled in the program. These rigorous standards are designed to ensure that graduates of BSC’s surgical technology program are well-prepared for the demands of the profession.

Rasmussen College

Rasmussen University offers an Associate’s Degree in Surgical Technology, designed to prepare students for a successful career as surgical technologists. The program combines on-campus and online classes, providing hands-on training in surgical suite labs and preparing students for the National Certified Surgical Technologist (CST) exam.

  • Program Overview:
    • The program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP).
    • Students learn to prepare operating rooms, assist surgeons during surgery, apply sterilization techniques, and provide compassionate patient care.
    • The degree can be completed in as few as 21 months.
  • Curriculum:
    • Focuses on four key skill areas: preparing operating rooms, assisting during surgeries, sterilization techniques, and patient care.
    • Offers a combination of on-campus and online classes, as well as field experience.
    • Prepares students to sit for the NBSTSA CST National Certification exam.
  • Key Features:
    • Program available at campuses in Illinois, Minnesota, and Florida.
    • The curriculum is designed to provide both theoretical knowledge and practical skills.
    • Students can transfer their credits into the Health and Wellness Bachelor’s degree program for further education.
  • Student Support:
    • Customized support services including financial aid and FAFSA assistance for those who qualify.
    • Access to self-directed assessments to enhance learning and skill development.
    • Opportunities for continued education and career advancement within the health sciences field.

Rasmussen University’s Surgical Technologist program offers a comprehensive and flexible educational pathway, preparing students for certification and a successful career in surgical technology. With a combination of online and on-campus learning, hands-on training, and strong student support, the program equips students with the necessary skills and knowledge to excel in the healthcare industry.

Certification for Surgical Technicians in North Dakota

Certification for Surgical Technicians in North Dakota

Becoming a Certified Surgical Technologist (CST) is the next step after completing your surgical technology program. The CST credential, administered by the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA), offers national recognition and can be a prerequisite for many surgical tech jobs in North Dakota.

To become a CST, applicants must:

  • Submit an application form, fees, and supporting documentation such as a notarized letter from their Program Director, a graduation certificate, or a transcript after graduating from an accredited program or providing military documentation if applicable.
  • Take the CST exam, which is a rigorous test of your knowledge.
  • The exam consists of 175 questions, with 150 scores.
  • The current passing score is 98 out of those 150 questions.

Continued education and staying abreast of the latest developments in the field are necessary for maintaining your CST certification. As a certified surgical technologist, you demonstrate a commitment to the highest standards of patient care, opening up opportunities for higher pay and upward mobility.

Career Prospects and Salary Expectations

Surgical technician schools in North Dakota

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that in 2021, the average annual salary for surgical technologists in North Dakota was $47,400, with the highest earners making up to $60,470 annually. However, salaries can vary, with surgical technologists earning from about $19 per hour for the lowest 10%, and up to $38 per hour for the highest 10%.

The job outlook for surgical technologists in North Dakota is promising. The projected increase in surgical tech jobs in North Dakota between 2016 and 2026 is 17.3 percent, surpassing the expected 6 percent national growth rate by 2031. Within North Dakota, the cities of West Fargo, Mandan, and Bismarck offer the most lucrative salaries for surgical technologists.

Note that earning your CST certification not only validates your expertise, but it also paves the way for greater job opportunities and increased salaries. Therefore, it’s beneficial to invest in your education and certification as you progress in this rewarding career.

Neighboring State Opportunities

Opportunities for aspiring surgical technicians are not confined to North Dakota’s borders. Neighboring states like Montana and South Dakota offer quality educational programs for surgical technology.

In Montana, students can pursue an Associate in Applied Science degree in surgical technology through the OneMSU Network. The Great Falls College program provides comprehensive training, including operating room techniques, labs, and clinical experiences, and is accredited by the Accreditation Review Committee on Education in Surgical Technology & Surgical Assisting.

South Dakota’s Southeast Technical College offers an extensive 63-credit, 24-month Surgical Technology AAS degree. The program focuses on comprehensive skill development, preparing students for employment at major healthcare institutions within South Dakota. Students at Southeast Technical College may even qualify for the Build Dakota Scholarship, which provides full-ride scholarships.

Preparing for a Successful Surgical Technician Career

Skills needed for a successful surgical technician career

Success as a surgical technician entails more than just academic knowledge. It requires the cultivation of certain skills and qualities. Stamina, perseverance, and resilience are core qualities needed to work as a surgical technologist.

Interpersonal skills are vital for effective collaboration with:

  • surgeons
  • anesthesiologists
  • nurses
  • other operating room staff

Manual dexterity, the ability to work efficiently under stress, and the flexibility to adapt to sudden changes and unexpected scenarios are also important.

Continuous learning is also part of your career journey as a surgical technician. Here are some ways to stay at the forefront of your profession:

  • Keep up with the latest surgical techniques
  • Obtain additional certifications like basic life support
  • Explore opportunities for career advancement through healthcare staffing specialists

These steps will help you stay current and continue to grow in your career as a surgical technician.


In conclusion, a career as a surgical technician in North Dakota offers not only a rewarding and dynamic work environment but also a promising job outlook and competitive salary. With the right education, registration, and certification, you can secure your place in this vital healthcare role. Remember that your journey extends beyond North Dakota, with neighboring states offering additional educational opportunities. As you navigate this path, continue to hone your skills and qualities, stay updated with the latest developments in the field, and strive for continuous learning and improvement.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best major for a surgical tech?

To become a surgical technician, the best majors to consider are medical technician, nursing, or business. These majors provide the necessary foundation for entering the field of surgical technology.

What state pays surgical techs the most?

Alaska pays surgical techs the most, with a mean salary of $73,960. Consider opportunities in this state for potential higher income.

Where do most surgical techs work?

Most surgical techs work in hospitals, although some also work at physician offices and outpatient surgery centers, spending much of their day in the operating room.

What are the requirements to become a surgical tech in Georgia?

You need to meet certain requirements for admission to become a surgical tech in Georgia. These may include completing a surgical technology program and passing a certification exam.

What are the educational requirements to become a surgical technician in North Dakota?

To become a surgical technician in North Dakota, you need to complete an accredited surgical technology program and become registered as a surgical technologist by submitting an application, paying a fee, and providing proof of your formal training or current national certification.