Surgical Technology program prepares you to enter an exciting career as a Certified Surgical Technologist supporting efforts in today's operating rooms.
Equip yourself for an exhilarating profession within the rapidly expanding healthcare industry through College of Western Idaho's (CWI) Surgical First Assistant program. This program can help enrich your skill set and broaden your professional scope as a Surgical Technologist to prepare you to carry a more advanced role, having greater involvement in surgical procedures, ensuring optimal results for patients.
Earn an advanced credential as a Surgical First Assistant with proficiency in:
- surgical field visualization
- tissue handling
- patient positioning
- trocar insertion
- injection of local anesthetics
- placement and securing of wound drains
- and more!
Surgical First Assistant's level of involvement in the surgical procedure and their scope of practice increases compared to a surgical technologist. In the Surgical First Assistant program, students will acquire the skills to arrange surgical instruments, administer and distribute medications, deliver hands-on patient care, uphold sterility, and configure surgical equipment in an operating room setting. In addition to those skills, they will also gain great understanding of the application of sterile and aseptic techniques, human anatomy, surgical procedures, and more.
The Surgical First Assistant program covers three semesters; spring, summer, fall. Students will enjoy the advantage of in-person skills labs led by experienced Certified Surgical First Assistant instructors during the first semester (spring), prior to beginning clinical rotations.
In addition to surgical skills, the program provides students with knowledge and skills to perform preoperative and postoperative functions to better facilitate proper patient care under the direction and supervision of a surgeon in accordance with hospital policies, laws and regulations.
Certified Surgical Technologists who are presently certified by the NBSTSA can enrich their skill set and broaden their professional scope by taking this Surgical First Assistant program.
The hybrid program format permits students to fulfill their didactic coursework online learning.
The Surgical First Assistant program at CWI is a competitive entry program, accepting 18 students per year. It is recommended you work with your advisor in preparation for entry into this program.
Want to learn more about this program and other healthcare programs at CWI? Join a Healthcare Information Session to learn about the programs, what you can do to prepare for the programs, meet advisors and instructors, and ask questions.
Applications for the 2024 Spring start will be open on Oct. 1, 2023 and are due by Dec. 1, 2023.
PLEASE NOTE: Applicants will be notified of the status of their application via their CWI student email.
- Complete CWI Associate Degree or Technical Certificate application and be accepted to CWI.
- If you have completed a bachelor's or master's degree, submit a Bachelor's Degree Transfer Credit Request form.
- Verify your coursework by:
- Complete the Surgical First Assistant Program Application and submit by the due date.
For help or questions regarding the Surgical First Assistant Program Application, please contact:
NOTE: The program is seeking initial CAAHEP accreditation which will allow graduates to sit for the Certified Surgical First Assistant exam through the NBSTSA.
Requirements and Costs
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
- Computer Literacy Skills
Navigating your way through college can be confusing, especially if you try to go it alone. CWI offers advising assistance to help in deciding which courses you need to take to reach your education and career goals. Visit Advising or contact One Stop Student Services for more information.
Students applying for the Surgical First Assistant program must be graduates of a CAAHEP or ABHES accredited Surgical Technology program and must currently hold and maintain the Certified Surgical Technologist (CST) credential during their enrollment. Students must have a minimum of two (2) years of experience as a CST and this experience must be within the last four (4) years. Additionally, all students accepted into the Surgical First Assistant program must have a criminal background check at their own expense after admission into the program.
Students are required to complete 140 documented surgical procedures in the role of the surgical assistant. A minimum of 20 cases must be performed in general surgery with the remaining cases assigned as appropriate to the student and approved by the program. Students, with the help of the program administration, must secure their own clinical proctors.
Cost & Aid
As a student in this program, you may be eligible for financial aid and scholarships. Visit Cost & Aid to view tuition and fees, explore types of aid, apply for federal financial aid, and more.
Are you a 2024 Idaho high school graduate? Learn how to get up to $8,000 of your tuition and fees covered at CWI through Idaho LAUNCH.
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