Surgical Technology

You are here

CWI Surgical Technology Program

The Surgical Technology program at College of Western Idaho (CWI) prepares you for an exciting career as a surgical technologist in the growing healthcare industry. Working under the direction of surgeons, you’ll facilitate the safe operation of invasive procedures maximizing patient safety and care.

In the Surgical Technology program, you will learn to set up surgical instruments, prepare and pass medications, provide direct patient care, maintain sterility, and set up surgical equipment in an operating room environment. In addition to those skills, you will also gain great understanding of the application of sterile and aseptic techniques, human anatomy, surgical procedures, and more.

Upon completion of the Surgical Technology program at CWI, you are eligible to take the Certified Surgical Technologist (CST) exam from the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA). Earning the CST credential makes you employable as a Surgical Technologist, locally and nationally.

The Surgical Technology 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.

Career Outlook

Industry Partnership:

CWI is excited to partner with Saint Alphonsus to provide opportunities for individuals to expand their education and grow in their careers. Learn more about this partnership.

Healthcare Information Sessions IconHealthcare Information Sessions

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.

View Upcoming Sessions

Pencil Application IconApplication Process and Requirements

The application period for the 2023 start has concluded. Applications for the 2024 start will open on Nov. 1, 2023. 

PLEASE NOTE: Applicants will be notified of the status of their application via their CWI student email. 

Application Process

  1. Complete CWI Associate Degree or Technical Certificate application and be accepted to CWI.
  2. Verify your prerequisite coursework by:
  3. Complete the Surgical Technology Program Application and submit by the due date.

Surgical Technology Program Application

For help or questions regarding the Surgical Technology Program Application, please contact:

Mona Bourbonnais

Accreditation Icon Statement of Accreditation

The Surgical Technology Associate of Applied Science Degree at College of Western Idaho is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP).

The Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP)
9355 - 113th St. N., #7709
Seminole, FL 33775

The following is the CST exam pass rate on first time attempts from the NBSTA for eligible CWI students who completed the Surgical Technology AAS program.

  1. 2023 - 94% pass rate
  2. 2022 - 94% pass rate
  3. 2021 - 100% pass rate
  4. 2020 - 100% pass rate
  5. 2019 - 100% pass rate
  6. 2018 -   94% pass rate
  7. 2017 - 100% pass rate
  8. 2016 - 100% pass rate
  9. 2015 - 100% pass rate
  10. 2014 -   94% pass rate
  11. 2013 -   94% pass rate
  12. 2012 - 100% pass rate
  13. 2011 - 100% pass rate
  14. 2010 - 100% pass rate
  15. 2009 - 100% pass rate


The program is designed to prepare competent, entry level surgical technologists in the cognitive, psychomotor, and affective domains. 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 Technologist (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
  • Participate in a minimum of 120 Surgeries; including a minimum of 30 General Surgeries and a minimum of 90 Specialty Surgeries

Respectful Community

College of Western Idaho is committed to maintaining a Respectful Community by providing equal opportunity for all individuals and does not discriminate in services, benefits, or activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability status, veteran status, age, or any other legally protected status.  More on Title IX

News and Blogs

Mollie Weitz with a horse

As Mollie Weitz prepares to graduate from the Surgical Technology program, she reflects on what she’s been able to learn and accomplish in the last year.

Health Sciences students with medical equipment tool box

Applications are now being accepted for College of Western Idaho’s Health Science programs.

Dental assistant students in lab

College of Western Idaho invites anyone interested in or thinking about pursuing a career in healthcare to attend the 2022 Health Professions Open House Tuesday, Nov. 1.

Students attending a barbecue hosted by Saint Alphonsus Aug. 27, 2019

Professional Nursing and Surgical Technology students enjoy food and networking during a barbecue hosted by Saint Alphonsus.

Business of Robotics Symposium attendees

Business of Robotics Symposium delights attendees with live robotics demonstration, a tour, and industry expertise.

Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center and CWI representatives in classroom.

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