How to Become a Surgical Tech in North Dakota

How to Become a Surgical Tech in North Dakota

In North Dakota, surgical teams are always prepared to respond promptly, particularly during emergency situations.

These teams consist of:

  • Surgeons
  • Anesthesia specialist
  • Surgical nurse
  • Surgical technician

Their collaborative efforts commence before the operation begins and extend beyond its conclusion.

It’s worth noting that these healthcare professionals are known by various names, such as operating room (OR) techs and scrub techs.

Surgical Technologist Responsibilities

Surgical technologists in North Dakota undertake a range of crucial duties during their shifts, which include:

  • Preparing patients for surgery
  • Transporting patients to and from the OR
  • Preparing the OR with surgical equipment and supplies
  • Monitoring the instrument count throughout surgery
  • Handing the surgeon medical instruments
  • Closing wounds and bandaging patients

This list of responsibilities is not exhaustive, as these medical professionals have a broader scope of duties.

Training and Education for Surgical Technologists

Becoming a surgical technologist in North Dakota involves a structured process that begins with a high school diploma or its equivalent, such as a GED.

The subsequent steps include enrolling in a specialized training program.

This occupation demands both formal education and hands-on clinical training.

Several institutions across North Dakota offer training programs tailored to surgical technology.

While specific enrollment criteria may vary, core courses typically include:

  • Microbiology,
  • Pathophysiology,
  • Pharmacology,
  • Anatomy,
  • Physiology,
  • Medical terminology.
  • CPR and/or BLS and/or AED

Now, let’s explore some of the institutions in North Dakota that offer such programs!

Bismarck State College

This school provides a two-year program leading to an Associate of Applied Science in Surgical Technology.

This comprehensive program covers essential courses such as:

  • Medical terminology
  • General pathology
  • Microbiology

Additionally, it offers a valuable clinical internship in an operating room setting.

For North Dakota residents, the annual tuition cost for this program is currently approximately $4,000.

Bevill State Community College

The program offered by this college encompasses various critical subjects, including but not limited to:

  • Sterile processing,
  • Infection control
  • Sterilization,
  • Instrumentation identification,
  • Safety protocols

Classes are conducted on-campus within the college premises.

Aspiring students are required to meet specific admission prerequisites, which include:

  • Have a high school diploma or GED
  • Pass the Accuplacer placement exam
  • Meet the other requirements
  • Complete their military service
    • This is not mandatory but it will be taken into consideration
  • Having previous medical-related experience, if possible
  • Have health insurance
  • Completing at least 120 clinical cases
  • Complete at least 30 cases in General Surgery, with 20 of them in the first scrub role

Furthermore, one of the following criteria must also be met:

  • Minimum composite score of 16 on the ACT
  • Minimum Writing score of 4 on Accuplacer or ENG 101
  • Minimum Math – Elementary Algebra score of 200 on Accuplacer or MTH 116

This comprehensive program comprises a total of 29 credits.

School Name Address
Bevill State Community College online
Bismarck State College 1500 Edwards Ave, Bismarck, ND 58501

Certification for Surgical Technologists in North Dakota

Although certification is not legally mandated for surgical technologists in North Dakota, many employers prefer candidates with certification.

Several certifying bodies in this field include:

  • National Surgical Assistant Association (NSAA)
    • Provides the Certified Surgical Assistant (CSA) qualification
  • National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA)
    • Provides the Certified Surgical Technologist/Certified First Assistant credential
  • National Center for Competency Training (NCCT)
    • Provides the Tech in Surgery Certification

Among these certifications, the NBSTSA certification holds the highest reputation and is nationally recognized.

Testing centers for these certification exams can be found in several cities across North Dakota.

The certification exam comprises 200 questions, and a minimum of 119 correct answers is required to pass.

It’s essential to note that there is an associated fee for taking the exam, with different rates for Association of Surgical Technologists (AST) members and non-AST members.

Certified surgical technologists must renew their certification every four years.

This renewal can be achieved by either retaking the certification exam, which involves repaying the exam fee or by completing continuing education classes.

During this period, they must earn 60 education credits for renewal, along with a renewal fee.

Surgical Technologist Salary in North Dakota

Although it may not be the most glamorous profession, it’s important to consider the potential income when pursuing a career as a surgical technologist in North Dakota.

On average, an operating room (OR) tech in North Dakota can earn an annual salary of approximately $49,400.

The table below illustrates the cities in North Dakota where these professionals earn higher salaries compared to the rest of the state.

Annual Salary Range:
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
Baldwin $50,200
Mandan $50,200
Bismarck $50,200
Wilton $49,700
Saint Anthony $49,700
Regan $49,600
Butte $49,500
Scranton $49,500
West Fargo $48,300
Mapleton $48,200

Regional Salary in North Dakota

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
Bismarck, ND80$54,160$26.04$60,310$47,880
Fargo, ND-MN160$52,770$25.37$60,890$48,950
Grand Forks, ND-MN40$53,220$25.59$60,000$47,120
* Salary information based on the May 2022 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for Surgical Technologists, OCC Code 29-2055, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Skills Do I Need To Work As A Surgical Tech in North Dakota?

Here are the most important skills this profession requires:

  • Able to work as part of a team
  • Detail-oriented
  • Take direction
  • Understanding medical terms
  • Understanding medical methodology
  • Good communication skills

Can a Surgical Tech From North Dakota Choose a Specialty?


Just like surgeons can choose to operate on a specific body part, so can these techs.

Here are the most commonly chosen surgery niches:

  • General surgery,
  • Ob/gyn,
  • Urology,
  • Plastics,
  • Neurology

Where Do Surgical Technologists from North Dakota Find Work?

These technologists usually work in a hospital’s surgery wing.

Furthermore, these other places also hire such specialists:

  • Children’s hospitals
  • Cosmetic surgery centers
  • Specialty clinics for surgical procedures

USA Surgical Tech Programs by State

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