How to Become a Surgical Tech in South Dakota

How to Become a Surgical Tech in South Dakota

The operating room is staffed with several professionals ready to respond promptly, particularly during emergencies.

These personnel include surgeons, anesthesia specialists, surgical nurses, and surgical technicians.

Their efforts begin before the commencement of the operation and continue until its conclusion.

Other terms for the surgical technicians include operation room (OR) techs and scrub techs.

Job Description and Duties of Surgical Technologists:

Surgical technologists are responsible for various tasks during their work shifts, including:

  • 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 is not exhaustive, and their duties may encompass additional responsibilities.

Training and Education for Surgical Technologists

Surgical techs operate under the jurisdiction of their employers rather than a specific institution.

However, securing a position in this field requires a certain process.

The journey to becoming a surgical tech begins with high school graduation or obtaining a GED.

Subsequently, individuals enroll in a specialized training program, which mandates both educational and clinical components.

Numerous institutions across South Dakota offer such training.

These programs generally cover essential subjects like:

  • Microbiology,
  • Pathophysiology,
  • Pharmacology,
  • Anatomy,
  • Physiology,
  • Medical terminology

Some institutions include CPR and/or BLS and/or AED training in their curriculum.

Bevill State Community College

The program covers topics such as:

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

Prerequisites for enrollment may include:

  • A high school diploma or GED
  • Passing the Accuplacer placement exam
  • Completion of military service (considered but not mandatory)
  • Prior medical-related experience if possible
  • Having health insurance

Clinical requirements involve completing at least 120 cases, with a minimum of 30 in General Surgery and 20 in the first scrub role.

Additional criteria for admission include achieving a minimum composite score on the ACT or meeting specific scores on the Accuplacer or ENG 101.

Calhoun Community College

The training program lasts approximately 2 years or 4 semesters, including classroom, lab, and clinical instruction.

To be accepted, applicants must:

  • Apply online
  • Attend a program information session
  • Complete a Manual Dexterity Exam
  • Meet all other college admission requirements

AAS degree seekers need to complete an additional 18 general education credit hours.

Western Dakota Technical College

The school provides programs for students across the entire western region of the state.

It stands out as the sole provider of a surgical technology program in the area.

To be accepted, candidates must show proof of vaccinations:

  • 2 doses against MMR
  • Polio,
  • DPT,
  • Varicella
  • Hepatitis B Series
  • TB Test
  • COVID-19,
  • Annual Flu  Shot

Other requirements include:

  • Passing the ACCUPLACER test that requires a $15 fee
  • Passing the Test of Essential Academic Skills for Allied Health which costs $70
  • Having CPR certification
  • Background check
  • Complete a drug test
  • Provide a copy of liability insurance

Students engage in classroom-based learning and gain practical experience through a minimum of 120 surgical rotation cases, covering various surgical specialties.

Graduates are well-equipped to take and successfully pass the national certification test, emerging as Certified Surgical Technologists (CSTs).

The tuition fee depends on the number of credits you must complete, as follows:

  • $255 per credit for on-campus classes
  • $305 for online classes

Southeast Technical College

The school provides a two-year associate degree program for individuals aspiring to become surgical technologists.

This program encompasses traditional classroom instruction, hands-on clinical experience, and thorough preparation for the CST exam.

Notably, in 2017, the program boasted a 100 percent success rate among graduates who took the NBSTSA test for certification.

The estimated total cost of the program is $19,906, covering tuition and all associated fees.

School Name Address
Calhoun Community College online
Southeast Tech 2320 N Career Ave, Sioux Falls, SD 57107
Bevill State Community College online
Western Dakota Tech 800 Mickelson Dr, Rapid City, SD 57703

Certification for Surgical Technologists in South Dakota:

While certification is not legally required, employers often prefer certified individuals.

Various certifying bodies, such as:

  • 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

The NBSTSA certification is highly regarded nationally.

The certification exam consists of 200 questions, requiring a minimum of 119 correct answers to pass.

Exam fees vary, and certification renewal takes place every 4 years.

It can be achieved by either retaking the exam or completing continuing education credits.

Surgical Technologist Salary in South Dakota

In South Dakota, an OR tech can earn an annual salary of about $45,300.

Salary discrepancies among cities within the state are detailed in the following table.

Annual Salary Range:
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
Bullhead $49,500
Claremont $47,500
Big Stone City $47,300
Rowena $46,200
Tea $46,100
Baltic $45,900
Chancellor $45,700
Watertown $45,400
Alexandria $45,400
Colman $45,400

Regional Salary in South Dakota

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
Rapid City, SD100$49,720$23.91$61,760$38,730
Sioux Falls, SD250$46,370$22.29$60,630$38,050
* 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 South Dakota?

Here are the most important skills this profession requires:

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

Where Do Surgical Technologists from South 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

Can a Surgical Tech From South 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

USA Surgical Tech Programs by State

Leave a Comment