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About the Surgical Technology Program

The application period for the 2018-2019 Surgical Technology class is now closed. Please check back for future application dates.

The certificate Surgical Technology Program at Dartmouth-Hitchcock is designed to prepare you for career opportunities in the field and includes a general education component that complements your comprehensive skill-based clinical training.

The certificate program provides opportunities in Vermont and New Hampshire and is located at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, NH. Our curriculum is based upon the core curriculum of the Association of Surgical Technology (AST) and the role of the surgical technologist.

Our 11-month program is designed to prepare you as competent, entry-level surgical technologists in the following learning domains:

  • Cognitive (knowledge)
  • Psychomotor (skills)
  • Affective (behavior)

Program philosophy

Consistent with the mission and educational values of Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center (DHMC), our Surgical Technology Program is dedicated to offering quality education in a positive, safe, and supportive environment, which facilitates competent surgical technology professionals to meet the needs of the community.

You will work closely with the surgeon, anesthesiologist, nurse anesthetist, and registered nurse to deliver integral patient care before, during, and after surgery. You will learn the proper application of sterile surgical techniques and modern operating room technology to provide optimum patient care. Classroom theory and laboratory hands-on training is supplemented with clinical experiences to make for a comprehensive curriculum of study.

Program expectations

We expect trainees to:

  • Meet standards/competencies for course completion
  • Complete all assignments
  • Maintain classroom work area, equipment, and supplies in a manner conducive to efficiency and safety
  • Participate fully in lecture, laboratory, cooperative learning activities, and clinical experiences
  • Meet attendance requirements for class, laboratory, and clinical
  • Maintain personal appearance and hygiene
  • Comply with dress code
  • Demonstrate effective written and oral communications
  • Display socially appropriate behaviors
  • Demonstrate problem solving skills
  • Travel to clinical sites
  • Follow all procedures and policies of clinical sites
  • Maintain patient/client confidentiality
  • Follow the proper chain of command to resolve problems
  • Meet technical standards (determination is made on an individual basis as to whether or not necessary accommodations or modifications can be made reasonably while assuring patient safety)

Faculty goals

The goals of our faculty are to:

  • Prepare you to function safely, effectively, and efficiently as Surgical Technologists, and to exhibit ethical behavior
  • Instill in you the concept of personal responsibility and accountability for your actions in the operating room while functioning as a part of the healthcare team (Affective)
  • Instruct you and refine your practice in the necessary manipulative skills that will enable you to function as Surgical Technologists (Psychomotor)
  • Provide you with a foundation of basic science and various subject matters unique to the operating room to allow you to utilize critical thinking skills in variable circumstances (Cognitive)

Our program is designed to accept a maximum of ten students per year, with one start per year. In a two-year time frame, there could be a maximum of one class with a total of 10 students who would be enrolled in various stages in the program.

Program outcomes

2018 Program Outcomes

  • Retention: 90%
  • NBSTSA Exam pass rate: 100%
  • Job Placement: 100%

2018-2019 class schedule

  • First quarter: September 24, 2018 - December 14, 2018
  • Second quarter: January 2, 2019 - March 20, 2019
  • Third quarter: March 25, 2019 - June 5, 2019
  • Fourth quarter: June 10, 2019 - August 23, 2019

2018-2019 break schedule

In addition to recognized WRI holidays, the following breaks will be observed:

  • Thanksgiving break: November 22-23, 2018
  • Winter break: December 17, 2018 - January 2, 2019
  • Spring break: March 21-22, 2019
  • Summer break: June 6-7, 2019

Hours of operation

Though times may vary, classroom hours will be Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm. The program director and clinical coordinator are available when they are in the classroom and specific hours outside of the classroom, which are posted each quarter.

When you are in Clinical, the hours are 7:00 am to 3:30 pm with the expectation that you arrive one-half hour earlier to prepare for the day. If a case runs over the expected end time, you may choose to stay and complete the case. The clinical coordinator must be notified that you are staying beyond hours.


The program maintains an "open door" philosophy that encourages all trainees and faculty to address necessary concerns with leadership.

If you have a grievance, then you should try and resolve the issue by discussing it with the responsible person. If you do not feel that the problem has been resolved, then you should escalate, as necessary, in the following order:

  • Course instructor
  • Program director

If you want to further escalate your grievance, you may petition the Appeals Committee within seven days of a grievance discussion with the program director. You must submit documentation containing written, objective statements, concerning your grievance, which the program director will forward to the Appeals Committee for review. Members of the Appeals Committee include the director of surgical services, WRI (Workforce Readiness Institute) administrator, and selected staff. The decision of the Appeals Committee is final and will be given within seven days.

At any point, you have the right to contact the Office of Career School Licensing with the NH Department of Education:

Department of Education
Office of Career School Licensing
101 Pleasant Street
Concord, NH 03301
(603) 271-6443

If a faculty member has a grievance, then they should try to resolve the issue by discussing it with the responsible person. If the faculty member does not feel that the problem has been resolved, then they should escalate, as necessary, in the following order:

  • Program director
  • D-H WRI (Workforce Readiness Institute) administrator
  • Director of perioperative services

At any point, the faculty member has the right to contact D-H Employee Relations for guidance: (603) 653-1570 or Employee resources for faculty members can be found on the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Intranet (accessible internally or via Secure Access) on the Employee Relations department website.