Clinical Textbook for Veterinary Technicians, Sixth Edition
Dennis M. McCurnin, DVM, MS, DACVS; Joanna M. Bassert, VMD

VSPN Review by Nanette Walker Smith, M.Ed., RVT, CVT, LVT Star
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This book is Out of Print.

My very first textbook as a budding animal health technician in the 1980’s was the first edition of this text. We referred to it as the "veterinary technician bible". In retrospect, it was a mere shadow compared to the huge 1249 page text it is today in this 6th edition. Now boasting a large supply of very helpful tables, technician tips, pictures, graphics, and huge index this text is still an excellent resource for the veterinary technician. With input from almost 50 contributors including veterinarians, veterinary technicians, and veterinary technician specialists, as experts in their fields, McCurnin and Bassert have allowed this text to stay in step with the vast changes of veterinary technology over the past 20 years.

Nice additional features that exemplify the educator’s love of the profession and the importance of education of and for veterinary technicians include a timeline of historical veterinary technology events and an appendix of common abbreviations. Something new is a website listing for Student Resources as well as an added CD included inside the back cover that includes several methods to test one’s expertise such as crossword puzzles, picture-it exercises, hangman games, quiz shows, and large list of web links to supplement the text.

The text is overall divided into an introduction to the profession of veterinary technology and six parts covering everything basic a veterinary technician should know. The introduction covers the history of the profession and where it is today including terminology/nomenclature discussions, which are often the most confusing part of becoming a veterinary technician. Laboratory animal technicians are also briefly mentioned to incorporate just one of the multitudes of professions that a credentialed veterinary technician can hold outside of a standard general practice. The Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE) which is the national exam for both the United States and Canada is discussed early on to give the reader a glimpse into the broad topic coverage of the textbook. Laws, ethics, and professional organizations round out the introductory section and act as a quick reference for anyone in practice.

Part One is entitled "Clinical Procedures" and covers the very basics starting with restraint; history and physical exam; diagnostic sampling and therapeutic techniques (aka sample collection, etc.); wound healing, management, bandaging; and basic necropsy. This section lends to the need for more definite texts covering anatomy and physiology for the professional student. Unfortunately, since these concepts are also key foundations of understanding how the entire animal functions, this part of the text lacks the depth to make it the complete veterinary technician’s bible.

Part Two deals with Clinical Sciences and covers clinical pathology, parasitology (nicely divided into types of parasites and then species specifics), clinical microbiology, diagnostic imaging, and oncology.

Part Three addresses Patient Management and Nutrition including preventative health programs; neonatal care of the puppy, kitten, and foal; geriatric area of companion animals; animal behavior (covering dogs and cats only), companion animal clinical nutrition (including small exotics, reptiles, and equines, and several levels of healthy versus non healthy pets); large animal clinical nutrition (food animal); animal reproduction (covering most non exotic mammals); and care of birds, reptiles, and small mammals (an unfortunately short section that at least covers the most common of the 'other' critters a practice may see).

Part Four discusses Anesthesia and Pharmacology covering veterinary anesthesia including ventilation; pain management; and pharmacology and pharmacy (nicely differentiated into drug classes as well as the inclusion of a section on material safety data sheets and quick reference section on calculations).

Part Five is a very large section that covers the nuts and bolts of a veterinary technicians nursing job. Surgical and Medical Nursing covers surgical instruments (with very nice pictures of standard instruments) and aseptic techniques for the staff, surgeon, and operating area. Surgical assistance and suture materials are also covered. Small Animal Nursing covers common surgical procedures and the care of the patient while Small Animal Medical Nursing covers discussion of the general '-ologies' in medicine. Emergency Nursing has great quick reference nursing tips for the myriad of small animal emergencies. The Toxicology and Veterinary Dentistry sections complete the small animal portion of Part Five. Equine and Food Animal Medical and Surgical Nursing sections cover specifics for those groups. Alternative Medicine also has a chapter in this section including the growing field of massage and physical therapy as well as acupuncture and herbals; again giving a basic coverage of the several latitudes a veterinary technician of today can explore.

Part Six rounds out the book by discussing multiple topics in Practice Management which is proving to be a lucrative career path for seasoned technicians allowing this text to hold a spot on any veterinary technician’s desk as a reference source. This last section also seems to be the catch all section including zoonoses and public health, euthanasia, bereavement and the human-animal bond. These are relatively short sections, but nonetheless extremely important, addressing topics of which this reviewer would like to see more information. A straightforward section on Stress and Substance Abuse rounds out the text acknowledging the unfortunate hazards veterinary technicians may be exposed to outside the animal related hazards.

Dr.’s McCurnin and Bassert and their wealth of contributors have continued to lead the profession of veterinary technology and it would behoove the veterinarian to review this text to see to what extent s/he should be utilizing his/her veterinary technician! This text has grown and gotten more elaborate over the years providing something for everyone in an effort to reach the multiple levels of learning and the wide variety of individuals that are looking to become veterinary technicians. The text is still listed at the top of my highly recommended texts for veterinary technician students and as a desk reference for the entire staff.

Publisher: Elsevier Saunders (2006).

ISBN-13: 978-0-7216-0612-5

ISBN-10: 0-7216-0612-1.

Table of Contents
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Alternative Medicine
Animal Welfare
Client Education
Cytology / Hematology / Histology
Emergency Med
Food Animals/Livestock
Handling & Restraint
Human-Animal Bond
Imaging & Radiology
Infectious Diseases
Internal Medicine
Laboratory Medicine
Practice Management
Rabbits, Rodents & Ferrets
Shelter Medicine
Veterinary Education
* Career Choice (VSPN Review)
* Kirk’s Current Veterinary Therapy XIV
* Rev. Q&A Tech. 3rd Ed. (VSPN Review)
* Textbook Of Veterinary Physiological Chemistry: 2nd ed
* Textbook Phys. Chemistry
* VSPN Notebook 3.0 (VSPN Review)
* Workbook McCurnin 7th Ed. (VSPN Review)
*Handbook Vet. Neurology 4th Ed.
An Illustrated Guide to Animal Science Terminology (VSPN)
Anatomy & Physiology of Domestic Animals, 2nd ed (VSPN)
Animal Biology and Care, 3rd Ed (VSPN)
Assessing Skills 2nd Ed. (VSPN Review)
Atlas of Normal Radiographic Anatomy & Anatomic Variants in the Dog and Cat
Atlas of Transboundary Animal Diseases (VSPN)
Brucellosis: Recent Developments towards “One Health” (VSPN)
Career Choices for Veterinary Technicians, Opportunities for Animal Lovers (VSPN)
Case Studies in Veterinary Technology (VSPN)
Cattle Medicine
Clin. Anat. Lab. Tech. (VSPN Review)
COMPAS Material Safety Data Systems
Connecting With Grieving Clients, 2nd ( VSPN )
Contracts, Benefits and Practice Management for the Veterinary Profession, 8th Ed (VSPN)
Creating a Pet-Friendly Hospital, Animal Shelter, or Petcare Business (VSPN)
Critical Care Management for Laboratory Mice and Rats(VSPN)
CVPM Preparation Workbook
Dellmann's Histology 6th Ed.
Differential Diagnosis in Small Animal Medicine, 2nd ed (VSPN)
Domestic Animal Behavior for Veterinarians & Animal Scientists, 5th Ed (VSPN)
Electrocardiography for the Small Animal Practitioner (VSPN Review)
Equine Internal Medicine, 3rd Ed
Essentials Language (VSPN Review)
Fluid, Electrolyte, And Acid-Base Disorders In Small Animal Practice 4th Edition
Fundamentals of Pharmacology for Veterinary Technicians, 2nd Edition
Good Governance and Financing of Efficient Veterinary Services (VSPN)
Good Grief – Finding Peace After Pet Loss (VSPN)
How We Do Things Here: Developing and Teaching Office-Wide Protocols (VSPN)
Human – Animal Medicine (VSPN)
Large Animal Clinical Procedures for Veterinary Technicians, 2nd Ed
Large Animal Medicine for Veterinary Technicians (VSPN)
Legal Consents for Veterinary Practices, 4th (VSPN)
McCurnin Tech. 7th Ed.
Medical Math 2nd Ed.
Medical Math 2nd Ed. (VSPN Review)
Medical Terminology: programmed system approach 10th ed.
Mosby Tech. 3rd Ed. (VSPN Review)
Mosby’s Veterinary PDQ, 2nd Edition (VSPN)
Pain Management for the Small Animal Practitioner, 2nd Ed (VSPN)
Plumb’s Veterinary Drug Handbook, 7th Ed (VSPN Review)
Pocket Guide to APA Style, 4th Ed
Pocket Handbook Of Small Animal Medicine (VSPN)
Research Writer – Curiosity, Discovery and Dialogue
Review Q&A for Vet Techs, 4th Ed. (VSPN Review)
Saunders Anatomy (VSPN Review)
Saunders Comprehensive Veterinary Dictionary, 4th Ed.
Self-Assessment Color Review: Small Anim Cardiopulmonary Medi (VSPN)
Self-Assessment Color Review: Small Animal Ophthalmology
Sheep Medicine 2nd ed (VSPN)
Sloane’s Medical Word Book, 5th Ed
Small Animal Bandaging, Casting and Splinting Techniques
Small Animal Pediatrics: First 12 Mos. (VSPN Review)
Small Animal Radiographic Techniques and Positioning (VSPN)
Small Animal Veterinary Nerdbook, 3rd Ed
Statistics at the Bench
The Complete Textbook of Veterinary Nursing, 2nd Ed
The Goat Handbook
The Little Book of CT in Veterinary Medicine: A PRACTICAL Guide to CT Technique for Technicians and Veterinarians
The Merck/Merial Manual for Pet Health, Home Ed
The Pocket Wadsworth Handbook, 5th ED (VSPN)
The Writer’s Harbrace Handbook 5th Ed
UFAW Handbook Care and Management of Lab and Research Animals, 8th Ed. (VSPN Review)
Unlocking Medical Terminology (VSPN Review)
Veterinary Assisting Fundamentals (VSPN Review)
Veterinary Medical Terminology Guide and Workbook (VSPN)
Veterinary Medicine: It’s More Than You Think (VSPN)
Veterinary Microbiology and Microbial Disease, 2nd Ed.
Veterinary Technology Essentials: Instructors Resource Guide and Student Activities (VSPN)
What’s Next? A Guide to Veterinary Ultrasound of the Eye, Neck, and Shoulder
What’s That? A Beginner’s Guide to Veterinary Abdominal Ultrasound (VSPN)
When Helping Hurts: Compassion Fatigue in the Veterinary Profession (VSPN)
Writing the Research Paper – A Handbook, 8th Ed
* Clinical Tech. 5th Ed.
You are here* Clinical Tech. 6th Ed. (VSPN Review)
* Medical Math.
* SA Surg. Nursing (VSPN Review)
* Saunders Terminology (VSPN Review)
* Vet. Anat. Workbook (VSPN Review)
*Tasks Vet. Asst. 2nd Ed.
*Tasks Vet. Asst. 2nd Ed. (VSPN Review)
*Veterinary Med. Team
Wildlife-Zoo Animals

Date Published: July 17, 2008

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