McCurnin’s Clinical Textbook for Veterinary Technicians, Eighth Edition

Joanna M. Bassert, VMD; John A. Thomas, DVM

VSPN Review by Nanette Walker Smith, MEd, RVT, CVT, LVT Star
(Click on stars for an explanation)

The 1980’s saw the advent of veterinary technology as the foundations laid in the decades prior started to take on steam with the formation of the technician educators association, the national technician association, and the administration of the first national technician exam. Dr. Dennis McCurnin added his first edition of this text in 1985 and it became the first ‘veterinary technician’s bible’. Now upon his official retirement, his co-author of several subsequent versions of this text, Dr. Joanna Bassert, takes the helm to continue building this vital resource for budding veterinary technicians and veterinary staff. Dr. Bassert is joined by Dr. John Thomas and over 60 other esteemed contributors adding their updates and expertise to the now 1477 page ‘two hands are needed’ text. The text format has morphed over the years to allow the student and instructor to easily identify key focus topics, learning objectives, terms, a chapter outline, and an introduction within the first 2-3 pages of each chapter. Conveniently, the outline further highlights subtopics within the chapter including the page numbers for easy location. The ever popular “Technician Notes” and “Procedure” boxes remain color coded and interspersed throughout the text in appropriate locations to identify important points or tasks. Case presentations are numerous and are included to round out the students’ ability to apply knowledge of clinical skills or the “Google World” view that incorporates the several essential skills being presented throughout the text. Key words are listed for each chapter and correspond to their definitions in the glossary at the end of the text. The glossary is not all inclusive, but overall, the selection is sufficient and should easily be complete with a solid veterinary medical dictionary at hand (highly recommended for all in any case). The quality of images is the most satisfying improvement for me personally because a picture speaks a thousand words. Having accurate photos of techniques, appropriate labels, and real world situations in color are good conversation starters for class discussion as well.

Dr.’s Bassert and Thomas are committed to completely revising an average of 1/3 of the text and updating the remainder of the text with each new edition to ensure it remains on the cutting edge of veterinary medicine. This feat in and of itself is a never ending task, but like a well maintained machine, this team has its areas of need targeted and then fills it with contributors who are at the top of their fields. Newly added in its very own chapter is Fluid Therapy and Transfusion Medicine highlighting the increased emphasis in critical care nursing management of hospitalized patients as well as the emphasis that mathematical calculations are still ever present in veterinary medicine as are the needs for careful review of blood parameters and patient monitoring. As a long time emergency veterinary technician, this is truly a welcomed addition and one that even veterinarians will likely refer to if this text is on the clinic reference shelf. One more upgrade to the critical care arena is the new content on electrocardiography which is vital given that many practices have advanced to utilizing capnography and other instruments that actually include ECG tracings to help monitor our patients. I still miss the Anatomy and Physiology portions and detail left to other specific texts; however, it is understandable why the authors have chosen to leave those topics out of this basic clinical text.

Since VSPN has long used this text to provide references for VSPN’s Practical Review for Veterinary Technicians: VTNE Preparation Class, as many veterinary technician educators have as well, it should be noted a significant change in reference page numbers has occurred with this edition. I am very pleased with the new layout.  The organization now logically follows the zones of the veterinary hospital. Small, large, exotic and all other animals are included within each section so references to equipment need only be repeated or referred to in one part not repeated multiple times for each species unless specifics are needed. For this reason, fine-tuned details for individual species should be sought in species-specific texts for this reason.

The main text book is now marketed as part of a recommended package which includes a workbook of the same title and an online website component. I did not have the pleasure of reviewing the workbook that accompanies the 8th edition, but it appears from the discussion of the ‘package’ of materials, that it follows the textbook with multiple exercises in a printed out format that can be used to augment the text as supplemental review. Dr. Samples’ VSPN Book Review of the 7th edition set made note that although this was a nice complement, each educator might need to tailor the use of the workbook to the time available in his or her program as it could prove to be overwhelming to the educating staff with regards to time needed to grade and/or review with the students. The online component to the ‘package’ exists in the form of Evolve, part of Elsevier’s website of interactive learning that several of their texts are linked to. Utilizing the Evolve site requires Internet and yes, slower speeds will affect the function of the various components used for the interactive features. Elsevier does provide instructions for both PCs and Macs for the free downloadable software which includes QuickTime movies, Shockwave Flash Player, Adobe Flash and other Adobe Acrobat features, and Microsoft Word. Use of Evolve does require a computer to which the user can download programs to (i.e. not a library computer) and an understanding that Internet speed and Wi-Fi capabilities may not support the features needed at the drop of a hat. This is a word of caution if attempting the downloading for Evolve the first time or using it for a homework assignment and most definitely I would not recommend using Evolve on a mobile phone or small screen mobile device as the images and many activities will be difficult to work with. The Additional Resources listings for the organized educator could be utilized throughout the students’ entire program repeatedly from lecture to study to active use on in hospital cases to exams. Short Answer work sheets, Jeopardy style quizzes, Crossword puzzles, Hangman, and Picture-It Exercises (drag and drop identification) provide a nice variety of learning; however the work sheets are my personal favorite for excellence at creating circumstances for the student to explore and show understanding of critical thinking and assessment skills. Keys for the contents of the Evolve documentation and activities are not included for the student version, but are in the educator Evolve login access. The workbook key can be found in both the student and educator Evolve login versions; a careful match up to the chapter and section or part is needed to avoid confusion on the students’ part since the complete key is missing for all documents. With all of these details, paramount to successful use of this complete package, a full class session devoted to walking through all the components including the online portions with a ‘this is what it looks like’ portion would be advisable to get students off on the right foot.

Other than the massive size this text is becoming, I still find it to be a pleasing initial resource to start with as, often, explanations need to refer to the basics in order to progress to the more advanced. This is one text I would never want to be without in its current form, at least in the actual text. As an educator, I would try to find ways to deftly include several of the adjunctive materials into my courses for added benefit, especially for those concepts that needed more varied teaching tools to get the point across. For veterinarians outside of education, there are likely uses as well from basic review of veterinary school brief topics to helping train staff and refresh proper procedures throughout the hospital as occasional staff meeting fodder. Simply a myriad of uses and thus the 8th edition garners a 5 out of 5 star rating! One last point from this text book lover: the authors identify several other recommended texts listed near the introduction. A good veterinary library, whether in a veterinary technology program or in a veterinary practice, would take heed to look closely at these recommendations and consider several of them as hard copy, pull down resources.

Publisher: Elsevier Health

ISBN-13: 9781437726800

VIN Bookstore: Currently Unavailable

Table of Contents
Book Reviews
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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
* Animal Bio. & Care 2nd Ed.
* Appl. Pharm. Tech. 4th Ed. (VSPN Review)
* BSAVA Nursing 4th Ed.
* Career Choice (VSPN Review)
* Common Disease 2nd Ed. (VSPN Review)
* Lab. Vet. Tech. 5th Ed. (VSPN Review)
* Large Animal Vet. Tech. (VSPN Review)
* Mosby PDQ (VSPN Review)
* Radiography Tech. 4th Ed. (VSPN Review)
* Rev. Q&A Tech. 3rd Ed. (VSPN Review)
* Small Animal Toxicology, 2nd Ed.
* Textbook Of Veterinary Physiological Chemistry: 2nd ed
* Vet. Dentistry Tech. (VSPN Review)
* Vet. Nursing Exotic
* VSPN Notebook 3.0 (VSPN Review)
* Workbook McCurnin 7th Ed. (VSPN Review)
A Veterinary Technicians Guide to Exotic Animal Care, 2nd Edition (VSPN)
AAEVT Equine Vet. Tech.
AAEVT’S Equine Manual for Veterinary Technicians (VSPN Review)
Abdominal Radiology for the Small Animal Practitioner
Advanced Monitoring and Procedures for Small Animal Emergency and Critical Care
All Horse Systems Go (VSPN Review)
An Illustrated Guide to Veterinary Medical Terminology, 4th Ed (VSPN)
Anaesthesia Nurses 2nd Ed.
Anaesthesia Nurses 2nd Ed. (VSPN Review)
Anatomy and Physiology for Veterinary Technicians and Nurse: A Clini Appr (VSPN Review)
Anesthesia for Veterinary Technicians
Anesthesia for Veterinary Technicians (VSPN Review)
Anthology of Biosafety XII: Managing Challenges for Safe Operations of BSL-3/ABSL-3 Facilities
Blackwell’s Five-Minute Veterinary Consult Clinical Companion: Small Animal Dermatology, 2nd Ed
Blackwell’s Five-Minute Veterinary Consult Clinical Companion: Small Animal Dermatology, 2nd Ed
Boothe’s Small Animal Formulary 7th Ed (VSPN)
BSAVA Can. Fel. Nursing 2nd Ed.
BSAVA Manual of Canine and Feline Cardiorespiratory Medicine, 2nd Ed. (VSPN Review)
BSAVA Textbook of Veterinary Nursing, 5th ed (VSPN)
Calculations Vet. Nurses
Cardiovascular Disease in Small Animal Medicine, 3rd Ed.
Clin. Anat. Lab. Tech. (VSPN Review)
Clin. Anat. Tech. 2nd Ed. (VSPN Review)
Clinical Laboratory Animal Medicine: An Introduction, 4th Ed (VSPN)
Clinical Pathology & Laboratory Techniques for Veterinary Technicians (VSPN)
Clinical Veterinary Advisor: Dogs and Cats, 2nd Ed
Companion Animals in Society (VSPN)
Comparative Veterinary Histology
COMPAS Material Safety Data Systems
Dermatology for the Small Animal Practitioner (VSPN Review)
Diagnostic Imaging of Exotic Pets: Birds, Small Mammals, Reptiles
Digital Radiography for the Veterinary Technician, 1st Ed. (VSPN Review)
Dorland’s Illustrated Medical Dictionary 32nd Ed. ( VSPN)
Endoscopy for the Veterinary Technician
Equine Nursing Manual
Essentials of Veterinary Parasitology
Ethnoveterinary Botanical Medicine, Herbal Medicines for Animal Health (VSPN)
Exotic Animal Medicine for the Vet Tech, 2nd Ed (VSPN Review)
Fluid Therapy for Veterinary Technicians and Nurses (VSPM)
Focused Ultrasound Techniques for the Small Animal Practitioner (VSPN)
Fundamentals of Pharmacology for Veterinary Technicians, 2nd Edition
Fundamentals of Small Animal Surgery 1st ed
Handbook Radio. Positioning (VSPN Review)
Hematology Techniques & Concepts for Veterinary Technicians, 2nd Ed
Hematology Techniques and Concepts for Veterinary Technicians, 2nd Ed.
How We Do Things Here: Developing and Teaching Office-Wide Protocols (VSPN)
Inspecting Surgical Instruments – An Illustrated Guide (VSPN Review)
Introduction to Veterinary Anatomy and Physiology, 2nd Ed
Kirk And Bistner’s Handbook Of Veterinary Procedures And Emergency Treatment, 9th Ed.
Large Animal Clinical Procedures for Veterinary Technicians, 2nd Ed
Manual Clin. Dog Cat 3rd Ed.
McCurnin Tech. 7th Ed.
You are hereMcCurnin’s Clinical Textbook for Veterinary Technicians, 8 Ed (VSPN)
Merck Veterinary Manual, 10th Ed
Mosby Tech. 3rd Ed. (VSPN Review)
North American Companion Animal Formulary, 10th Edition (VSPN)
Nutrition and Disease Management for Veterinary Technicians, 2nd Ed
Nutrition Vet. Tech.
Otitis Externa: An Essential Guide to Diagnosis and Treatment (VSPN)
Pain Management for Veterinary Technicians and Nurses
Pain Management for Veterinary Technicians and Nurses( VSPN)
Patient Assessment (VSPN Review)
Plumb’s Veterinary Drug Handbook, 7th Ed (VSPN Review)
Pocket Guide to APA Style, 4th Ed
Pocket Handbook of Nonhuman Primate Clinical Medicine (VSPN)
Practical Imaging Tech. 3rd Ed. (VSPN Review)
Principles and Practices of Veterinary Technology, 3rd Ed (VSPN Review)
Purchasing Digital Radiography Without Getting Your Head Handed To You
Rabbit Med. Surg. Nurse
Radiation Safety and Non-Manual Patient Restraint in Veterinary Radiography
Restraint and Handling for Veterinary Technicians (VSPN Review)
Review Q&A for Vet Techs, 4th Ed. (VSPN Review)
SA Emergency Tech. 2nd Ed. (VSPN Review)
Saunders Handbook of Veterinary Drugs, Small and Large Animals, 4th Ed
Small Animal Diagnostic Ultrasound, 2nd Ed. ( VSPN)
Small Animal Toxicology Essentials, 2nd Ed
Standard Abbreviations for Veterinary Medical Records, 3rd Ed. (VSPN)
Statistics at the Bench
Surgical Instrument Flash Cards (VSPN Review)
Team Satisfaction Pays - Organizational Development for Practice Success (VSPN)
Tech. Guide Exotic Care
The Consulting Veterinary Nurse
The Feline Patient 4th edition (VSPN Review)
The Little Book of CT in Veterinary Medicine: A PRACTICAL Guide to CT Technique for Technicians and Veterinarians
The VSPN Notebook®, Version 4.0 (VSPN Review)
The Welfare of Animal Used in Research: Practice and Ethics (VSPN)
Thoracic Radiology for the Small Animal Practitioner
Unlocking Medical Terminology (VSPN Review)
Vet. Clinical LA (VSPN Review)
Veterinary Assisting Fundamentals (VSPN Review)
Veterinary Cytology of the Dog, Cat, Horse and Cow
Veterinary Disaster Response
Veterinary Echocardiography, 2nd Ed. (VSPN Review)
Veterinary Hematology – A Diagnostic Guide and Color Atlas (VSPN)
Veterinary Technician’s Daily Reference Guide: Canine and Feline (VSPN)
Veterinary Technician’s Large Animal Daily Reference Guide (VSPN)
Writing the Research Paper – A Handbook, 8th Ed
* Appl. Pharm. Tech. 3rd Ed. (VSPN Review)
* Clinical Tech. 5th Ed.
* Clinical Tech. 6th Ed. (VSPN Review)
* Common Disease (VSPN Review)
* Exotic Med. Vet. Tech.
* Hematology Techniques
* SA Surg. Nursing (VSPN Review)
* Vet. Tech. Pocket (VSPN Review)
*Tasks Vet. Asst. 2nd Ed.
*Tasks Vet. Asst. 2nd Ed. (VSPN Review)
*Vet. Dermatology Nurses
*Vet. Tech. Dog Cat 2nd Ed.
Veterinary Education
Wildlife-Zoo Animals

Date Published: October 23, 2014

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