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Courses open for VSPNer registration

STAF115-0206 : Veterinary Assisting Module 2: How the Veterinary Assistant Can Directly Improve Patient Care

Heather Howell, LVT, MBA

February 8 - March 8, 2006
Real Time Sessions: Monday evenings February 13, 20 and 27, 2006; 9:30pm - 11:00pm ET (USA)

COURSE DESCRIPTION: Goal of the course: To teach veterinary assistants, animal caretakers, and new employees necessary information so they may actively contribute to quality patient care. To impart knowledge and techniques veterinary assistants can utilize when assisting veterinarians and veterinary technicians. This course focuses primarily on companion animal practice.

Module 2 has three (3) live online real time sessions covering discussion of situations; homework reinforcing the handouts and real time sessions; interactive message boards to discuss the real time sessions and homework; and a final exam. The course offers interactive cases that each participant must complete as homework during the course. The goal of the interactive cases is to test the participant's knowledge of the material discussed in each session.

All members of the veterinary support staff may join the course and its discussions; however, this course has a basic content and is focused toward veterinary assistants, animal caretakers and new hospital employees.

Upon completion of this course, the participant should be able to:


Week 1 - Nursing
Content: This lecture will cover techniques in patient care and nursing. It will include discussion of normal vital signs, basic patient monitoring and patient care, charting patient care, hygiene, and exercising and feeding of the hospitalized patient. This session will also cover compassion and stewardship of our patients.

Week 2 - Euthanasia
Content: This lecture will cover the sensitive issue of euthanasia and how to compassionately handle clients and their pets during this emotional time. This session will explain the stages of grief and how grief affects people. We will also discuss how to manage the emotions and stress you and your hospital team may feel from being involved with this process. In addition, we will review patient handling techniques that accompany euthanasia.

Week 3 - Wellness Programs (Vaccinations, Dentistry, Geriatrics, Veterinary Visits, etc.)
Content: This lecture will discuss practice wellness programs; give examples of such programs and how to discuss them with clients. We will also cover why wellness programs are important for patient care. This session will be particularly useful for those who currently work as exam room assistants or hope to implement such a system in their practice.

CE HOURS: 4.5 CEU's per module

The following are the recommended texts for each module. For purchasing, click on the VIN Store link or go to

Clinical Textbook for Veterinary Technicians, Fifth Edition, Dennis McCurnin, DVM, MS, W.B. Saunders Company, 1994. Purchase from the VIN Store:

Veterinary Medical Terminology, Dawn E. Christenson, W.B. Saunders Company, 1997. Purchase from the VIN Store:

Veterinary Nursing, third edition, D.R. Lane & B. Cooper, Butterworth-Heinemann, 2003. Purchase from the VIN Store:

The Tenth Good Thing About Barney, Judith Viorst, Aladdin Paperbacks, Children's Publishing Division, New York, 1971.

What's Heaven, Maria Shriver, St. Martin's Press, New York, 1999.

I'll Always Love You, Hans Wilhelm, Crown Publishers, Inc., New York, 1985.

Healthcare of the Well Pet, Caroline Jevring & Thomas Catanzaro, W.B. Saunders, 1999. Purchase from the VIN Store:

LIBRARY MATERIALS: Library materials will be made available prior to the topic week so participants will have plenty of time to prepare for the real time sessions and discussion.

MESSAGE BOARD DISCUSSIONS: Message board discussions regarding the topic presented will begin on the day the course opens and continue for one week following the last real time session. These discussions will be held in the VSPN CE course area.

$79 ($71.00 early bird special if registered before January 25, 2006).

** NOTE: Registration will be closed when the maximum number of participants is reached or at 5pm ET the day of the first real time session.

Minimum Requirements for Online CE

** For More Information on VSPN's upcoming CE Courses, check out


  1. Each person must individually be a registered member of VSPN ( Membership in VSPN is free.
  2. Each person must be able to receive emails from and addresses. This is our major form of communication with participants. It is highly recommended that course participants use their own, personal emails rather than clinic/hospital email addresses.
  3. VIN Member veterinarians SHOULD NOT register for their staff. Please have the staff member register through VSPN. Please email if you have questions.
Note: "This course has been submitted for approval for 4.5 hours of continuing education credits in jurisdictions which recognize AAVSB's RACE approval; however participants should be aware that some boards have limitations on the number of hours accepted in certain categories and/or restrictions on certain methods of delivery of continuing education. Call VIN/VSPN for further information." (Attendees are encouraged to check with their licensing jurisdiction(s) for information regarding recognition by their board.)
COURSE WITHDRAWAL AND REFUND POLICY: Withdrawal prior to the listed start date of a course entitles the registrant to a complete refund or a credit toward a future VSPN or VIN CE course, whichever is preferred. Withdrawal within 1 week after the listed start date (i.e. including no more than one real-time session) entitles the registrant to a credit toward any future VIN CE course. (Does not apply to courses with only one real-time session.) After the first real-time session, a registrant may withdraw due to special circumstances and receive prorated credit towards a future VIN course. These requests will be handled on an individual basis. The amount of the prorated credit will be determined based on 65% of the time remaining in the course at the time of withdrawal. It is not possible to withdraw retroactively.
Note: To ensure rapid handling of your request for withdrawal, we recommend that you call the VIN office at 1-800-700-INFO (4636).
Nanette R. Walker Smith, RVT, CVT
VSPN Content Director or


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