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Courses open for VSPNer registration

STAF115-0208 : Veterinary Assisting Module 2: How the Veterinary Assistant Can Directly Improve Patient Care

Heather Howell, LVT, MBA

February 19 - March 20, 2008
Real Time Sessions: Monday evenings, February 25, March 3 and 10; 9:30pm-11:00pm ET (USA)

TThis module focuses on the basics of veterinary nursing care and includes an entire section on euthanasia. Exam room procedures, tactics of client education and hospital wellness programs round out this module. This is a great course for all hospital staff to participate in to achieve a better baseline understanding of what makes a good hospital great.

Heather Howell, LVT, MBA has taught numerous classes online for VSPN and has developed this series of course to help you better communicate with your peers and co-workers in and outside the office. 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 new veterinary assistants, animal caretakers and new hospital employees in companion animal practices..

Module 2 has three (3) ninety (90) minute online interactive 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.

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

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

TEXTBOOKS: There are no required texts for this course.
The instructor recommends the following texts for this module:

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.

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.

CE HOURS: 4.5 CEUs per module

$89 ($79.00 early bird special if registered before February 5, 2008).
*Enroll in all four VA Modules before January 28, 2008 and receive a 15% discount off the regular course price. This discount is only available through this date.
* Students currently enrolled in and taking at least 2 classes or 5 units at an AVMA accredited or CAAHT approved Veterinary Technician Program may be eligible to receive a 50% discount off the regular rate for this course (upon verification of student status). You must include the following information in the comments section of the CE enrollment form in order to be eligible for this discount: your program director's name and contact information (email/phone) and school name.

** 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.

** Minimal computer requirements for participating in VSPN and VPSNCE
** For More Information on how our online CE courses work please read the following:
How to's of online CE
Policies & Procedures


  1. Each person must individually be a registered member of VSPN ( Membership in VSPN is free.
  2. To enroll in any VSPN CE course click on the ENROLL NOW link below the course title on the right side of the page at
  3. Each enrollee 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.
  4. 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 (but not yet approved) for 4.5 hours of continuing education credit in jurisdictions which recognize AAVSB 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 VSPN CE at 1-800-700-4636 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).
** For More Information on VSPN's upcoming CE Courses, check out

Nanette R. Walker Smith, M.Ed., RVT, CVT, LVT
VSPN Content Director & CE Coordinator
1-800-846-0028 or 1-530-297-4950, ext 187

Ginger Sanders (, ext 183
Charlotte Waack (, ext 193
Chris Upchurch (, ext 197
VSPN CE Services
1-800-846-0028 or 1-530-297-4950


800.700.4636  |  |  530.756.4881  |  Fax: 530.756.6035
777 West Covell Blvd, Davis, CA 95616

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