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Courses open for VSPNer registration

STAF116-0306 : Veterinary Assisting Module 3: Overview of Diagnostic Procedures

Heather Howell, LVT, MBA

March 15 - April 12, 2006
Real Time Sessions: Monday evenings March 20, 27 and April 3, 2006; 9:30pm - 11:00pm ET

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 3 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 - Clinical Pathology - Laboratory diagnostics (blood work, urinalysis, and fecal examinations)
Content: This lecture will cover the basics of clinical pathology diagnostics available including blood work, urinalysis, and fecal examinations. Assisting the technician in collection of laboratory diagnostics, handling specimens, recording information will be covered. We will also go over how to relate basic information to the client regarding sample collection, length of time for testing, and purpose. (This week's lecture will NOT cover specific identification of organisms in depth.)

Week 2 - Diagnostic Imaging (Radiology, Ultrasonography, Endoscopy)
Content: This lecture will cover diagnostic imaging options available including radiology, ultrasonography, and endoscopy and how to relate basic information to the client regarding the procedure, length of time for testing, and purpose. We will also cover patient handling issues relating to these procedures.

Week 3 - Basic Concepts in Prescription Medication and Pharmacology
Content: This lecture discusses the basics regarding types of medications (antibiotics, NSAIDS, steroids, antihistamines´┐Ż), their indications, side effects and contraindications, pharmacy nomenclature and drug routes. Discussion is focused on how to fill prescriptions, how to read treatment protocols in medical records and how to chart treatments. This session will also cover client communication regarding prescriptions.

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:

Small Animal Clinical Diagnosis by Laboratory Methods, 2nd Edition, Michael D. Willard, DVM, Dipl ACVIM, Harold Tvedten, DVM, PhD, Dipl ACVP, Grant H. Turnwald, BVSc, MS, Dipl ACVIM, W.B. Saunders Company, 2004. Purchase from the VIN Store:

Applied Pharmacology for the Veterinary Technician, Boyce P. Wanamaker DVM & Christy L. Pettes LVMT, W.B. Saunders Company, 1996. 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 March 1, 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


800.700.4636  |  |  530.756.4881  |  Fax: 530.756.6035
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