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Courses open for VSPNer registration

STAF117-0506 : Veterinary Assisting Module 4: Basic Concepts of anesthesia, Elective Surgery, and Emergency Medicine

Heather Howell, LVT, MBA

May 3 - May 31, 2006
Real Time Sessions: Monday evenings May 8, 15 and 22, 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 4 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:
Understand and discuss the basic concepts of prescription medication, elective surgery, instrumentation, anesthesia monitoring, and emergency medicine/triage.


Weeks 1 & 2 - Basic Concepts in Anesthesia and Elective Surgery
Content: These sessions discusses the basic concepts of anesthesia, surgery, the sterile field, and instrumentation. Routine elective procedures (ovariohysterectomy, castration, declaw, dentistry) are discussed in respect to the preparation, the procedure, potential surgical complications, and the role these surgeries play in the overall health of the pet. Client communication aspects of these topics will also be discussed. In addition, we will cover setting up for procedures, basic monitoring, and the veterinary assistant's role caring for the patient pre and post surgery.

Week 3 - Basic Concepts in Elective Surgery and Basic Concepts in Emergency Medicine/Triage
Content: This lecture will continue to discuss the basic concepts of surgery and move on to discuss the basics of emergency situations. The basic principles of triaging the potential emergency, obtaining an accurate history from the client in the face of an emergency, and discussion of what a true emergency is will be covered. In addition, we will cover the veterinary assistant's role in setting up for emergency care, monitoring the patient and necessary emergency equipment and pharmaceuticals.

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

Applied Pharmacology for the Veterinary Technician, Boyce P. Wanamaker DVM & Christy L. Pettes LVMT, W.B. Saunders Company, 3rd Ed. 2004. Purchase from the VIN Store:

Understanding Anesthetic Delivery Systems, Dean Knoll, CVT, VTS, THE NAVTA Journal, Spring 2004. (NAVTA Journals are included in NAVTA membership. For more information please see

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 April 19, 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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