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STAF121-0208 : Veterinary Medical Terminology

Barb Burri, MBA, CVT, LVT

February 6-March 14, 2008
Real Time Sessions: Tuesday evenings, February 12, 19, 26, and March 4; 10pm-11pm ET (USA) ** Note: sessions are 1 hour in length.

COURSE DESCRIPTION: Medical Terminology is an important part of daily activities in any veterinary practice. Correct use of terminology in the veterinary workplace enhances client education and practice-wide communication. This course will introduce the concept of breaking down medical terms into their component root words, prefixes and suffixes for ease of understanding. Terminology by body system will be introduced, and the participant will be able to "decode" medical terms, as well as demonstrate the correct medical terms for many signs and symptoms. Medical terms for the body parts, as well as pathologies, diagnostics and treatments will be covered for each body system.

The course will consist of four (4) real time interactive sessions of sixty (60) minutes each covering the basics of root words, prefixes and suffixes, and terminology organized by body system; homework will reinforce the handouts and real time sessions; each week a quiz will be available online to test the participants' comprehension of each session; and there will be an online final exam.

All members of the veterinary support staff may join the course and its discussions; this course is focused towards front desk/client service staff, veterinary assistants, and veterinary technician students.

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

Overall Goal: The ability to communicate in a veterinary setting with proper medical language.

TEXTBOOKS: There are no required texts for this course; however, the instructor has supplied a list of suggested references below:


Week 1: The basics of veterinary medical terminology
Content: The basics of veterinary medical terminology including decodable terms, the basic rules for combining terminology, non-decodable terms, acronyms, eponyms, symbols and abbreviations, signs and symptoms. We will also specifically cover terms for body planes and directional terms, including those used in radiologic positioning and body structures, cells, tissues, and cavities.

Week 2: The musculoskeletal and circulatory systems
Content: Musculoskeletal system including the anatomical terms for bones, names of major bones in the skeleton, terminology of muscles and major muscle groups. Blood, lymph and circulatory terms will be covered including associated terms for pathology, conditions, and treatments.

Week 3: The nervous, respiratory, and digestive systems
Content: This week's terms will cover the nervous, respiratory, urinary and digestive systems, including anatomical and medical terms relating to treatment and pathology within these body systems.

Week 4: The endocrine, integumentary, and reproductive systems
Content: In this last session we will cover the endocrine, integumentary, and reproductive systems, including terminology for parturition and neonates in various species and terminology of diseases, treatments, and pathology associated with each system.

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.


$78 ($70.00 early bird special if registered before January 23, 2008).
* 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

** Click on "How To's of Online CE" and "Polices & Procedures" for more on how our online CE works


  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 approved for 4 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). This course has also been submitted for approval for continual education units toward CVPM requirements through VHMA.
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 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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