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Courses open for VSPNer registration

STAF127-0408 : Introduction to Computers in Veterinary Medicine

Barb Burri, MBA, CVT, LVT

April 9-May 16, 2008
Real Time Sessions: Tuesday evenings, April 15, 22, 29 and May 6; 10pm-11pm ET (USA) *Note one hour sessions

COURSE DESCRIPTION: TThe computer is a vital piece of equipment in any veterinary office. Many are content to just use it without getting into the details. In addition, many veterinary practices have no information systems support staff and the job of maintaining the company's computers falls to the person with the most experience. A computer smart user is someone who knows the proper terminology for the computer hardware, is comfortable with the operating system behind the veterinary software, and has skills in moving files, locating components and peripherals, and understands basic troubleshooting skills. The skills obtained in this class will help you be a better smart user of your practice and home computer.

This course will consist of four (4) real time interactive sessions of sixty (60) minutes each covering the basics of computer hardware and peripherals, and the Windows� operating system. Homework will reinforce the handouts and real time sessions, and a weekly quiz will be available online to test the participant's comprehension of each session; there will be an online final exam. This course will NOT cover the MAC computer system.

All members of the veterinary support staff may enroll in 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 familiar with

Overall Goal: The ability to more fully utilize the computer that runs your veterinary software and have confidence finding and using files, peripherals and other parts of your system.

TEXTBOOK: There are no recommended or required texts for this course.


Week 1: Operating Systems-the software under the software that instructs your machine how to operate.
Content: What are My Computer, My Network Places, Recycle Bin, My Documents, and Desktop? We will learn how to work with folders and files; moving, copying, finding, and organizing files, and understanding file extensions. We will also cover downloading files from the Internet or technical support sites.

Week 2: The Hardware and peripherals: How to find devices (printers, scanners, etc) on the system.
Content: This week we will cover the use of memory sticks/flash drives, and downloading files from CD's (such as digital radiographs). We will cover simple routine maintenance to add life to your systems and decrease your problem areas including the proper shut down of the computer.

Week 3: How to help technical support.
Content: We will cover knowing your system well enough so that you can make quick and efficient use of Technical Support calls including: control panel, printers and faxes, and network connections. We will also cover basic troubleshooting; using your knowledge to help rule out problems or issues with your system.

Week 4: Tools
Content: In this last session we will cover tools available in the operating system and their beneficial use in the veterinary office; Internet Explorer, Calculator, Notepad and Word Pad, Paint, etc. We will also cover a few of the Internet tools available for quick information and system tools for routine maintenance.

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 March 26, 2008).
* STAF110: Exceptional Client Skills for Front Desk Staff, Module 1 is the preferred PREREQUISTE for this course. STAF111: Challenges Facing Front Office Staff Module 2 can also be applied.
* 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 submitted, but not yet 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

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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