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TECH121-0306: Turning on the Lytes: Fluid Therapy and the Role of Electrolytes

Lindan Spromberg, LVT, BS, VTS (ECC)

March 27-April 30, 2006
Real Time Sessions: Thursday evenings, March 30, April 6, 13, and 20; 9:00pm - 10:30pm ET (USA)


This course is designed to introduce the most common electrolytes and their role in fluid therapy. The course's main focus is to teach the veterinary technician how to identify electrolyte imbalances and be able to understand the different fluid options to correct those changes. Coverage of basic cell physiology, osmotic calculations, frequently used crystalloids and colloids solutions, and common electrolytes emergencies will be included.

This course is recommended for veterinary technicians, especially those credentialed veterinary technicians seeking their Veterinary Technician Specialty certificate in Emergency Critical Care.

Upon completion of this course, participants should be able to:

  1. Understand basic cell physiology
  2. Understand the role of electrolytes in the body
  3. Be able to calculate blood osmolality and anion gap
  4. Become familiarized with commonly used crystalloid and colloid solutions
  5. Be able to identify electrolyte imbalances that require emergency attention
Course Outline:

Week 1
This week we will discuss basic cell physiology and what role electrolytes play in the body. Emphasis will be on learning the different fluid compartments and how electrolytes cross the cell membrane. We will also discuss basic cell terminology.

Week 2
This week will include introduction of osmolality and tonicity of blood. Students will be taught calculations for blood osmolality and anion gap using bloodwork. This will help introduce the fundamentals of different electrolyte solutions.

Week 3
During this session, we will learn about crystalloid and colloid solutions in veterinary medicine. We will breakdown each solution by additives and osmolality to better understand how each solution is best utilized. Students will also learn when certain solutions are contraindicated.

Week 4
During the last week, we will discuss common electrolyte emergencies and treatment plans. We will discuss how to properly correct electrolyte imbalances and how to look for warning signs indicating electrolyte disturbances. By the end of the course, students should have a good understanding of electrolytes and fluid therapy.

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. Due to the amount of material to be covered, it is highly recommended the student comes to class having reviewed the handouts for that week, reviewed the previous week's homework and study guide, utilized the message boards for the course, and is prepared to interact during the real time session.

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: 6 CEU's (RACE approved)

Registration: $105 ($ 95 early bird special if registered before March 13,2006).
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)
*VT students: 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 directors 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 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.
*** For More Information on VSPN's upcoming CE Courses, check out

Note: "This course has been approved for 6 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 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 withdrawal retroactively. Note: To ensure rapid handling of your request for withdrawal, we recommend that you call the VIN office at 1-800-700-INFO.
Nanette R. Walker Smith, RVT, CVT
VSPN Content Director or


800.700.4636  |  |  530.756.4881  |  Fax: 530.756.6035
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