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Courses open for VSPNer registration

TECH127-0110 : Advanced Hematology

Cheryl Stockman, MT (ASCP) and Joyce Knoll, VMD; PhD, DACVP

January 28-March 7, 2010
Real Time Sessions: Thursday evenings, February 4, 11, 18, and 25, 2010; 8:30pm -10:00pm ET (USA)

Participants in this course will learn to identify the five main white blood cells commonly seen in the circulation of several different species including canines, felines and equines. Further study of the white blood cells will include left shifts, white blood cell inclusion bodies and toxic change; how to identify them and what they mean. The participants will also become acquainted with normal and abnormal erythrocyte morphology of several different species. Platelet estimation in a blood smear will be discussed along with identification of common hemoparasites.

Slide sets are included for each enrolled participant and are included in the enrollment fee. The slide sets will be mailed to each course participant prior to the course open date. The slides will provide hands on experience that will be reviewed weekly in the classroom. The course will use the message boards to further discuss the course materials, weekly homework and differential counts, reading materials/handouts There will be homework assignments after each session that include evaluation of specific blood smears from the slide set and a multiple choice test identifying cells and hematologic abnormalities in photographs taken by the instructor. A microscope is advantageous to review the slide sets outside the real time sessions; a microscope is not necessary to have on hand during the real time sessions.

This course will not cover phlebotomy techniques and will not directly discuss blood count analysis. The course will be presented in four (4) 90 minute real time interactive live sessions and will include online handouts, quizzes, and message board discussion interaction with both the instructor and other course participants. Cheryl Stockman and Dr. Joyce Knoll have taught several courses online for VSPN and VIN CE and bring a wealth of knowledge of training veterinary professionals to this course. This course is open to all VSPN members directly involved in reading blood smears. Veterinarians may enroll, however, first come basis is granted to veterinary support staff; the course enrollment is limited to the first 100 registrants.

Upon completion of this course, participants should be able to distinguish and describe

TEXTBOOK: There is no required text for this course. A list of recommended texts will be included in the course library.
Required slide set: A slide set of blood smears prepared by the instructor is required and will be mailed to each enrolled participant prior to the course open. Cost is included in the Tuition Fee. The slides will be used for homework assignments and instructions will be provided each week to incorporate them. You will not need to view the slides during the real time sessions. A HOME mailing address is required when you enroll in this course and you will be contacted to verify this mailing address and a contact phone prior to shipment. There will be one slide set only sent for each registered participant.


Week 1: Normal leukocytes
Content: Normal white blood cells and normal white blood morphology will be discussed in the first week of course work. White blood cells from different species will be exemplified during the real time session through photographs and reinforced through differential counts performed by the student in their own hospital lab as homework. This session will lay the foundation for session three, in which abnormal white blood cells will be discussed. Platelet estimations from a differential smear will also be covered in this session. Photographs will be used for cell identification as an additional homework assignment.

Week 2: Normal and abnormal erythrocytes
Content: Normal and abnormal red blood cells and inclusion bodies will be the focus of the week's lesson. Normal morphology of red blood cells will be discussed for various species, including felines, canines and equines. Inclusions in red blood cells such as Howell-Jolly bodies, Heinz bodies and basophilic stippling will be covered. Some erythrocyte parasites will be discussed including, Mycoplasma and Babesia. Blood smears from the slide set will be evaluated by the students in their own hospital lab to further reinforce the material discussed in the real time session. Photographs will be used for cell and inclusion identification as an additional homework assignment.

Week 3: Abnormal leukocytes
Content: Abnormal white blood cells will be the focus of the week. Left shifts, toxic change and immature leukocytes will be demonstrated during the real time session with photographs taken in the hematology laboratory. Abnormal inclusions in the leukocytes will be discussed, including Dohle bodies and Anaplasma phagocytophilia. Blood smears from the slide set will be evaluated by the students in their own hospital lab to further reinforce the material discussed in the real time session. Photographs will be used for cell and inclusion identification as an additional homework assignment.

Week 4: Hematologic abnormalities
Content: During this last session, we will discuss interpretation of hematology abnormalities, by looking at a series of hematology cases. These cases will illustrate how hematology abnormalities, including those found on the blood smear, can help make a diagnosis. Important limitations will also be discussed.

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.


$120 + $40 ($ 108 + $40 early bird special if registered before January 1, 2010).
**NOTE: Space is limited. ENROLLMENT CLOSES January 14, 2010 at 5pm ET (USA) or earlier if the course maximum number of participants is reached so that we may get the course materials to you prior to the first real time session. When you enroll, PLEASE be sure to provide a current mailing address for delivery of the course materials, preferably HOME so you are sure you receive it; no additional slide sets will be mailed out. The fee for this course includes a "laboratory fee" to cover costs associated with the collection, preparation, and shipping of the microscope slides used for this course. It is essential that you have a microscope available for viewing the slides during the course (you will not need to view slides during the real time sessions).
*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). However, the lab fee included for the slide sets will not be discounted. Your fee for this course will be $60 + $40. 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: Enrollment will be closed when the maximum number of participants is reached or at 5pm ET the day of the first real time session

**The Participant's Resource Center includes all you need to know about online CE with VIN and VSPN.


  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.
  5. VIN Member veterinarians ARE ELIGIBLE to take this course; this course is RACE and VHMA approved for both veterinarians and veterinary technicians; however, first come basis is granted to veterinary support staff. **Please access the course enrollment through
Note: "This course has been submitted for approval for 6 continuing education credits 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).
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

VSPN CE Services:
1-800-846-0028 or 1-530-756-4881
Charlotte Waack (; ext 193
Chris Upchurch (; ext 197
Darci Palmer (; ext 179
Debbie Bess (; ext 178
Nanette Walker Smith (; ext 187


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