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TECH140-0411: Advanced Nursing-Critical Care Module 1

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INSTRUCTOR: Andrea Steele, BSc, RVT, VTS (ECC)

COURSE OPEN: April 27-June 4, 2011

REAL TIME SESSIONS: Wednesdays, May 4, 11, 18, and 25, 2011; 9:30pm-11:00pm ET (USA)
Course RTS Times in Your Area: World Clock Converter
Practice Sessions: In order to prepare you for a successful experience in your CE course, we request you attend a practice session prior to the first RTS. Times and dates will be listed in your course confirmation email. Expect to spend up to 1 hour at one of the 2-4 practice sessions held prior to the first RTS.

Level and Prerequisites: This advanced course is focused toward the experienced technician who routinely deals with emergent or critical cases, or has an interest in specializing in Emergency and Critical Care. Module 1 is a prerequisite for Module 2; this is to help insure a complete understanding of advanced nursing techniques of critical care. VIN CE/VSPN CE Course open to VIN and VSPN members. This course has been submitted for RACE approval for veterinary technicians.

Course Description:
This is Module 1 of a two part course in Advanced Nursing Skills for emergent and critically ill patients. Advanced Nursing Modules 1 and 2 will emphasize the role of the technician in emergency and critical care. Throughout the series, technicians will be encouraged to critically think, problem solve, and develop new skills. These courses will be presented in a systems approach, beginning with nursing techniques that may be universal to any emergency situation or critical illness, followed by techniques that focus on the various body systems.

The course consists of four (4) Real Time Sessions of ninety minutes (90) each covering library course materials, discussion of situations and cases, interactive message boards to discuss the Real Time Sessions, and multiple choice online quizzes as well as well as a mandatory end-of-course exam. Successful completion (scoring 80% or better) on the end-of course-exam is required to be considered for the certificate of completion.

Upon completion of this course, the participant should be able to discuss and interpret

Course Materials: Course materials will be available in the course library prior to each Real Time Session.

TEXTBOOKS: There are no required texts for this course; however, the instructor recommends the following:

About the Instructor: Andrea Steele is an experienced lecturer on the topic of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care at numerous International Veterinary Conferences, private continuing education events and in-clinic. Andrea has been an ICU technician for 13 years, has received the designation of Veterinary Technician Specialist in Emergency and Critical Care, and is the President-Elect of the Academy of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Technicians.

Course Outline:
Week 1 (Real Time Session May 4): Critical Care Basics-Assessing and Stabilizing
Content: The emergent arrival, a step by step approach to stabilization including; assessing and triage, primary survey, collecting the minimum database, emergency fluid therapy, vascular access techniques, oxygen supplementation methods and the secondary survey.

Week 2 (Real Time Session May 11): Critical Care Basics-Continued Care
Content: Once stable, the patient moves from emergent to critical or intensive. We will discuss instrumentation of the patient including: blood pressure monitoring (direct and indirect), ECG monitoring techniques, and pulse oximetry. Next, techniques for obtaining blood gases (arterial and venous), and the advantages and disadvantages of each method will be discussed. Finally, calculations of constant rate infusions and techniques in pain management will round out this session.

Week 3 (Real Time Session May 18): Respiratory
Content: Emergent patients can arrive in respiratory distress, or a critical patient under your care can suddenly go into respiratory distress. This session will focus on how to recognize and deal with respiratory distress, recognizing respiratory fatigue, and methods of assessing ventilation and oxygenation. Students will gain an understanding of respiratory changes that can occur in critical patients. Finally, we will discuss long term oxygen supplementation and the oxyhemoglobin dissociation curve, as well as criteria for mechanical ventilation.

Week 4 (Real Time Session May 25): Cardiac
Content: Basic ECG interpretation is a must for any technician, and we will focus on common arrhythmias. The cardiac patient, including common diseases and brief pathophysiology will be discussed. Finally, we will discuss the ongoing nursing care of these patients, and the rationale for some of the treatments that may be chosen.


Tuition: $120 ($108 early bird special if enrolled by April 13, 2011).
*Enroll in both Modules before May 4, 2011 and receive a 15% discount off the regular course price.
*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.

** To ensure participants are ready and prepared for classes, enrollment will close when the maximum number of participants is reached or at 5pm ET the day of the first Real Time Session unless otherwise noted. If the first Real Time Session is on a weekend, course will close on the Friday before the first Real Time Session.

**For more on how online CE works see the VSPN Participant's Resource Center

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  1. Enrollment qualifications: VIN CE courses are open to VIN member and non-member veterinarians. Veterinarians enrolling in a VSPN CE course must be a VIN member. Veterinary support staff must be a VSPN member to enroll in a VSPN CE or a VIN CE course open to VSPN member enrollment.
  2. Each enrollee must be able to receive emails from and addresses. Email is our major form of communication with participants; personal emails are highly recommended rather than clinic/hospital email addresses.
  3. Each person is individually responsible for his/her own registration. To ensure that all information received is secure and correct, please do not enroll for a course on behalf of another individual.
  4. For further assistance call 1-800-700-INFO (4636) or email (VIN CE) or (VSPN CE) Please include the course title, your full name, and contact information in your correspondence.
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 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. (Refund policy 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 & VSPN CE Director

VSPN CE Services:
1-800-846-0028 or 1-530-756-4881 or direct line to VIN/VSPN from the United Kingdom: 01452226154
Charlotte Waack (, ext 193
Chris Upchurch (; ext 197
Darci Palmer (; ext 179
Debbie Bess (; ext 178
Mary Mould (; ext 159
Nanette Walker Smith (; ext 187


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