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TECH147-0907: Equine Surgical Assistance and Anesthesia Basics

Cheryl Marlowe, VA, PM

September 4-October 11, 2007
Real Time Sessions: Monday evenings, September 10, 17, 24, and October 1; 9:00pm-10:30pm pm ET (USA)


This course is designed to give the basic understanding of operating room nursing protocol and anesthesia. Throughout the course we will focus on the importance of team building an efficient and professional equine surgical team. The course will discuss identification of basic instruments, how to prepare them for sterilization and surgical prep procedures. Intra-operative assisting will cover preparedness for the surgeon and the proper opening of sterile packs. Anesthesia will cover the basic and most commonly used drugs and the anesthetist's responsibilities from pre-surgery to recovery.

Ms. Marlowe has worked as an anesthetist and practice manager for equine clinics in South Florida since 1978. She has taught veterinary technicians and veterinary staff equine anesthesia and surgical assistance and frequently consults concerning both equine anesthesia and practice management.

This course touches on many aspects of the surgery room protocol and anesthesia for the beginning equine surgery or anesthesia technician. It is designed to give an overview of what an equine veterinary technician's job entails in the surgery room.

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

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


Week 1: Pre-surgical preparation
Our first lecture will focus on pre-surgery preparation for the operating room, veterinary technician and anesthetist. We will cover setting up the surgery table and placement of surgery instrument tables and equipment. In addition, we will review the surgical and anesthetic preparation of the horse.

Week 2: Anesthetic induction
This lecture will cover the surgical preparation of the surgery site and setup of the surgery room. Anesthetic induction of the horse, positioning and securing the horse properly on the table will follow. We will also cover switching to inhalant anesthesia (if available), attaching ECG leads and pulse oximeter and placing an invasive blood pressure line for monitoring the patient throughout surgery.

Week 3: Surgery
This week we will discuss how to gown in the surgeon and anesthetist and review that the patient and room are ready for surgery. Important aspects of sterility and effectiveness will be the focus including how to open drapes and packs properly. Surgery light positioning and anticipation of the surgeon's needs as well as what to do and what not to do while in the surgery room will be covered. We will review the nursing aspects of monitoring the horse and anesthetic depth.

Week 4: Recovery and post-op
Moving the patient from surgery and into recovery safely and recovery techniques do's and don'ts will be the nursing focus of this final week. In addition, surgery room clean up, instrument cleanup and care, and preparing the surgery packs for autoclaving will be covered. The responsibility of the anesthetist after the horse is up including medical records will finish up this course.

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 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.


$111 ($100.00 early bird special if registered before August 21, 2007).
* Enroll in both Modules before September 4, 2007 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.

** 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.

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  1. Each enrollee must individually be a registered member of VSPN or VIN ( Membership in VSPN is free; VIN membership includes VSPN membership.
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Note: "This course has been submitted (but not yet approved) for 6 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).

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 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).
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

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