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Courses open for VSPNer registration

TECH183-0610: End of Life: Caring for the Cat and for the Caregivers

Margie Scherk, DVM, DAVBP (Feline)

June 24-July 17, 2010
Real Time Sessions: Wednesday evenings, June 30 and July 7, 2010; 9:00pm-10:30pm ET (USA)

Home Care & End of Life Issues: In this series, we'll investigate helping clients provide home care for the purposes of comfort, dignity as they see their companion to the end of his/her life. What are some tools for making the objective assessments of quality of life more understandable? How do we know when a patient is "suffering"? When is the "right time" to assist the ending of a life? And, how do we, as healthcare providers, cope with this?

This course consists of two (2) ninety minute real time sessions; library materials supplementing the chapters in the required text; interactive message board discussions; and multiple choice quizzes (after each real time session) designed to enhance course effectiveness and material retention. Margie Scherk, DVM, DAVBP (Feline) has taught numerous courses online for VIN and VSPN; she is a well-known international lecturer. As a feline practitioner, Dr. Scherk has counseled many clients on end of life care, but also realizes that training the entire staff from the veterinarian to the kennel assistant in how to care for the companion and client is essential during this phase of life. This course has been submitted for RACE approval for veterinarians and veterinary technicians.

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

TEXTBOOK: There is no required text for this course.


Week 1: Supporting cell and organ function.
Content: During this session, we'll discuss prioritizing treatments, explaining home care, encouraging and supporting clients in providing these therapies for their elderly cats. Optimizing quality of life through alleviating symptoms of pain, nausea, etc is absolutely essential as we are first and foremost, patient advocates.

Week 2: Meeting the end with peace.
Content: We will look at ways to help our patients and clients in the last phase of life so that the end is peaceful and dignified. Caring for the caregiver includes client support but also includes taking care of yourself as well as the other members of the clinic team to avoid emotional exhaustion.

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.


$60 ($54 early bird special if registered before June 10, 2010).
*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: 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 being submitted to RACE and VHMA approved for both veterinarians and veterinary technicians. **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).
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

VSPN CE Services
1-800-846-0028 or 1-530-297-4950
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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