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TECH184-0410 : Pain Management-Basics For A Team-Based Approach

Kara Trent, CVT, VTS (Anes, ECC)

April 5-May 12, 2010
Real Time Sessions: Sunday evenings, April 11, 18, 25, and May 2, 2010; 9:00pm-10:30pm ET (USA)

This course is designed to review common pain management topics. The main focus of this course is to have participants develop skills to recognize, evaluate, and have a general understanding of treating painful patients in a team-based environment. This course will cover basic pain recognition, commonly used drugs, considerations for surgical/procedural patients, and rehabilitation. We will begin with the basic physiologic characteristics of pain in small animals and progress to common pain management techniques. In order to foster the team-based approach to pain management, this course is focused toward all members of the veterinary team (veterinarians, credentialed veterinary technicians, veterinary assistants, and other staff members) that interact with patients experiencing pain and want a better understanding of general pain management techniques.

Kara Trent, CVT, VTS (Anesthesia) has a decade of experience in creating team-based protocols and manuals regarding patient anesthesia and pain management. This course will include four (4) real time interactive sessions of 90 minutes each, handouts, online quizzes, message boards for discussion, and other interactive components to aid the veterinary team in recognizing and understanding proper pain management and control at the basic level.

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

TEXTBOOK: There is no required text for this course.


Week 1: Physiology and the recognition and evaluation of patient pain.
Content: We will begin this week discussing the basics of the physiology of pain. In general the pathways of pain and consequences in pain will be addressed. We will discuss the important roles each team member plays in managing the patients comfort level. We will begin discussing the recognition and evaluation of pain as well as the behavioral and physiologic changes associated with pain. Pain scales will also be reviewed this week.

Week 2: Commonly used medications to treat pain.
Content: During week 2 we will discuss the basics of medications used to treat pain including opioids, NSAIDS, alpha 2- agonists, local anesthetics, and others. We will cover the benefits and potential side effects of these medications. We will reiterate the importance of each team member knowing at least the basics of each of these medications.

Week 3: Pre- and intra-operative pain management considerations.
Content: During this week we will discuss the pre- and intra-operative pain management considerations, including the basics of local and regional blocks. We will cover basic drug calculations and constant rate infusions.

Week 4: Post-operative pain management considerations.
Content: During the last week we will cover basic post-operative pain management considerations. This includes the immediate post operative thru long term considerations as well as the basics of medications used during this period. We will also discuss the importance of each team member's communication with clients during this time period. We will briefly cover physical therapy and rehabilitation during this week.

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 ($108 early bird special if registered before March 22, 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 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).
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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