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TECH193-0211: Under Pressure: The Importance of Blood Pressure Monitoring in Small Animal Nursing

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INSTRUCTOR(S): Anthony Johnson, DVM, DACVECC and Kristen Cooley, BA, CVT, VTS (Anesthesia)

COURSE OPEN: February 10-March 13, 2011

REAL TIME SESSIONS: Thursdays, February 17, 24, and March 3, 2011; 8:00-9:30pm 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 course is designed for veterinarians and their support staff team members and will focus on providing information to help the team distinguish and differentiate the importance of appropriate blood pressure monitoring in health and disease in small animal patients. There are no prerequisites and all members of the veterinary support team will be welcome to join the course and its discussions. There will be level appropriate exercises for each team member to partake in. VSPN CE Course. This course has been submitted for RACE approval for veterinarians and veterinary technicians.

Course Description:
Who needs blood pressure monitoring? How should we monitor and why? This course will provide information on how to consistently monitor blood pressure as well as understand the physiology behind the body's response to disease. There will be discussions on normal ranges and responses, pathology and therapy along with case examples to tie together everything that was learned. We will focus on how each team member plays an essential role in collecting blood pressure data, patient information, and identifying appropriate testing, therapy, and nursing procedures for the welfare of the patient.

The course consists of three (3) 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 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

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

About the Instructors: Kristen Cooley is a Veterinary Technician Specialist in Anesthesia and has significant experience teaching adult learners in the clinic and in the classroom in the lecture hall. Kristen is currently the Veterinary Technology Program Chair at a career college in Madison, Wisconsin. Dr. Anthony Johnson is a graduate of Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine. In October, 2003 he became ACVECC board certified. After practicing critical care medicine in Chicago, Illinois and Gaithersburg, Maryland for several years he joined the faculty and runs the critical care unit at the Purdue University School of Veterinary Medicine, lectures nationally, and works for VIN.

Course Outline:
Week 1 (Real Time Session February 17): Basic Circulatory Physiology and How it Relates to Health and Disease
Content: An understanding of basic cardiovascular physiology is necessary in understanding how the body responds in times of stress. We will begin this course with a physiology review and move a discussion of the pathologic effects and causes of hypotension and hypertension.

Week 2 (Real Time Session February 24): The Where, When and Who of Blood Pressure Monitoring
Content: In the second week we will cover blood pressure monitoring in ICU, during surgery and on an outpatient basis for long-term patients. We will discuss what techniques are available and how to use them effectively plus which monitors are superior in terms of reliability. A whole host of tips, tricks and troubleshooting techniques will be discussed.

Week 3 (Real Time Session March 3): Putting it All Together: Blood Pressure Therapy in Cats and Dogs
Content: Week 3 will cover current therapy trends in managing the hypotensive and hypertensive small animal patient. We will review and discuss the use of fluids, pressors and drug therapy as it relates to controlling blood pressure while treating the underlying disease. We will finish the session with case examples to help tie everything together.


Tuition: $90 ($81 early bird special if enrolled by January 27, 2011).
*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 4.5 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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