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VSPN CE Course STAF135-0915: Introductory Veterinary Assisting Module 1
Audio and Text: In some of the course Real Time Sessions the lecture will be predominantly audio
while in others the lecture will be predominantly text.


Instructor: Heather Howell, RVT, LVT, MBA
Course Open: September 4, 2015-October 15, 2015
Real Time Sessions (RTS): Mondays, September 14, 21, 28 and October 5, 2015; 9:30-11:00pm 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 Real Time Session. Please arrive promptly at the start time; each Practice Session is up to 1 hour in length. For more information, please visit the CE Practice Area.

*The instructors for this course will be using audio which will require you to have a headset or speakers to listen. If you have any concerns regarding your computer's audio capabilities, please be sure to attend one of the Practice Sessions.

Level and Prerequisites: This basic level course covers foundational small animal nursing and hospital assisting techniques, is primarily for the novice employee, and will cover terminology, roles in the hospital, animal handling, euthanasia, grief and client interaction. Supervisors and managers may find the course helpful in hiring and organizing training protocols for their hospitals.
VSPN CE Course: This course has been RACE approved for veterinary technicians only.(Race #22-18183) The Veterinary Information Network (VIN) is RACE Provider #22.

Course Description:
Are you new to the veterinary hospital and searching for training to improve your knowledge base as a novice veterinary support staff member? Are you an experienced support staff member looking for a course you can use as a model for training new staff members? This basic foundational course is the place to start. This course is meant to provide a basic understanding for the novice veterinary support staff member. Veterinary assistants are an integral component of the veterinary healthcare team and the goal of the VA modules is to impart knowledge and techniques veterinary assistants can utilize when assisting veterinarians and veterinary technicians. Each module becomes increasingly more technical and provides new information, making all three modules a valuable learning resource for aspiring or new veterinary assistants.

This course will consist of four (4) Real Time Sessions of ninety (90) minutes each, supplemental library materials, interactive message board discussions, a mandatory end-of-course test, and may include online multiple choice quizzes (after each Real Time Session). Successful completion (scoring 80% or better) on the end-of-course test is required to earn a certificate of completion for the course.

*The lecture portion of this course combine both audio and text presentation, please be prepared to listen. *To learn more about the requirements for earning a CE certificate, please refer to Receiving Your CE Credit and Course Completion Certificate.

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.

Required Textbook(s): There is no required textbook for this course.

About the Instructor:
Heather Howell is a credentialed veterinary technician in CA and NV. She received her BS in Animal Science at UC Davis and her MBA at the University of Nevada, Reno. Since 1988, she has worked in all capacities of the veterinary hospital including hospital administrator, practice management consultant, speaker, and instructor. She is also an adjunct professor the Veterinary Technology Bachelor�s program at Tarleton State University.

Course Outline:
Week 1 (Real Time Session September 14): Roles of the Veterinary Staff, Client Interaction, and Basic Terminology
Content: This session will cover the basic knowledge of how each position in a veterinary hospital contributes to the overall health of the hospital and patients and how to fit in at your new job. Taking initiative, anticipating the veterinarian and technician's needs, and becoming indispensable will also be discussed. Career possibilities and personal responsibility in career development will be examined. This session will also touch on client relations and phone skills. Basic content is valuable for all veterinary assistants, particularly those in smaller practices where cross coverage of job positions is required. Basic medical records charting and veterinary terminology will also be covered to enable the participant to professionally interact with the staff and the clients. For participants who already work in the field and possess the basic knowledge, this session may serve as a starting point for building career development or training within your practice.

Week 2 (Real Time Session September 21): Safety and Basic Animal Restraint/Handling
Content: This session will cover on the job safety and common hospital hazards, including how to minimize such hazards. Taking responsibility for personal safety will be discussed. Basic patient restraint and handling including restraints used for a variety of procedures and tips on becoming proficient at handling and anticipating patients will also be discussed.

Week 3 (Real Time Session September 28: Nursing Skills and Animal Welfare/Ethics Considerations
Content: This session will cover techniques in basic small animal patient care and nursing. It will include discussion of normal vital signs, basic patient monitoring and care, charting patient care, hygiene, cleaning techniques, and exercising and feeding of the hospitalized patient. This session will also cover compassion and stewardship of our patients. How animal welfare and ethics relate to veterinary nursing and the veterinary assistant�s role will also be considered.

Week 4 (Real Time Session October 5): Euthanasia
Content: This discussion will cover the sensitive issue of euthanasia and how to compassionately handle clients and their pets during this emotional time. We will cover and explain the stages of grief and how grief affects people. We will approach how to manage the emotions and stress you and your hospital team may feel from being involved with this process. In addition, we will review patient handling techniques and client service options that accompany euthanasia. Palliative care and hospice options will be introduced and examined as well.

CE Credits: 6

Tuition: $120 ($108 early bird special if enrolled by August 21, 2015)
*Enroll in all three modules by September 14, 2015 and receive a 15% discount off the original 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).
*To ensure participants are ready and prepared for classes, enrollment will close at 5 PM ET September 14, 2015, or when the maximum number of participants is reached.
*For more information on how online CE works, see the Participant Resource Center.

To Enroll:
  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 800-846-0028 ext. 792 or email Please include the course title, your full name, and contact information in your correspondence.
*Note: "This course is approved 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 800-846-0028 ext. 792 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: A complete refund of the paid course price will be issued when your withdrawal request is received prior to the listed start date of the course. If you wish to withdraw after the start date please contact the VSPN office 800-846-0028 ext. 792 to discuss eligibility for a pro-rated refund.
* Note: To ensure rapid handling of your request for withdrawal, we recommend that you call the VSPN office at 800-846-0028 ext. 792.

*For more information on VSPN's upcoming CE courses, check the VSPN Course Catalog.

Charlotte Waack, RVT, CVT
VSPN Director/VSPN CE Interim Director

VSPN CE Services:
800-846-0028 or 530-756-4881; ext. 792
or direct line to VIN/VSPN from the United Kingdom: 01452 226154
or direct line to VIN/VSPN from Australia: 02 6145 2357

800.700.4636  |  |  530.756.4881  |  Fax: 530.756.6035
777 West Covell Blvd, Davis, CA 95616

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