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VSPN CE Course STAF161-1113: Veterinary Medical Terminology-Exotics


INSTRUCTOR(S): Barb Burri, MEd, MBA, CVT, LVT and Jenni Jenkins-Perez, LVT, CVT, AA, BAS (VT)
COURSE OPEN: November 26-December 27, 2013
REAL TIME SESSIONS (RTS): Tuesdays, December 3, 10, and 17, 2013; 9:00pm-10:00pm 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 intermediate course is focused towards front desk/client service staff, veterinary assistants, and veterinary technicians and technician students and concentrates on decoding veterinary medical terms associated with exotic animals.
VSPN CE Course: This course has been RACE approved for veterinary technicians only.

Course Description:
Veterinary staff must be able to interpret client and layman terms and translate to veterinary terms and vice versa. As such, a clear understanding of medical terminology is an important part of daily activities in any veterinary practice. Terms regarding exotic animals can be unique to the species with which you are working. This course will introduce the concept of breaking down medical terms into their component root words, prefixes and suffixes for ease of understanding. Terminology by body system will be introduced, and the participant will be able to "decode" medical terms, as well as demonstrate the correct medical terms for many signs and symptoms. Medical terms for the body parts, as well as terms for husbandry, diseases, pathologies, diagnostics and treatments for each body system will be covered. This is a terminology course and will not branch into the physiology of various diseases and conditions.

This course consists of three (3) Real Time Sessions of sixty (60) 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). The instructor places emphasis on Message Board participation as an important component of the learning process. 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 will combine both text and audio presentation, please be prepared to listen. ))

Upon completion of this course, the participant should be able to
  • decode and define medical terms and decipher their meaning based on root words, prefixes and suffixes.
  • demonstrate correct use of medical terms and effectively communicate with staff and clients for a patient's species, clinical signs, symptoms, and treatments.
  • compare and associate medical terms as they relate to the individual body systems of avian, reptilian, and exotic small mammal species.
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.

Recommended Textbook(s):

  • Romich, J. A. (2008). An Illustrated Guide to Veterinary Medical Terminology 3rd ed. Delmar Cengage Learning. ISBN-13: 9781435420120
  • Ballard, B., & Cheek, R. (2010). Exotic Animal Medicine for the Veterinary Technician, 2nd Ed. Wiley-Blackwell. VIN Store:
  • Meredith, M. & Johnson-Delaney, C., (2010). BSAVA Manual of Exotic Pets, 5th Ed. BSAVA British Small Animal Veterinary Association). VIN Store:
About the Instructors:
Barb Burri is an adjunct faculty member at Great Bay Community College in their veterinary technology program. In addition to this course, Barb has been a long time member of VSPN and teaches several other VSPN CE courses. Jenni Jenkins-Perez has years of experience with various exotic animal species in both zoo/aquarium practice and private practice. Currently, she is a part-time veterinary technologist for a veterinary specialty practice and a consultant for a new veterinary technology program in central Florida.

Course Outline:
Week 1 (Real Time Session December 3): The Basics of Veterinary Medical Terminology and Body Structure
Content: This session will cover the basics of veterinary medical terminology including decodable terms, the basic rules for combining terminology, non-decodable terms, acronyms, eponyms, symbols and abbreviations, signs and symptoms. We will also specifically cover terms for body planes and directional terms, including those used in radiologic positioning and body structures, cells, tissues, and cavities. Terminology regarding species specific terms, taxonomy and husbandry will be covered. This session will also cover the skeletal system including the anatomical terms for bones, names of major bones in the skeleton, terminology of muscles and major muscle groups.

Week 2 (Real Time Session December 10): The Circulatory, Nervous, Respiratory and Integumentary Systems
Content: Blood, lymph, and circulatory terms will be covered including associated terms for pathology, conditions, and husbandry. The nervous, respiratory, and integument systems will also be covered. How exotics differ from dogs, cats, and horses such as the different terminology associated with the way exotic species regulate body temperature, respiration, and the variations of scales and feathers vs. skin and fur.

Week 3 (Real Time Session December 17): The Urinary, Reproductive, Endocrine and Digestive Systems
Content: This week's terms will cover the urinary, reproductive, endocrine and digestive systems, including anatomical and medical terms relating to husbandry and pathology within these body systems.


Tuition: $60 ($54 early bird special if enrolled by November 12, 2013)

* 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 5pm ET Tuesday, December 3, 2013, or when the maximum number of participants is reached.

*For more information on how online CE works, see the Participant Resource Center.

  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 is approved for 3 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/VIN 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: 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 VIN/VSPN office 1-800-700-INFO (4636) to discuss eligibility for a pro-rated refund.
* Note: To ensure rapid handling of your request for withdrawal, we recommend that you call the VIN/VSPN office at 1-800-700-INFO (4636).

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

Nanette R. Walker Smith, MEd, RVT, CVT, LVT
VSPN Content & CE Director
Charlotte Waack, CVT, RVT
VSPN CE Coordinator

VSPN CE Services:
1-800-846-0028 or 1-530-756-4881 or direct line to VIN/VSPN from the United Kingdom: 01452226154
Barb Burri (; ext 764 (New Hampshire)
Charlotte Waack (; ext 193 (Illinois)
Chris Upchurch (; ext 197 (Florida)
Lisa Kernaghan (; ext 159 (Arizona)
Mary Mould (; ext 178 (Ohio)
Nanette Walker Smith (; ext 187 (Colorado)

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