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Courses open for VSPNer registration

TECH124-0412: Basic Hematology-The Bloody Truth about Canines and Felines

INSTRUCTOR(S): Cheryl Stockman, MT (ASCP)

COURSE OPEN: April 5-May 13, 2012

REAL TIME SESSIONS (RTS): Thursdays, April 12, 19, 26, and May 3, 2012; 8:30pm-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. 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 Real Time Session.

Level and Prerequisites: This basic to intermediate course will explore basic hematology concepts applicable to small animal practice with feline and canine patients from a clinical laboratory perspective.
VSPN CE Course. This course has been submitted for RACE approval veterinary technicians only.

Course Description:
Computer aided hematology reading is a nice advance in technology, however, a good clinical pathologist will always make slides for immediate inspection as well as review to aid in a clinical diagnosis. Veterinary support staff should have the ability to assist the veterinarian in this area of diagnostic set up. Veterinary technicians must have these skills as part of their essential skills. Participants will explore basic hematology concepts applicable to small animal practice with feline and canine patients. The course will include an overview of proper sample handling and processing, in house hematology instrument theory and manual methods involved in a complete blood count. Of course, no hematology course would be complete without a little lab math, so that will also be covered. NOTE: This course will not specifically cover individual, in-house instrumentation. Abnormal blood cells and blood parasites will not be thoroughly covered. Phlebotomy and particular venipuncture methods will not be discussed.

This course consists of four (4) ninety (90) minute Real Time Sessions, 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 be considered for a course certificate of completion.

Upon completion of this course, participants should be able to describe, define, and demonstrate

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

Required Texbook(s): There is no required textbook for this course.
Recommended Textbooks:

About the Instructor: Cheryl Stockman has been a supervising medical technologist at Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine for 20 years working closely with Joyce Knoll, DVM, DACVP teaching clinical pathology to veterinary students. She has also worked as an assistant in a veterinary hospital for more than 20 years giving her the ability to understand and teach in both the academic and general practice fields.

Course Outline:
Week 1 (Real Time Session April 12): Terminology and Concepts
Content: This week we will discuss terminology used in basic hematology. The concept of CBC will be discussed including the proper collection, handling and storage of the blood specimen. The difference between manual and automated cell counts will be discussed and the process of performing a packed cell volume will be explored. The steps involved in making an adequate blood smear will be illustrated and the need for a good smear will be part of the conversation.

Week 2 (Real Time Session April 19): Instrumentation, Equipment, and Controls
Content: The discussion this week will be packed with basic hematology instrument theory so that an operator will have some understanding of general measuring principles. This discussion will also include the definition of parameters obtained on an automated analyzer (such as MCH, MCHC, and MCV). There will be basic math presented in the lesson this week. Quality control theory, such as Levy Jennings charting of quality control values will be introduced. Packing time procedure will be incorporated in the discussion as an in-house method of maintaining quality control of the lab centrifuge. The use of a hemocytometer for manual erythrocyte and platelet counts will be examined. This will be a fast-paced week with relevant, but often, overlooked information.

Week 3 (Real Time Session April 26): Function and Morphology of Erythrocytes
Content: Week 3 will be dedicated to the red blood cell. The function and morphology of erythrocytes will dominate the week's discussion. The concepts of rouleaux and agglutination will be defined and the reticulocyte count and its mathematical correction will be contained in the topical material.

Week 4 (Real Time Session May 3): Leukocyte Morphology
Content: During this last session, white blood cells will be the main focus. Normal leukocyte morphology will be discussed and abnormal white blood cells will be introduced. It will also be a week to tie up loose ends and get the last minute questions answered on the message board.


Tuition: $120 ($108 early bird if registered by March 22, 2012).
*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 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 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 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: 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 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
Jennifer Withrow (; ext 159
Nanette Walker Smith (; ext 187


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