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VSPN CE Course TECH124-0514: Basic Hematology-The Bloody Truth about Canines and Felines
Text only: The lectures for this course will be presented in a predominantly text format.


INSTRUCTOR(S): Cheryl Stockman, MT (ASCP)
COURSE OPEN: May 27-June 27, 2014
REAL TIME SESSIONS (RTS): Tuesdays, June 3, 10 & 17, 2014; 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 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.

Level and Prerequisites: This basic course will explore hematology concepts applicable to small animal practice with feline and canine patients from a clinical laboratory perspective.
VSPN CE Course: This course has been RACE approved for veterinary technicians only. The Veterinary Information Network (VIN) is RACE Provider #22.

Course Description:
Manual hematology techniques are far from outdated skills in the modern veterinary hospital laboratory even when utilizing the latest and greatest point of care analyzers. These instruments are invaluable when considering the scope of the information they provide in such a short period of time, however they are not infallible and as a veterinary professional, proper use of these instruments should be a foremost consideration. Hand in hand, the use of technology with more manual techniques creates a well-balanced, effective laboratory that properly supports the veterinary staff and their patients. Essential skills will be presented in this three week course, starting with proper sample handling protocols (post sample collection) and ending with a concentrated look at the basic identification of common white and red blood cells and platelets seen in normal blood smears of felines and canines. The course will also touch on the theory of instrument function, and manual white blood cell/ platelet counts. Of course, no basic hematology class would be complete without vocabulary or lab math, so those topics will also be included. Abnormal blood cells, blood parasites and blood collection techniques will not be thoroughly covered in this class. As the instructor is a medical technologist and not a veterinarian, limited information regarding blood smear interpretation and specific disease processes will available in this course.

This course consists of three (3) 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 earn a certificate of completion for the course.

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. Recommended Textbook(s): About the Instructors:
Cheryl Stockman is a registered medical technologist and the supervisor of the Clinical Pathology Laboratory at Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine located in North Grafton, Massachusetts. Prior to her employment with Tufts University, Ms. Stockman worked as a bench technologist in two human hospital laboratories, concentrating in hematology, chemistry, urinalysis and radioimmunoassay (RIA). For over 25 years, she also worked in many capacities in several veterinary practices, lending additional understanding to the cultures and practices of the veterinary world. Ms. Stockman has spent all of her career as a medical technologist sharing her skills with medical technology students, veterinary students and veterinary professionals.

Course Outline:
Week 1 (Real Time Session June 3): Terminology and Concepts
Content: This week we will discuss terminology used in basic hematology. The concept of CBC will be discussed including proper collection, order of blood draw, proper 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 packing time procedure for hematocrit centrifuge maintenance will be outlined. The steps involved in making an adequate blood smear will be illustrated and the anatomy of a good smear will be part of the conversation.

Week 2 (Real Time Session June 10): Function and Morphology or Erythrocytes
Content: Week 2 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. Laboratory math will be discussed.

Week 3 (Real Time Session June 17): Leukocyte Morphology
Content: During this last session, white blood cells will be the main focus. Normal leukocyte morphology will be discussed and limited abnormal white blood cells will be introduced. Platelets will be included in this session. A lengthy, descriptive document discussing instrumentation, including the theory of operation and the principles of quality control will be provided in the library and not specifically discussed in class. It will also be the week to tie up loose ends and get the last minute questions answered on the message board. A final exam will wrap up all the learning points of the three week course to give the participant a measuring stick of his/her progress from the beginning of the class.


Tuition: $90 ($81 early bird special if enrolled by May 13, 2014)
* 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 Tuesday, June 3, 2014, 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 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 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 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 VIN/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.

The CE team:

Charlotte Waack, RVT, CVT
VSPN CE Director

VSPN CE Services:
800-846-0028 or 530-756-4881; ext. 792
or direct line to VIN/VSPN from the United Kingdom: 01452226154

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

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