VSPN TECH167-0519: Basic Reptile Nursing Care

The lectures for this course will be presented in an audio format using a webinar platform.

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Instructor: >Jenni Jenkin-Perez, AA, BAS (VT), LVT, CVT


Course Open: : May 29, 2019-July 5, 2019
Real Time Sessions (RTS): Wednesdays June 5,12,19 and 26, 2019; 9-10:30 PM ET(USA)
Course RTS Times in Your Area: World Clock Converter

To prepare for your online experience, review the VIN-VSPN CE informational video prior to the course open date.

Level and Prerequisites: This basic course will be open to veterinary technicians/technologists and support staff actively interested in reptile nursing care.
VSPN CE Course: Open to veterinary support staff.
“This program has been approved for 6 hours of continuing education credit in jurisdictions which recognize RACE approval. (22-36369)“

Course Description:
The course will cover basic reptile anatomy and physiology and how it differs from mammalian patients. Husbandry, husbandry-related disorders, and common non-nutritional disorders will be covered from the nursing perspective. Proper history taking, the physical examination, and how to properly set up the reptilian hospital ward for hospitalized patients will be discussed. Hospital nursing care will include medication administration, phlebotomy, fluid therapy, and handling common emergencies of the reptile patient. This course will focus on the more commonly seen reptiles in private practice.

Week 1 (Real Time Session June 5): Anatomy and Physiology, Husbandry and History Taking of the Reptilian Patient.
Objectives: Upon completion of this session, the participant should be able to
  • Discuss the anatomy and physiology and how it impacts the course of treatment of the reptile patient.
  • Explain basic snake, lizard, and chelonian husbandry requirements for client education purposes.
  • Obtain and record a proper history from reptile owners.
Week 2 (Real Time Session June 12): The Physical Exam and Common Reptile Disorders
Objectives: Upon completion of this session, the participant should be able to
  • Recognize and identify parameters when performing a reptilian physical examination.
  • Discuss husbandry and/or nutritional related disorders.
  • Discuss infectious, non-infectious, and other non-nutritional/husbandry related disorders.
  • Recognize clinical signs of various disorders and understand the technician/technologist’s role in assisting the veterinarian in diagnostics.
Week 3 (Real Time Session June 19): Basic Clinical Techniques of the Reptilian
Objectives: Upon completion of this session, the participant should be able to
  • Understand basic cage setup for hospitalized snake, lizard, and chelonian patients.
  • Identify phlebotomy sites of snake, lizard, and chelonian species.
  • Recognize various techniques of medication administration.
  • Discuss various clinical techniques including wound care, tube feeding, fluid therapy, and obtaining various diagnostic samples.
Week 4 (Real Time Session June 26): Basic Critical Care and Emergency Techniques of the Reptile Patient
Objectives: Upon completion of this session, the participant should be able to
  • Recognize common emergencies of the reptilian patient.
  • Discuss the differences between chronic illnesses resulting in an emergency vs. acute trauma.
  • Outline various techniques in caring for the critically ill patient.
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.

Course Materials: Course materials will be available in the course library prior to each Real Time Session.
Required Textbook: There is no required textbook for this course.

About the Instructor:
Jenni Jenkins-Perez has years of experience with various reptile species ranging from anoles to Nile crocodiles in both zoo/aquarium practice and private practice. Currently, she is a veterinary technologist for a small animal and wildlife veterinary practice and is vice president of the Veterinary Laboratory Association.

Total CE Credit: 6

Tuition: Member $126 ($113 early bird special if enrolled by May 15, 2019)
Prices are listed in US dollars.

*To ensure participants are ready and prepared for classes, enrollment will close on June 5, 2019 at 5 pm ET (USA) 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 @vspn.org and @vin.com 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.
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*Note: "This program has been approved for 6 hours of continuing education credit in jurisdictions which recognize RACE approval.(22-36369) " ;

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 office 800-846-0028 ext. 792 to discuss eligibility for a pro-rated refund.

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

Lisa Kernaghan, LVT, RVT, CVT, VTS (ECC)
VSPN CE Coordinator

VSPN CE Services:
800-846-0028 or 530-756-4881; ext. 792
or direct line to VIN/VSPN from the United Kingdom: 01 45 222 6154
or direct line to VIN/VSPN from Australia: 02 6145 2357