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Courses open for VSPNer registration

TECH205-0612: The Art of Interpreting Arterial Blood Gases in Small Animal Patients

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INSTRUCTOR(S): Katy Waddell, RVT, VTS (ECC, Anesthesia) and Paula Plummer, RVT, VTS (ECC)

COURSE OPEN: June 4-July 12, 2012

REAL TIME SESSIONS (RTS): Mondays, June 11, 18, 25, and July 2, 2012; 8:00pm-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. 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 intermediate course is designed for veterinary technicians working toward a specialty certification in emergency/critical care or small animal internal medicine.
VSPN CE Course. This course has been submitted for RACE approval for veterinary technicians only.

Course Description:
This course will cover all of the basic components of an arterial blood gas beginning with the physiological integral processes and leading up to scenarios involving some of the pathologies encountered with alterations in acid/base status. This will include arterial oxygenation, carbon dioxide, pH, sodium bicarbonate and base excess. The confusion and mystery of reading an arterial blood gas will be unraveled as we build upon knowledge offered during the course in an effort to provide excellent patient care. Case-based scenarios will be posted on the message boards requiring the participant to interactively discuss the cases and application of interventions for the management of acid/base status.

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, the participant should be able to

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 Textbook(s): Suggested references will be included within the course library.

About the Instructors: Katy W. Waddell has been in the veterinary field for 39 years in small animal, mixed animal, specialty referral practices, 24/7 facilities as well as in academia and as an author. Katy currently works with the Feline and Canine Internal Medicine Services at Texas A & M University and is responsible for providing nursing care and student instruction for these services. She also is the staff liaison/mentor for multiple student organizations providing wet labs. She lectures and promotes education to veterinary technicians to improve patient care and advocacy. Paula Plummer has been in the veterinary field for over 13 years in academia and small animal private practice. Paula recently attained her VTS (ECC) and currently works at Texas A & M University Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital in the Feline Internal Medicine Department. She has worked most of her career in emergency and critical care medicine. She teaches a variety of skill labs to veterinary students and technicians and is a guest lecturer at different conferences on emergency and critical care topics.

Course Outline:
Week 1 (Real Time Session June 11): Basic Components of Arterial Blood Gases
Content: This session will cover the basic components seen in an arterial blood gas diagnostic. Arterial oxygenation, carbon dioxide, pH, sodium bicarbonate, and base excess will be covered. Why these numbers are important and the affect they have on our patient will be the key ingredient to discussions this week.

Week 2 (Real Time Session June 18): Pathogenesis of Metabolic Disorders
Content: This session will cover the pathogenesis of metabolic acidosis and metabolic alkalosis. Common causes and diagnostics of each will be covered enabling the veterinary technician to assist the veterinarian in case maintenance.

Week 3 (Real Time Session June 25): Pathogenesis of Respiratory Disorders
Content: This session will cover the pathogenesis of respiratory acidosis and respiratory alkalosis. Common causes and diagnostics of each will be covered enabling the veterinary technician to assist the veterinarian in case maintenance.

Week 4 (Real Time Session July 2): Interpreting Arterial Blood Gases
Content: The confusion and mystery of reading an arterial blood gas will be cleared up in this session. Included will be the formulas for anion gap, A-a gradient, Pao2/FiO2, and how to calculate each correctly.


Tuition: $120 ($108 early bird if registered by May 21, 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

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  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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