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VSPN CE Course TECH218-0313: Mechanical Ventilation in Canine and Feline Critical Care Practice


INSTRUCTOR(S): David Liss, BA, RVT, VTS (ECC, SAIM); Noah Jones, RVT; Thomas Day, DVM, DACVA, DACVECC; & Tony Johnson, DVM, DACVECC
COURSE OPEN: March 27-May 4, 2013
REAL TIME SESSIONS (RTS): Wednesdays, April 3, 10, 17, and 24, 2013; 8:30pm-10:30pm 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.

*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

Level and Prerequisites: This intermediate level course is aimed at experienced veterinary assistants, technicians, and veterinarians working in emergency and critical care medicine. This course will review the basics of mechanical ventilation and cover in depth critical nursing care, ventilator setup and settings, and case examples. Basic understanding of ventilator mechanics, anatomy, and, physiology is encouraged, but not required. Enrollment of veterinarians and staff is highly recommended for team learning.
VSPN CE Course: This course has been RACE approved for veterinarians and veterinary technicians.

Course Description:
This intermediate level course is designed to cover all the basic principles of providing long-term mechanical ventilation to a critically ill dog or cat. Through a discussion of respiratory physiology, how to set up the ventilator, adjusting ventilator settings, troubleshooting, and how to provide high quality nursing care to the ventilator patient, the participant will gain a solid foundation in the principles behind this invasive treatment modality. This course is best suited for staff members with a ventilator in their practice, but can be taken in preparation to provide this critical care treatment option.

This course will consist of one (4) two hour (120 minute) Real Time Sessions, supplemental library materials, interactive message board discussions, and a mandatory end-of-course test. Successful completion (scoring 80% or better) on the end-of-course test is required to be considered for a course certificate of completion.

**The lecture portion of this course will have an audio component, please be prepared to listen.

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 are no required textbooks for this course.

About the Instructors: David Liss has been a veterinary technician for over 10 years in mostly emergency/critical care (ECC) settings and is a recent VTS (ECC). He has published several articles and written several book chapters on ECC topics, is a nationwide conference speaker, teaches at a VT program, and instructs VSPN online CE classes.
Noah Jones is a registered veterinary technician with a history in emergency and critical care practice. Noah has worked in private emergency/referral practice, as well as in academia at UC Davis' Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital. Noah has a strong interest in respiratory physiology and ventilation.
Thomas Day is a criticalist and anesthesiologist currently in private practice. Dr. Day has served the veterinary emergency/critical care community for many years as an effective educator and is certified by both ACVA and ACVECC. He has published several book chapters and regularly speaks at national and international veterinary conferences.
Tony Johnson is a graduate of Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine and is ACVECC board certified. After practicing critical care medicine in Illinois and Maryland he joined the faculty and runs the critical care unit at the Purdue University School of Veterinary Medicine, lectures nationally, and works for VIN.

Course Outline:
Week 1: (Real Time Session April 3): Respiratory Physiology, Indications for Mechanical Ventilation and Ventilatory Mechanics
Lecturer: Noah Jones, RVT
** The lecture portion of this session will be an audio presentation. Please be prepared to listen.
Content: This first week will discuss the basics of respiratory physiology, the breath cycle, and indications for mechanical ventilation. Concepts such as tidal volume, inspiratory pressure, and volume and pressure ventilation will be presented. Types of ventilators will also be discussed.

Week 2: (Real Time Session April 10): Setting Up the Ventilator, Initial Settings and Modes, Sedation and Anesthesia Protocols
Lecturer: Thomas Day, DVM, DACVECC, DACVA
** The lecture portion of this session will be an audio presentation. Please be prepared to listen.
Content: The second week of the course will focus preparing the ventilator and turning it on. Parts of the ventilator, preparing the patient for ventilation, and ventilator settings will be covered. Concepts such as volume and pressure ventilation will be discussed in further detail.

Week 3: (Real Time Session April 17): The Patient is on the Ventilator...Now What? Monitoring, Assessing, Tweaking and Troubleshooting
Lecturer: Tony Johnson, DVM, DACVECC
** The lecture portion of this course will be an audio presentation. Please be prepared to listen.
Content: The challenge of dealing with ventilator patients occurs after the patient has been started on mechanical ventilation. What happens next? This week will focus on how to make adjustments to the ventilator, monitoring and what the monitor tells you, and complications to expect with a ventilator patient.

Week 4: (Real Time Session Apri 24): Nursing Care of the Ventilator Patient
Lecturer: David Liss, BA, RVT, VTS (ECC, SAIM)
** The lecture portion of this course will be an audio presentation. Please be prepared to listen.
Content: The ventilator patient is entirely recumbent and requires intensive nursing care. This week will focus on the veterinary technician (or veterinarian) and the role in nursing the mechanically ventilated patient. Elements of recumbent care and holistic approaches to patient care will be discussed, as well as a review of basic troubleshooting presented in the previous session. The process of "liberating" (formerly called weaning) will be discussed as well.


Tuition: $160 ($144 early bird special if enrolled by March 13, 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 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 enrollment will close on the Friday before the first Real Time Session.

*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 has been approved for 8 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 Director & 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)
Debbie Bess (; ext 178 (Nevada)
Nanette Walker Smith (; ext 187 (Colorado)

800.700.4636  |  |  530.756.4881  |  Fax: 530.756.6035
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