VSPN TECH305-0120: Pain Recognition and Assessment

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

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Presenter: Mary Ellen Goldberg BS, LVT, CVT, SRA, CCRVN, CVPP, VTS (Physical Rehabilitation, Lab Animal Medicine (research anesthesia)
Course Open: January 15, 2020-February 8, 2020
Real Time Sessions (RTS): Wednesdays, January 22 and 29, 2020; 8:00-9:30pm ET (USA)
Course RTS Times in Your Area: World Clock Converter

Level and Prerequisites: This intermediate course will be open to veterinary technicians/technologists actively interested in improving their ability to recognize pain and address it in patient care.
VSPN CE Course: “This program has been approved for 3 hours of continuing education credit in jurisdictions which recognize RACE approval." (22-38824)

Course Description:
Pain, in any animal species, can demand all the patient’s attention. It can cripple the individual; often making them unable to focus on anything else. Pain can be acute, chroni,c or neuropathic. Behavioral changes are currently the principal indicator of pain and its course of improvement or progression, and the basis for recently validated pain scores. The management of pain requires a continuum of care that includes anticipation, early intervention, and evaluation of response on an individual patient basis. A team-oriented approach, including the owner, is essential for maximizing the recognition, prevention, and treatment of pain in animals. This lecture will attempt to illustrate pain behaviors that everyone in practice can use for identification. Participants will be shown various pain scales/grimace scales and shown variations. Images and videos will be shown. Participants will be asked to apply what they learned in the discussion to the images/videos. We will discuss why the patient should receive a specific pain score. At the end of the session, the participant should have a working knowledge about what pain scale would fit into usage at their practice and be able to explain why it would be a good fit.

Week 1 (Real Time Session January 22): Assessing Pain in Cats and Dogs (How Pain Affects Behavior)
Objectives: Upon completion of this session, the participant should be able to:
  • Name types and categories of pain.
  • Name at least three detrimental effects of pain.
  • Name three behavioral keys for pain.
  • Describe at least three common signs of acute and chronic pain in dogs and cats.
  • Describe three behaviors that are negatively impacted in acute and chronic pain for dogs and cats.
  • Distinguish between pain and dysphoria.
  • Define hyperesthesia and allodynia; name at least three neuropathic conditions in both dogs and cats.
  • Understand and name conditions that cause tumor pain in dogs and cats.
Week 2 (Real Time Session January 29): Assessing and Scoring Pain in Animals (Most Species Included)
Objectives: Upon completion of this session, the participant should be able to:
  • Understand the postures and appearance of many species that are in pain: dogs, cats, non-human primates, rodents, rabbits, horses, livestock, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fish invertebrates.
  • Discuss using acute pain scales for pain identification.
  • Understand the difference between grimace scales and facial action units.
  • Identify pain in patients (we will use videos as examples).
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 Presenter:
Mary Ellen Goldberg LVT, CVT, SRA, CCRA, CVPP, VTS-lab animal medicine (research anesthesia), VTS-physical rehabilitation: Mary Ellen Goldberg is a graduate of Harcum College and the University of Pennsylvania in 1976. She worked at Virginia Commonwealth University in the Division of Animal Resources and for Research Scientists advising on their choices for anesthesia and pain management on their protocols. She was a member of VCU’s IACUC for 10 years. She has been the instructor of Anesthesia and Pain Management at VetMedTeam, LLC since 2003. She was the Executive Secretary for the International Veterinary Academy of Pain Management (IVAPM) from 2008-2018. She is the Exam Chair for IVAPM. She is a Certified Veterinary Pain Practitioner through IVAPM. Mary Ellen is also a Surgical Research Anesthetist certified through the Academy of Surgical Research. She is on the Exam Chair for APRVT (Academy of Physical Rehabilitation Veterinary Technicians). She is Exam Chair for the Academy of Laboratory Animal Veterinary Technicians and Nurses (APRVT). Currently, she is a staff member at the Canine Rehabilitation Institute, as a Certified Canine Rehabilitation Veterinary Nurse. (CCRVN). Mary Ellen was chosen NAVTA’s Veterinary Technician of the Year 2017. In 2019, Mary Ellen received the 1st VTS-anesthesia, analgesia – honorary title from the Academy of Veterinary Technician Anesthesia and Analgesia. Mary Ellen has written several books, and contributed to numerous chapters regarding anesthesia, pain management and rehabilitation. She speaks at national meetings on these topics and gives private CE to organizational groups. She has worked in various aspects of veterinary medicine from small animal and equine to mixed practice, coccidiosis research for a pharmaceutical company, zoo animal medicine and laboratory animal medicine since 1976.

Total CE Credit: 3

Tuition: $63 ($57 early bird special if enrolled by January 1, 2020)
Prices are listed in US dollars.

*To ensure participants are ready and prepared for classes, enrollment will close on January 22, 2020 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. 797 or email . Please include the course title, your full name, and contact information in your correspondence.
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This course has been approved for RACE approval for veterinary technicians/technologists.(22-38824)

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. 797 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. 797
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