VSPN TECH305-1121: Pain Recognition and Assessment

The real time sessions for this course will be presented via Zoom webinar platform.

Presenter: Mary Ellen Goldberg BS, LVT, CVT, SRA, CCRVN, CVPP, VTS (Physical Rehabilitation, Lab Animal Medicine (Research Anesthesia) )

Course Open: November 30, 2021-December 24, 2021
Real Time Sessions (RTS): Tuesdays, December 7 and 14, 2021; 8:00-9:30 pm ET (USA)    World Clock Converter
Total CE Credit: 3
RACE Category: 3 hours Medical

Enrollment is closed.

Course Information:
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, chronic 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.

Learning Objectives: Upon completion of this course, 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
  • Discuss chronic pain scales
  • Understand the postures and appearance of many species that are in pain: dogs, cats, non-human primates, rodents, rabbits, horses, livestock, birds, reptiles, amphibians, 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 and images as examples)
Level and Prerequisites: This intermediate VSPN CE course course will be open to veterinary technicians/technologists actively interested in improving their ability to recognize pain and address it in patient care.

RACE Accreditation: This program has been approved for 3 hours of continuing education credit in jurisdictions which recognize RACE approval.(20-854873)

Course Agenda:

Week 1 (Real Time Session December 7): Assessing Pain in Cats and Dogs (How Pain Affects Behavior)
This session will cover how to assess pain in cats and dogs, behavioral keys for pain, and pain scales. We will also discuss common signs of pain, distinguishing between pain and dysphoria, defining hyperesthesia and allydonia; additionally we will discuss chronic pain and how this pain can become neuropathic pain.

Week 2 (Real Time Session December 14): Assessing and Scoring Pain in Animals (most species included)
We will discuss postures and appearance of many species that are in pain, using acute pain scales, understanding the facial expressions, and reviewing videos and images to identify pain in patients.

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(s): There is no required textbook for this course.

Enrollment is closed.

Tuition: $63 ($57 early bird special if enrolled by November 16, 2021)
Prices are listed in US dollars.

* Students currently enrolled in an AVMA accredited or CVMA 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 on December 7, 2021 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. 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.

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.

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