9 Dec 2021

Nurses Certificate in Emergency and Critical Care Nursing


Nurses Certificate in Emergency and Critical Care Nursing


Emergency cases can be some of the most challenging and rewarding patients to deal with in practice. This programme aims to give a thorough understanding of the veterinary nurse’s involvement in ensuring the optimum outcome and survival of these patients. The modules are delivered as four two-day courses and one online remote live stream module, with the emphasis throughout being on the practical approach to cases in practice, using day-to-day equipment and resources found in the majority of small animal practices. The final module enables nurses to practice some of the techniques in the safe environment of Improve International's excellently equipped wet lab.

The course will follow and expand on the textbook 'Practical Emergency and Critical Care Nursing'. All delegates attending the course will receive a copy of this Textbook.


The certificate programme will:

  • Enhance your clinical skills and knowledge
  • Increase your confidence and job satisfaction
  • Enable you to gain an achievable and recognised qualification

This course offers:

• Flexible attendance options – individual modules, paired modules or the entire course

• Easy payment options


Registration is from 9.00am, with the taught modules starting at 9.30am and finishes at 5.00pm on all modules.

Delegates wishing to complete the Nurses Certificate examination will be required to attend all eight taught modules. These modules can be completed in one year or delegates can extend the programme over two or three years. Modules can be attended in any order, to suit individual preferences, subject to availability.

Comprehensive course notes are provided for each module via the online learning platform Moodle. Refreshments are available throughout the day and lunch is included on all modules.

Nurses Certificate in Emergency and Critical Care Nursing Modules

Triage, Monitoring & Stabilisation
9 Dec 2021 | Swindon

Triage, monitoring, and stabilisation.

  • Triage

  • Major body system assessment

  • Monitoring of clinical parameters

  • Recognise the signs of respiratory distress and localise the cause Oxygen supplementation techniques

  • Blood gas and acid base analysis.

At the end of this module delegates should be able to:​​​​​​

  • Describe the triage process and explain how it benefits patients
  • Classify the principles and practical aspects of critical patient monitoring
  • Define the perfusion parameters and explain how these can be used to identify hypoperfusion and to monitor a patient’s response to treatment.
  • Implement the various mechanisms to assess perfusion and of monitoring of clinical parameters and be able to interpret their readings including ECG abnormalities.
  • Recognise dyspnoeic patients and be able to assess them for their degree of respiratory impairment.
  • Discuss the causes of respiratory disease and state the various oxygen supplementation techniques
  • Discuss the collection of arterial and venous blood samples for blood gas analysis and be able to explain their importance.

Speaker: Elle Haskey RVN BSc(hons) PGCert FHEA VTS(ECC) VPAC A1
Fluid Therapy in the Emergency Patient
10 Dec 2021 | Swindon

Fluid Therapy in the Emergency Patient.

• Dehydration and hypovolaemia recognition and treatment

• Fluid therapy: Crystalloids, colloids, and blood products

• Shock and its identification

• Fluid therapy and CRI calculations

• Blood transfusions

At the end of this module delegates should be able to:

  • Define the difference between hypovolaemia and dehydration and how they are treated using fluid therapy.
  • Recognise the importance of electrolytes and their role in homeostasis.
  • Describe the different types of intravenous fluids including crystalloids, colloids, and blood products.
  • Recognise the different types of shock: hypovolaemic, maldistributed, septic, cardiogenic.
  • Solve administration calculations for the correct administration: Constant Rate Infusions (CRI’s), Crystalloids, Colloids, and Blood products.
  • Describe the importance of how blood transfusions should be safely administered and describe the contraindications of blood transfusions, and their associated adverse reactions.

Speaker: Elle Haskey RVN BSc(hons) PGCert FHEA VTS(ECC) VPAC A1
Diagnostic imaging and the Trauma patient
3 Feb 2022 | Swindon

Diagnostic imaging and the Trauma patient

  • Traumatic wounds and fractures
  • Assessment, lavage and debridement of wounds
  • Urinary tract trauma
  • Head trauma
  • Thoracic trauma
  • Perform TFAST and AFAST imaging

At the end of this module delegate should be able to:

  • State the priorities for stabilising and treating traumatic wounds and fractures on initial presentation, and be able to implement effective assessment, lavage, and debridement of wounds.
  • Explain the principles and practical aspects of the latest advanced wound dressings
  • Identify how urinary trauma presents, and how patients are stabilized prior to surgery
  • Describe the pathophysiology of head trauma and their nursing requirements demonstrating the use of the small animal coma scoring scale
  • Identify how to deal with thoracic trauma patients, and prioritize their treatment
  • Explain the principles of ultrasound imaging and be familiar with how to set up and maintain the ultrasound machine and probes
  • Employ the principles of FAST scanning to triage emergency cases and identify specific equipment and materials required for ultrasound-guided procedures.
  • Explain the different radiographic techniques available, their pros and cons, and their uses in specific situations
  • Evaluate radiographic image quality to ensure diagnostic radiographs are available for interpretation, demonstrating basic film reading and be able to identify radiographic artifacts and faults.

Speaker: David MacKenzie BSc(Hons) MA VetMB PhD CertVC CertAVP(SAM) CertAVP(ECC) PgCert(VPrS) MRCVS
Medical emergencies
4 Feb 2022 | Swindon

Medical Emergencies

• Pathophysiology of cardiac disease

• Assessment and management of the acute kidney failure patient

• Endocrine emergencies

• Poisons and toxicities-

• Acute Gastroenteritis/peritonitis

At the end of this module delegates should be able to:

  • Describe the measures of caring/treating for a patient presenting with cardiac disease
  • Classify the treatment of acute renal failure and the underlying causes of pre, renal and post-renal failure.
  • State the pathophysiology of endocrine and metabolic emergencies, including hypoadrenocorticism.
  • Discuss common poisons seen in companion animals list antidotes and treatments.
  • State the common acute medical gastrointestinal emergencies and discuss their treatment and management
  • Describe the pathpathology of a ‘blocked cat’ and the available treatment options including the associated nursing care.
  • Classify laboratory sampling techniques, processing, storage, and data recording. Apply knowledge to using the microscope to examine blood smears, urinary sediment, and basic cytology
  • Classify the most common neurological emergencies and their initial treatment
  • State the most common hematological abnormalities and their treatment
  • Discuss the treatment and nursing considerations of a patient with pancreatitis

Speaker: David MacKenzie BSc(Hons) MA VetMB PhD CertVC CertAVP(SAM) CertAVP(ECC) PgCert(VPrS) MRCVS
Surgical emergency procedures
13 Apr 2022 | Swindon

Surgical emergency procedures.

• Preparation of the emergency patient for surgery

• Asepsis

• Gastric Dilatation and Volvulus

• Septic Peritonitis

• Haemoabdomen

• Caesarean Section and neonatal emergencies

At the end of this module delegates should be able to:

  • Describe the correct preparation of the emergency patient for surgery.
  • Explain the importance of correct asepsis with preparing patients for Surgery
  • Describe the pathophysiology behind gastric dilatation and volvulus, the emergency and surgical treatment options.
  • Explain the term septic peritonitis and haemoabdomen, the potential causes and surgical treatment options, discussing the nursing care of these patients
  • Discuss the common important clinical signs associated with reproductive and pediatric/neonatal emergencies to include the pre-, intra-, and post-operative cesarean patient.
  • Describe the common ophthalmological emergencies, treatment, and nursing care

Speaker: Thomas Towey BVMS CertAVP(ECC) MRCVS Advanced Practitioner in Emergency & Critical Care
Analgesia and Anaesthesia
14 Apr 2022 | Swindon

Analgesia and Anaesthesia

• Anaesthesia Planning

• Anaesthesia for Respiratory Patients

• Anaesthesia for Cardiac Patients

• Analgesia

• Pain Scoring

At the end of this module delegates should be able to:

  • Identify common complications which can arise related to anaesthesia outcomes
  • Describe anaesthesia of patients with respiratory disease
  • Discuss the pathophysiology behind various cardiac diseases and how we may modify anaesthesia protocols for the cardiac patient.
  • Define the range of analgesics available, including opioids, NSAIDs, and local anaesthetics
  • Recognise pain in companion animals and gain confidence in the use of veterinary pain scoring systems.

Speaker: Amy Homer RVN MScVAA GradDipVN NCertACC AFHEA
Emergency and Critical Care in Exotic patients
16 May 2022 | Online

Emergency and Critical Care in Exotic patients.

  • Triage
  • Anaesthesia and Analgesia
  • CPR in exotic species
  • Techniques in critical care nursing of exotic speices

At the end of this module delegates should be able to:

  • Demonstrate and explain the importance of the techniques used to triage Rabbits, Guinea pigs, ferrets, small mammals, reptilians, and the avian patient.
  • Explain the anaesthesia & analgesia considerations of the emergency conditions of rabbits, ferrets, small mammal, reptilian and avian patients.
  • Describe and implement the Critical Care and nursing techniques for the avian, reptilian and small mammal emergency patient
  • Sate and explain the effects of the common poisons appliable to the avian patient
  • Demonstrate CPR in all exotic patients

Speaker: Richard A. Saunders BSc (Hons) BVSc FRSB CBiol DZooMed (Mammalian) DipECZM(ZHM) MRCVS  RCVS Specialist in Zoo and Wildlife Medicine (Mammalian) European Specialist in Zoological Medicine (ZHM)
Nursing the critical patient
5 Jul 2022 | Swindon

Nursing the critical patient

• Recumbent Patient Nursing

• Nutrition and Feeding Tubes

• Management of catheters and drains

• Infection Control and Prevention of HAIs

At the end of this module delegates should be able to:

  • Classify the requirements and management of recumbent patients
  • State the nutritional requirements of trauma and critical care patients
  • Explain the different techniques for administering enteral nutrition to patients including:

• Nasogastric tubes

• Oesophagostomy tubes

• Gastrostomy tube

  • Identify and explain the use of Total parenteral and Partial parenteral Nutrition is used
  • Explain how to manage a variety of catheters and drains in an aseptic manner including urinary catheters, thoracic drains, and tracheostomy tubes.
  • Perfect your knowledge of the importance of maintaining effective infection control protocols when dealing with critical patients in order to prevent hospital-acquired infections (HAIs).

Speaker: Elle Haskey RVN BSc(hons) PGCert FHEA VTS(ECC) VPAC A1
CPR and Key practical skills
6 Jul 2022 | Swindon

CPR and Key practical skills

• Placement of central lines

• Placement of nasal oxygen catheters

• Placement of feeding tubes

• Placement of chest drains

• Placement of tracheostomy tubes

• Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)

At the end of this module delegates should be able to:

  • Discuss the new approach to veterinary CPR and implement effective CPR within a team-practical (dry lab).
  • Demonstrate correct suturing techniques relevant to emergency patients including tracheostomy tube placement and thoracic drain placement – wet lab (cadavers)
  • Describe and demonstrate the techniques for administering/supplementing oxygen, e.g. placement of nasal oxygen cannulas, transtracheal oxygen administration – wet lab (cadavers)
  • Interpret and explain the correct placement of various feeding tubes, e.g., nasogastric, oesophagostomy tubes – wet lab (cadavers)
  • Discuss the role of the veterinary nurse and the end-of-life care of a patient.

Speaker: Elle Haskey RVN BSc(hons) PGCert FHEA VTS(ECC) VPAC A1

Booking Options

Payments Initial
Payment Options All prices exclude VAT
NCert Programme £2,799.00 £0.00 £2,799.00
NCert Programme (Deposit and 12 Monthly Payments) £220.00 £299.00 £2,939.00
NCert Programme (Deposit and Payment in Full) £2,500.00 £299.00 £2,799.00

To book any option please click the "Book Now" button and select your preferences in your shopping cart.

Payment Terms & Conditions

  1. Payment for the course can be paid by credit card or bank transfer.
  2. Please contact us for pricing relating to corporate veterinary groups and multiple booking discounts.
  3. Full details regarding the course cancellation procedure can be found here: https://www.improveinternational.com/uk/terms-and-conditions/

Registration Information

  1. Applications are accepted on a first-come, first served basis.
  2. Where all available places are full, applicants will be offered first refusal for the next available date.
  3. Confirmation and enrolment details will then be sent to confirm your booking.

Key information

Nurses Certificate in Emergency and Critical Care Nursing
9 Dec 2021
8 Jul 2022
8 Day Course
Richard A. Saunders, Thomas Towey, David MacKenzie, Amy Homer, Elle Haskey
£2,799.00 + VAT