25 Jan 2020

Nurses Certificate in Surgical Nursing



The programme has been designed to provide veterinary nurses with the opportunity to access relevant and up to date knowledge of small animal surgical nursing and to use this knowledge to enhance the level of care and welfare of small animal patients requiring surgery and in doing so benefit the owner, the practice and individual staff.


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 modular programme is made up of four two-day courses. For those wishing to complete the whole course and sit the exam you must complete all four two-day modules within three years. You may take longer to attend all the modules but will not be eligible to sit the exam.

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

Booking Options

Payments Initial
Payment Options All prices exclude VAT
Full Course £2,395.00 £0.00 £2,395.00
Deposit and Payment in Full £2,100.00 £295.00 £2,395.00
Deposit and Direct Debit 12 Monthly Payments £185.00 £295.00 £2,515.00

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


Module (class) -1 - NSU 01 - Principles – The Clinic
25 Jan 2020 (9:30-17:00) - Swindon

Speaker: Claire Dorey-Phillips


The surgical nurse is an essential part of the surgical team. A good working knowledge of both surgical principles and equipment is essential to ensure surgical asepsis and safety to both the patient and surgical personnel. This module will cover all of the surgical principles and review surgical asepsis, sterilisation and surgical personnel preparation techniques. The range of surgical instrumentation and equipment has increased in recent years and is now more easily accessible; this module will introduce you to its use and maintenance.

Key Learning Objectives:

  • Discuss how hospital layout affects the running of a clinic in relation to infection control
  • Understand the importance of the use of hospitalisation sheets and be able to fill one in correctly.
  • Distinguish between the terms of disinfection and sterilization and how these techniques are implemented within the surgical & hospital setting.
  • Have an overview of theatre set-up, maintenance and the importance of surgical traffic etiquette.
  • Gain knowledge of the importance of the appropriate selection, preparation, storage and usage of equipment in theatre including surgical instruments and drapes.
  • Demonstrate aseptic techniques when assisting in surgery either as scrub assistant or as a non-sterile assistant through appropriate hand preparation, gowning and gloving
  • Appreciate the importance of surgical Health & Safety. Be able to identify potential risks and hazards within the surgical setting and have the knowledge of how to reduce these risks.
  • Know how hospital acquired infections are obtained and spread, as well as the different types of infection.
  • Includes a practical session.

Module (class) -2 - NSU 02 - Principles – The Patient
26 Jan 2020 (9:30-17:00) - Swindon

Speaker: Claire Dorey-Phillips


The success of a surgical procedure depends primarily on good planning and the awareness of potential patient risk factors. The surgical nurse is an integral part of the surgical team. This module will give you the background understanding and knowledge of the importance of pre-surgical assessment and patient preparation. With the background knowledge of disease pathophysiology and surgical techniques this module will give you the confidence to nurse the peri-operative patient.

Key Learning Objectives:

  • Discuss the importance of patient pre-surgical assessment and be able to identify which technique is most appropriate.
  • Select the appropriate patient preparation technique and positioning required for specific surgical procedures.
  • Be able to explain the importance of nursing care plans and their use in the pre and post-operative surgical patient.
  • Obtain knowledge of the role of nutrition in the surgical patient, identifying the advantages and disadvantages of both enteral and parenteral administration and how to manage these cases in the clinic.
  • Appreciate the importance of client communication in relation to a hospitalised patient
  • Includes case discussion and nutritional calculations

Module (class) -3 - NSU 03 - Anaesthesia
28 Mar 2020 (9:30-17:00) - Swindon

Speaker: Nicola Grint


‘There is no such thing as a safe anaesthetic only a safe anaesthetist’. This module will give you the ability to approach the anaesthesia of more critical surgical patients to optimise outcomes. The ability to confidently calculate drug requirements and understand monitoring equipment will help you navigate a surgical list with ease.

Key Learning Objectives:

  • Review acid/base balance, the practical application of blood products and explain when different fluid replacement options should be used.
  • Demonstrate the ability to perform all types of fluid administration calculations.
  • Explain the importance of client consent forms, patient anaesthesia records and be able to complete both correctly.
  • Describe the use of different pre-anaesthetic medication, induction and maintenance agents, explaining the advantages and disadvantages of each in specific cases.
  • Identify different types of endotracheal tubes and their use explaining the advantages and disadvantages of each. Demonstrate the skill of intubating easy and more difficult patients.
  • Obtain knowledge of basic through to advanced monitoring including the pros and cons of multi-parameter monitoring.
  • Be able to describe and explain abnormal pulse oximetry values and abnormal capnography waveforms and suggest options to improve them.
  • Includes case discussions and calculations

Module (class) -4 - NSU 04 - Analgesia
29 Mar 2020 (9:30-17:00) - Swindon

Speaker: Nicola Grint


Anyone involved in a surgical list will need to be up-to-date on pain assessment and multi-modal options for managing pain peri-operatively. This module will give enable you to promote patient welfare by using a pro-active and thorough approach to analgesia.

Key Learning Objectives:

  • Appreciate the pathophysiology of pain and be able to identify pain in different species using pain scoring methods.
  • Explain the different classes of analgesia, including opioids, NSAIDs, local anaesthetics and other agents and their pharmacology
  • Appreciate the use of a pre-emptive and multi-modal approach to analgesia
  • Demonstrate different intravenous catheterisation techniques including central venous catheterisation.
  • Be able to identify appropriate analgesic agents for the use of CRI, when and how these should be used/monitored and be able to perform a CRI calculation.
  • Obtain knowledge of different local anaesthetic techniques and which surgical cases benefit from their use.
  • Be able to demonstrate the safe administration of local anaesthetics via transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation.
  • Includes a practical session on central venous line placement

Module (class) -5 - NSU 05 - Imaging
16 May 2020 (9:30-17:00) - Swindon

Speaker: David MacKenzie


This module will allow you to have a deeper understanding of the part imaging plays in a busy surgical setting. The ability to confidently acquire diagnostic radiographs, triage patients using ultrasound and identify those patients who would benefit from advanced imaging will be of great benefit to you.

Key Learning Objectives:

  • Explain the different radiographic techniques available, their pros and cons and uses in specific situations.
  • Revise contrast studies, becoming familiar with their use and the specific equipment required to perform them.
  • Demonstrate correct positioning of a patient for specific pre and post-surgical assessment views
  • Improve your basic film reading, identifying radiographic artefacts and faults.
  • Explain ultrasonography techniques including AFAST™ and TFAST™ and how these techniques benefit surgical cases when diagnosing and monitoring for complications
  • Identify specific equipment and materials required for ultrasound-guided procedures.
  • Describe the use of echocardiography in the surgical patient, both pre-operatively and as part of a diagnostic work up.
  • Develop your knowledge of the equipment and materials required for interventional radiography.
  • Review advanced imaging (CT/MRI and Scintigraphy) and their uses in diagnosis, pre and post-surgical assessment of the surgical patient.

Module (class) -6 - NSU 06 - Soft Tissue Surgery
17 May 2020 (9:30-17:00) - Swindon

Speaker: Alison Moores


By the end of this module you will be able to prepare confidently for a wide variety of soft tissue procedures through your understanding of the underlying conditions and risks associated with the procedure. There will be a practical session in this module giving you the chance to perfect your suturing, knotting and hand-tying skills.

Key Learning Objectives:

  • Explain the principles of surgical technique in order to achieve a good surgical outcome.
  • Review the variables affecting the choice of suture material
  • Revise the main pathways of haemostasis and discuss the options for controlling haemorrhage at surgery
  • Demonstrate a good knowledge of appropriate surgical instrumentation for a variety of soft tissue surgical procedures through familiarity with nomenclature and instrument handling.
  • Understand the pathophysiology of GDV and the steps necessary to optimise outcomes and minimise morbidity/mortality
  • Describe the pathophysiology of a variety of surgical conditions of the gastrointestinal tract, options for treatment and complications associated with it, including peritonitis
  • Be familiar with surgery of the head and neck including Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome, Maxillectomy/Mandibulectomy, TECA-LBO and ophthalmic surgery
  • Understand the pathophysiology of pyometra and discuss options for treatment
  • Demonstrate the correct handling, maintenance and storage of endoscopic surgical equipment for laparoscopy / thoracoscopy
  • Includes a practical suturing session.

Module (class) -7 - NSU 07 - Orthopaedic Surgery, Equipment and Rehabilitation
18 Jul 2020 (9:30-17:00) - Swindon

Speaker: Alison Mann


This module will expand your knowledge of fracture types, their repair and a variety of other orthopaedic procedures. Attentive and proactive rehabilitation nursing care is one of the most integral parts of successful post-operative outcomes. This module will give you the understanding to select which of these techniques is likely to be most useful in specific cases.

Key Learning Objectives:

  • Consolidate your knowledge of a wide range of orthopaedic equipment including basic instrumentation, plating kits, external fixation kits, joint surgery, spinal surgery and arthroscopy.
  • Transform your understanding of the use, care and maintenance of orthopaedic equipment to maintain quality and efficient stock control in your clinic.
  • Have an overview of the different fracture types and options for their treatment including forelimb, hindlimb and skull.
  • Understand the principles and mechanics for specific joint surgical procedures including joint replacement.
  • Revise the pathophysiology of different conditions of the spine and the specific surgical procedures necessary to treat them.
  • Be familiar with the pros and cons of a variety of rehabilitation techniques and the importance of their role in the patient after specific surgical procedures.

Module (class) -8 - NSU 08 - Surgical Complications and Wound Management
19 Jul 2020 (9:30-17:00) - Swindon

Speaker: Lisa Telford


As per Simon Sinek “Always plan for the fact that no plan goes to plan”. This module aims to give you the knowledge of potential complications that can arise and hence the confidence to deal with them effectively to ensure a positive outcome. Wound management is also an integral part of a surgical nurse’s role, this module will review wound types and discuss advances in their treatment.

Key Learning Objectives:

  • Revise the collection, analysis and handling of surgical samples to maximise the chance of a diagnosis and minimise the risk of lost or non-diagnostic samples.
  • Become familiar with identifying surgical complications early and consolidate your knowledge of how to minimise them.
  • Develop your skills in managing surgical complications.
  • Transform your understanding of wound management to enable you to become comfortable handling some of the more challenging cases.
  • Recognise the importance of appropriate post-operative management after discharge and how to communicate this to the client.
  • Appreciate the importance of clinical governance in a veterinary practice.

Book Individual Modules

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 Surgical Nursing
25 Jan 2020
19 Jul 2020
8 Day Course
Claire Dorey-Phillips, Alison Moores, Nicola Grint, David MacKenzie, Lisa Telford, Alison Mann
Price: £1,995.00 + VAT

Alternative Start Dates

No alternative dates at present


Improve International was established in 1998 by a group of veterinary surgeons from across the UK. We run Continuous Professional Development training for veterinary professionals to help develop the skills and knowledge required in practice. Our programmes utilise a combination of review lectures, case-based discussion and, where applicable, hands-on practical sessions. We are an international organisation with offices in the UK and Portugal.



01793 759159

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