1 Jun 2022

Surgical Nursing Online Learning


Surgical Nursing Online Learning


Our Distance Learning Programme in Surgical Nursing has been developed to enable all veterinary nurses/technicians access to our world-class teaching materials.

By studying part-time, at your own pace, this programme allows you to effectively manage your work-life balance while taking essential knowledge back to practice immediately.


During the programme, online sessions will cover:

  • Surgical principles
  • Anaesthesia and analgesia for surgical patients
  • Dealing with and preventing surgical complications
  • Rehabilitation and wound management
  • Common soft tissue and orthopaedic procedures and the aftercare required
  • Care, maintenance of surgical equipment

Easy payment options are available


Delegates wishing to obtain the NCert/VTech/VPPCert award qualification will need to complete all of the eight interactive modules (provided by Improve) and pass the required assessments set out by the International School of Veterinary Postgraduate Studies (ISVPS)

Our online learning management system Moodle, provides access to course notes, discussion forums, and other study resources.

The programme course fees INCLUDE registration with ISVPS and all of the examination and assessment fees.

All our nurse modular programmes have a dedicated programme coordinator, who will support you every step of the way. You’ll also have support and guidance from module tutors who are specialists in their module subjects across 8 varied and interactive modules delivered over 8 months.

The course comprises 8 modules in total with a module being delivered every month.  The module content is divided into four weeks of teaching with the aim that the learning objectives are covered in the first three weeks and delivered via nine online lessons, each of which is about 40-60 minutes long. The module is concluded with either two interactive reflective sessions  (where appropriate) or delegates writing MCQs as part of a reflective study within week four.

Delegates will also be provided additional study skills sessions aiding the delegate to develop their reflective skills. This will help them in their clinical assessments and revision of their learning, which can be used within their future career.

Once you join you will be part of an international programme with participants from all over the world.

Key Features

  • 8 varied modules

Covering key nursing topics in surgery delivered over 8 months (one module released every other month)

  • Support and guidance from a Module Tutor who is a specialist within the surgical field.

The specialist in the subject area will provide online support during each module and will be available to answer all your questions

  • Multiple learning processes

Presentations, written notes, interactive quizzes, multiple-choice question writing and exercises test your knowledge as you work

  • Discussion forum

A discussion forum for conversation, debate and sharing cases with your peers and Module Tutors

  • Four sessions per month

Each module consists of four sessions spread over one month. Sessions comprise separate lessons to work through at your own pace. The fourth week of the month will provide reflective sessions and, training in study skills and revision materials will be provided.

  • 100% online

Giving you access 24/7 wherever you are using your laptop, tablet or even your mobile

  • Regular assessments

Pre-module and post-module assessments encourage you to reflect on your learning and evaluate your progress

  • Dedicated Programme coordinator

A dedicated Programme coordinator who will support you every step of the way

  • Interactive and engaging modules

Which allow you to absorb the learning materials in an online environment

Surgical Nursing Online Learning Modules

Principles – The Clinic
1 Jun 2022 |

The surgical nurse/tech/assistant 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

  • Distinguish between the terms of disinfection and sterilisation and how these techniques are implemented within the surgical and 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 a 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

Speaker: Claire Dorey-Phillips BSc (Hons) ISFM DipFN RVN
Principles – The Patient
1 Jul 2022 |

The success of a surgical procedure depends primarily on good planning and the awareness of potential patient risk factors. The surgical nurse/tech/assistant 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 pre and post-operative surgical patients

  • 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

Speaker: Claire Dorey-Phillips BSc (Hons) ISFM DipFN RVN
1 Aug 2022 |

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

Speaker: Nicola Grint BVSc PhD CertVA DVA DiplECVAA MRCVS
1 Sep 2022 |

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

Speaker: Nicola Grint BVSc PhD CertVA DVA DiplECVAA MRCVS
1 Oct 2022 |

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 workup

  • 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

Speaker: Barbara Jardim Gomes IMVM MVMV CertAVP(DI) DipECVDI MRCVS
Soft Tissue Surgery
1 Nov 2022 |

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.

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

  • Review suture patterns and techniques

Speaker: Darren Barnes MA VetMB CertSAS DipECVS MRCVS
Orthopaedic Surgery, Equipment and Rehabilitation
1 Dec 2022 |

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 postoperative 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

Speaker: Speaker TBC
Surgical Complications and Wound Management
1 Jan 2023 |

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 the nursing aftercare. 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

Speaker: Darren Barnes MA VetMB CertSAS DipECVS MRCVS

Booking Options

Payments Initial
Payment Options All prices exclude VAT
NCert/VTCert/VPPCert Programme £2,000.00 £295.00 £2,295.00
NCert/VTCert/VPPCert Programme 12 monthly payments £178.00 £295.00 £2,431.00

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

Surgical Nursing Online Learning
1 Jun 2022
31 Jan 2023
8 Day Course
Darren Barnes, Claire Dorey-Phillips, Nicola Grint, Barbara Jardim Gomes, Speaker TBC
From £2,295.00 + VAT