Online - June 2022

Content made accessible for vet techs everywhere

The Surgical Nursing E-Learning CE program has been developed to provide Veterinary Technicians a deeper understanding of topics such as surgical procedures, pain management and rehabilitation. By gaining these new skills, you will be able to effectively assist your veterinary team and deliver better patient care. The course provides world-class teaching materials and is authored by recognized specialists, and highly qualified and experienced veterinary nurses.

This is a modular program, delivered 100% online. The course includes 8 modules and includes reflective sessions, training in study skills and revision materials. Our training program can also help you achieve your professional CE requirements as it is RACE-approved for 96 credits.

Each module will be supported online by a tutor, who will be available to answer all your questions during the month the module is ‘live’. Enhance your career by joining the online CE course that suits your schedule and professional life.

Program Features:

8 varied modules

Covering key topics in surgery

Support and guidance from the Module Tutor

The tutor who specializes in the module 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 questions and exercises which test your knowledge as you work

Discussion forum

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

100% online

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

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

Regular assessments

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

Dedicated CE Tutor

A dedicated tutor will support you every step of the way throughout the entire duration of the course

Interactive and engaging modules

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

CE Program Details:

Modules summary
  1. Principles – The Clinic
  2. Principles – The Patient
  3. Anesthesia
  4. Analgesia
  5. Imaging
  6. Soft Tissue Surgery
  7. Orthopedic Surgery, Equipment and Rehabilitation
  8. Surgical Complications and Wound Management
  • Alison Mann - BSc (hons) Dip HE CVN Dip AVN (small animal) RVN
  • Barbara Jardim Gomes - IMVM MVMV CertAVP(DI) DipECVDI MRCVS
  • Claire Dorey-Phillips - BSc (Hons) ISFM DipFN RVN
  • Darren Barnes - MA VetMB CertSAS DipECVS MRCVS
  • Nicola Grint - BVSc PhD CertVA DVA DiplECVAA MRCVS

Our Surgical Nursing E-Learning program is RACE-approved for 96 CE hours and offers you the option of working towards a recognized qualification.

Veterinary Technician Certificate (VTCert)

By attending the full online structured program and following successful assessment you can gain a VTCert awarded by the International School of Veterinary Postgraduate Studies (ISVPS).

Only qualified Veterinary Technicians who have attended formal training can apply to undertake a VTCert.

This course includes

The training program is approved by RACE for 96 CE credits. Prices include ISVPS registration and examination fees. All professionals will have the opportunity of requesting, in any moment of the program, a statement regarding their earned credits to present to their respective board.

Principles – The Clinic
June 2022 | Online

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
July 2022 | Online

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 )
August 2022 | Online

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)
September 2022 | Online

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)
October 2022 | Online

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
November 2022 | Online

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
December 2022 | Online

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: Alison Mann (BSc (hons) Dip HE CVN Dip AVN (small animal) RVN)
Speaker: Por confirmar ()
Surgical Complications and Wound Management
January 2023 | Online

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)
Approved by RACE for 96 CE credits
This course is accredited by ISVPS and allows you to achieve a Veterinary Technician Certificate.

Surgical Nursing
Payment Option Initial Payment Next Payments Total Payable
Payment in full $480 $2,719 $3,199
Monthly payments $480 $240 x 12 installments * $3,360
All program prices include ISVPS registration and examination fees
* Delegates will need to pay the first installment to save their place and then payment plans start the month before the beginning of the course

Surgical Nursing
Payment Option Initial Payment Next Payments Total Payable
Payment in full $ $ $480
Monthly payments $ $0
All program prices include ISVPS registration and examination fees
* Delegates will need to pay the first installment to save their place and then payment plans start the month before the beginning of the course

Payment Terms & Conditions

1. An initial payment is due on registration in order to secure the booking. This can be paid by credit card or bank transfer.

2. Full payment to be made within 30 days of the commencement of the course.

3. For instalment payment plans, the only payment option is by credit card. Delegates will be notified monthly and shall proceed with payment through their personal delegate area.

4. All program prices include ISVPS registration and examination fees.

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. Improve International reserves the right to close the intake early if the number of applications received exceeds the number of available places.

4. In order to secure a place you must pay an initial payment.

5. Confirmation and enrolment details will then be sent to applicants once we have received a completed application form.

Frequently Asked Questions

Distance Learning

When is the learning content available for each module?
  • At the beginning of the month, the content for weeks 1 and 2 will be released
  • At the beginning of the 3rd week of the month, the remaining content will be released
What additional learning resources are available?
  • Online lessons
  • Notes to support every lesson
  • Reading list
  • Module Tutor (diploma holder in their field)
  • Program Tutor
  • Discussion Forum
What qualifications are needed for taking the program if coming from another non- European country?
  • Qualified Doctor of Veterinary Medicine registered in country of origin
  • ISVPS will require appropriate paperwork at point of registration
What does the GPCert consist of?
  • Complete the full online structured program
  • Case report (2,500 words)
  • Online spot test exam
  • Multiple choice examination
  • ISVPS are responsible for invigilation of the exam via TestReach an independent invigilation company
  • See the assessment criteria on the diagram of the route to a GPCert in the brochure
When do the exams take place?
For detailed information please check the ISVPS section on this webpage.
How do I submit my case report for the GPCert?
All ISVPS assessments are uploaded to the candidates’ area via the ISVPS website. You will be given a login to the candidates’ area when you register with ISVPS.

Find your course

This course is accredited by ISVPS and allows you to achieve a General Practitioner Certificate.

Learn more
Untitled Document
01 Jun 2022 - 31 Jan 2023
8 Modules
8 Online Modules
Veterinary Technician Certificate in Surgical Nursing
See the pricing tab – pay as you learn options available

Approved by RACE for 96 CE credits

This course is accredited by ISVPS and allows you to achieve a Veterinary Technician Certificate.