Course Overview

The evaluation of urine samples is a core component of quality medical care. Improper collection, handling and preparation of samples can render test results questionable or invalid, potentially leading to a missed or erroneous diagnosis. Although the final evaluation and diagnosis remains solely in the hands of the attending veterinarian, the accuracy of that diagnosis can depend on the skill and knowledge of the medical support team.

An overall understanding of the components of urine, along with normal and abnormal results, is critical for the accurate running and reporting of tests. Clinical Pathology: The Clear Path to Urine Collection and Evaluation is a 6-week course designed to help participants improve their knowledge and skills and will help veterinary practices provide high quality laboratory services to their clients and patients. Participants are not required to work in practice to complete this course. 

This course was previously titled Basic Principles of Urinalysis.


Continuing Education Credits

Course meets the requirements for 15 RACE hours of continuing education credit for veterinary technicians in jurisdictions which recognize AAVSB's RACE approval. However, participants should be aware that some boards have limitations on the number of hours accepted in certain categories and/or restrictions on certain methods of delivery.

This course is an interactive online course that meets RACE requirements; program number 57-11072.


Course Focus and Learning Objectives

This course is designed for veterinary assistants and veterinary technicians. Components of the course may cover areas of technician only responsibility but it is important for veterinary assistants to understand the core concepts which will allow for an enhanced ability to assist the technician and veterinarian.

Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • Describe normal renal physiology and urine production
  • Compare and contrast urine collection methods
  • Identify proper urine submission containers
  • Evaluate the physical and chemical properties of urine
  • Recognize and determine methods to confirm proteinuria
  • Implement proper urine sediment analysis procedures
  • Identify white blood cells, red blood cells, casts, crystals, bacteria, fungi and parasites in a urine sample
  • Evaluate bacteriuria
  • Prepare and assess urinary tract cytology
  • Identify proper equipment needed for a complete urinalysis
  • Implement quality control procedures
  • Develop a procedural manual for the completion of urinalysis


Course Content

This 6-week course covers canine and feline urine properties, including physical and chemical characteristics, sediment analysis and conformational tests that are available to confirm diagnostic results.


Participation Access Parameters

The design of this course allows participants to enroll at any time. 

After enrolling, please allow up to 48 hours for course activation. Each participant will have a personal start and end date that begins upon activation.


Participant Feedback

...The text book was and will be a good asset to adding to my reference material. The case studies were a good way to pull together the information presented during the assignments. The detailed descriptions of how urine is produced by the body, etc... are a great refresher to my college studies from years past.

...I really enjoyed the assignment on the sediment findings! The pictures of the microscopic elements helped me extremely with identifying them in real cases. I very much enjoyed this course. Also the positive feedback from the instructor Mandy was very encouraging. :)

...I really appreciated that the course not only showed us cytology evaluation and collection methods, but also recapped the anatomy and phisiology of urine production. I found that to be very helpful, especially for someone like me who had been out of my field of study for a while. The course was very thorough and detailed. Not only was I able to brush up on my urinalysis skills, but learned a few new things to help me with additional diagnostics.

...I enjoyed the photo's of the urine and having to identify what I saw. I am a visual learner and this was very helpful for me.

...I liked the fact that the instructor gave feedback on each of the assignments. I believe this is very important.

...Easy to access, user friendly course. The material learned will be easily transferable to implement in my clinic.

...The feedback from the instructor was very helpful, and the photos were great.


Required Materials

Practical Veterinary Urinalysis by Caroline Sink and Nichole Weinstein, Wiley-Blackwell

Important Text Information: This course utilizes a textbook. It is up to each participant to determine the best way to acquire the text. Some will already have the text in their library and therefore will not need to purchase another copy. Where to purchase and in what format is totally up to the participant. The text is available as a print publication and as an eBook through Wiley-Blackwell. The following link to their website is provided as a courtesy.

Purchase Text From Wiley-Blackwell

Important: Regardless of what option the participant chooses, access to a copy of the textbook is mandatory. Without the text the student will not be able to complete the assignments, case studies and examinations as the material is not reprinted within the course. If enrolling close to or beyond the course start date, it is recommended that the text be purchased as an eBook to prevent text acquisition related delays.


Course Completion Requirements

Completed students are awarded a certificate of completion. Completion requirements include:

  • Instructor Graded Interactive Module Assignments: Designed to help the participant reinforce newly learned material

  • Instructor Graded Interactive Case Study Assignments:Designed to help the participant apply the newly learned skills and knowledge though patient and practice based scenarios

  • Examinations: All examinations must be submitted with a score of 80% or better

  • Course survey


Course Instructor

Rebeccah Vaughan, CVT, VTS (Anesthesia) (Clinical Practice- canine/feline)Rebeccah Vaughan, CVT, VTS (Anesthesia) (Clinical Practice- canine/feline)

Becky Vaughan is a Certified Veterinary Technician and a Veterinary Technician Specialist (VTS) in Anesthesia and in Clinical Practice- Canine/Feline. After graduating from Manor College in Jenkintown, PA in 2002, Becky’s career has taken her to General Practice and Specialty Surgery, Radiology and Dentistry services in Philadelphia, Vermont, and the Chicagoland area.

Becky is currently the Technical Supervisor of VCA Aurora Animal Hospital, a 25-doctor teaching hospital comprised of 24-hr Emergency/Critical Care, Specialty Services, and General Practice. She also serves on the Credentials Committee for both the Academy of Veterinary Technicians in Clinical Practice and the Academy of Veterinary Technician Anesthetists in addition to being the past Credentials Committee Chair.

Becky has lectured on anesthesia and dentistry topics throughout the US since 2006. She has contributed to magazines and VSPN on a number of topics. Becky also is part of a Technician and Assistant Task Force for the VCA Corporation in an effort to improve and standardize support staff education nationwide.

Becky has a special interest in critical anesthesia, dentistry and feline pain management. She shares her home in Downers Grove, IL with her husband Hank, daughter Kate, son Gavin, and a multitude of cats and fish.



Price: $179.00



VetMedTeam 2014