Course Overview

A frantic client is on the phone with a pet that will not stop seizing; a HBC cat rushed through the front door; a patient in treatment who is critical and requires ICU level medical care - one of the realities of veterinary medicine is that emergencies can and will happen. As a veterinary technician, are you prepared to respond? Do you have the skills and knowledge needed to provide advanced critical care for hospitalized patients?

ECC: Assessment and Treatment the Critically Ill Patient: Part One is designed to build on the knowledge base of experienced technicians. This 6-week advanced level course covers areas such as the physical exam, triage, hospitalized patient critical care, and neurological emergencies as well as other segments of care. It includes challenging assignments that will require the student to utilize professional experience and critical thinking skills, along with new concepts and knowledge acquired through the course materials. Participants are not required to work in practice to complete this course. 

Note: Each of the courses in the ECC: Assessment and Treatment the Critically Ill Patient series is free-standing and participants may take the courses in any order. All 4 courses in the series utilize the same textbook.

This course was previously titled Advanced Principles of Emergency Patient Care, Part One.


Continuing Education Credits

Course meets the requirements for 20 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 57-11754.


Veterinary Technician Specialty Academy Acceptance

The Academy of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Technicians (AVECCT)

The ECC: Assessment and Treatment the Critically Ill Patient: Part One course
is accepted by the Academy towards continuing education requirements.


Course Content

Some of the topics discussed in this course are incoming and in-hospital critical patient care, triage skills, patient management, neurologic assessment, and nosocomial infections. This course will cover dogs and cats; it does not include large animals or exotics.


Course Focus and Learning Objectives

ECC: Assessment and Treatment the Critically Ill Patient: Part One is an advanced 6-week course designed for veterinary technicians who already have a good baseline knowledge of emergency and critical care medicine.

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

  • Perform a physical exam while evaluating the patient’s emergency status
  • Triage incoming and in-hospital patients to prioritize those needing the most urgent medical attention
  • Establish a “ready area” to stabilize critical patients
  • Assess hospitalized patients for changes in their medical status
  • Discuss and follow the Kirby’s Rule of 20 for daily care of the critical patient
  • Provide wound management
  • Identify and assist in the treatment of neurological emergencies
  • Discuss, detect, and assist in the treatment of infectious diseases
  • Perform hands-on assessment of critically ill patients
  • Evaluate and record both subjective and objective physical examination parameters throughout the day
  • Apply the numeric coma scale
  • Recognize abnormalities in mental status that can been seen with metabolic disease, drug administration or toxicity, and structural brain disease
  • Define risk factors for nosocomial infections in the ICU


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 course material is extensive. The case studies allow you to dig deep and apply the material you have read to cases that will actually walk through your doors. The assignments give you the opportunity to re-evaluate cases you have seen in your own hospital. They allow you to learn the reasoning behind a particular course of therapy and to deduce whether improvements could have been made given newly found knowledge and 20/20 hindsight. Brandy Tabor was very timely in her responses to questions and usually graded assignments within 12 hours or less. She is one of the most accessible instructors I have found on VetMedTeam thus far. As an LVT, VTS(ECC) with 19 years of experience, I found the course valuable and learned information I can apply in my own practice on a case by case basis. Great course!

...All of this material really is relevant to the ER that I work in. I am currently working with outpatients all the time, so the triage, and all of the information about recognizing signs of fungal, viral, seizure, and spinal cord injury were very beneficial. I think this was a great course and I learned a lot from the text and critical thinking case questions.

...The assignments and case studies were a lot of work and a bit challenging, but definitely helpful! They made you think and do some investigative work to find the answers. The corresponding text was amazing! It was even more informative (I feel) than the generalized text that was required for my classes at Tech school.

...This course was outstanding. Brandy was excellent in her feedback and assistance throughout the course. I know so much more noweaan I did when I started and I already thought I already had a good understanding of this material.

...The best aspects of this course were the dynamics the material was learned and applied. Read, quiz and apply in multiple real life situations. As well as needing to find cases in your daily work life to relate your knowledge to.

...I feel that the information was a great refresher of information you may have gotten during schooling, but haven't actively /thought/ about while in practice. Reviewing why we are performing a task, and why it's so important or how it factors in. A handful of things were new to me, such as the Cushing reflex or evaluating spinal lesions, which was a great new tool to have.


Additional Courses Using Required Text


Required Materials

Small Animal Critical Care Medicine Authored by: Deborah Silverstein DVM, DACVECC and Kate Hopper BVSc, MVSc, DACVECC

Important Text Information:

It is mandatory that each participant has access to this textbook as the content of the book is not reproduced within the course. It is up to each person 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. The text is available as a print publication and as an eBook. Where to purchase and in what format is totally up to the participant. The text is not included in the fee for this course.

USA residents: Elsevier texts, both print and eBook, are available via the VetMedTeam Elsevier Text Portal at discounts off regular retail of 25 - 35 %. If you would like to visit the portal to take advantage of the discount please use this link:

VetMedTeam's Elsevier Text Portal

Important: Regardless of which 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. 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. VetMedTeam has no control over shipping delays and other related problems.


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

Brandy Tabor, BS, CVT, VTS (ECC)Brandy Tabor, BS, CVT, VTS (ECC)

A native of Colorado, Brandy graduated from Colorado State University in the spring of 2003 with a BS in Equine Sciences. While attending CSU, she worked as a nurse’s assistant in the Critical Care Unit at the Colorado State University Veterinary Teaching Hospital. Here, she learned just how far you can go with a career as a veterinary technician. She enrolled in Front Range Community College in Loveland, CO, graduating in 2005. Brandy then moved to Parker, CO where she currently works as an emergency and critical care technician. She had the honor of becoming a member of the Academy of Veterinary Emergency & Critical Care Technicians in 2008.

Brandy has a passion for writing and has written several articles for Veterinary Technician magazine including ”Recognizing and Treating Diabetic Ketoacidosis”, “Heatstroke in Dogs”, and “Osteoarthritis”

Brandy currently lives with two birds, three cats, and one crazy dog.



Price: $179.00



VetMedTeam 2014