Course Overview

Please Note: The instructor for this course will be unavailable from May 3, 2015 to May 21, 2015. Each student's personal end date is being extended by 2 weeks as a result. During this period students will continue to have access to the course and may submit assignments that will be graded upon her return.

General anesthesia is regarded as one of the miracles of medicine. Advances in the art and science of anesthesia have allowed tremendous advances in surgery and medicine. Yet anesthesia is not without its complications and side effects. Decreasing reactions and minimizing side effects, while increasing the effectiveness of anesthesia, must be a primary focus of every team member involved in the anesthesia process. In any discussion of the foundational principles of veterinary anesthesia, it is agreed that practitioners and nurses/technicians must have a strong understanding of, and comfort level with, anesthetic drugs and combinations. Another basic principle is the need to constantly improve existing protocols, either by simple changes or by extensive revision of drugs and procedures. The question every team member needs to ask is “What can I do to make anesthesia safer?” 

Anesthesia: Fundamental Concepts and Components: Part One and Anesthesia: Fundamental Concepts and Components: Part Two are partner courses designed to provide a review of foundational knowledge for the safe practice of veterinary anesthesia. For some participants, this will be their initial introduction to the art and science of anesthesia while for other ii will be a valuable refresher course allowing for the inclusion of current practices. Although a foundational level set of offerings, both courses contain material that would be of benefit to many veterinarians. As indicated by a boarded veterinary anesthesiologist who has reviewed the content of this course, “Courses like this allow the practitioner to review the basic concepts they learned in veterinary school as well as to learn about new drugs, techniques, and monitors that are being used." It is recommended, although not required, that participants work in a practice to complete these courses. 

Anesthesia: Fundamental Concepts and Components: Part One covers patient preparation for anesthetic procedures along with current medication options. Anesthetic equipment and workplace safety are included. Please review the learning objectives and content section for more details.

Anesthesia: Fundamental Concepts and Components: Part Two reviews anesthetic monitoring and special techniques such as local anesthesia, assisted and controlled ventilation and neuromuscular blocking agents. This course also provides information on species-specific anesthetic considerations. Participants will choose between companion animal, equine, ruminant and swine, or rodent and rabbit species-specific tracks. Please review the learning objectives and content section for more details. It is recommended, but not required, that participants take the courses in order. 

Enrollment: The enrollment button on this page enrolls into the Part Two course only. To learn more about Part One please use this link Anesthesia: Fundamental Concepts and Components: Part One catalog page.

This course was formally titled Basic Principles of Anesthesia, Part Two.


Continuing Education Credits

Course meets the requirements for 15 RACE hours of continuing education credit for veterinary technicians and veterinarians 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 57-13030.


Course Content

Anesthesia: Fundamental Concepts and Components: Part Two is a 6-week course that provides an overview of foundational anesthetic concepts and principles. This course is designed for the veterinary technician or veterinarian seeking to solidify and update understanding of core anesthetic principles. The content, assignments, examinations and case studies address physical monitoring parameters, vital signs and reflexes, monitoring equipment and normal- abnormal monitoring values.

Also addressed are local anesthetics, mechanical ventilation, neuromuscular blockade, common emergencies and problems and considerations for non-standard patients. Participants are required to track the species area of preference - canine-feline, equine, ruminant-swine or rodent-rabbit. Species-specific anesthesia techniques and patient considerations from preparation through recovery will be discussed.


Course Focus and Learning Objectives

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

  • Explain the principles of anesthetic monitoring, classify physical monitoring parameters and list normal values for each physical monitoring parameter
  • List and describe each of the classic stages and planes of anesthesia
  • Explain and demonstrate assessment of each of the vital signs, reflexes, and other indicators of anesthetic depth
  • Explain setup, operation, care, maintenance, and troubleshooting of various monitoring equipment and interpret output and data from same, including abnormal parameters
  • Identify the following rhythms on an electrocardiographic tracing: normal sinus rhythm (NSR); sinus arrhythmia (SA); sinus bradycardia and tachycardia; first-, second-, and third-degree atrioventricular (AV) heart block; supraventricular premature complexes (SPCs) and ventricular premature complexes (VPCs); supraventricular and ventricular tachycardia; atrial and ventricular fibrillation; and QRS and T-wave configuration changes
  • Outline the methods for performing a nerve block and a line block, and list clinical situations in veterinary practice in which these blocks are used
  • List the indications for the use of neuromuscular blocking agents and the hazards associated with their use
  • Describe the techniques of manual, mechanical, periodic, and intermittent mandatory ventilation and their application to anesthesia
  • List the most common reasons why anesthetic emergencies occur, including problems arising from human error, equipment failure, and the adverse effects of anesthetic agents
  • List the most common causes of the following anesthetic problems: inadequate anesthetic depth; excessive anesthetic depth; pale mucous membranes; prolonged capillary refill time; dyspnea; tachypnea; bradycardia; tachycardia; cardiac arrhythmias. Outline appropriate responses
  • Describe the problems involved in anesthetizing non-standard patients
  • Explain selected species-specific anesthesia techniques from patient preparation through recovery


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 outline of this course is great and makes it easy to follow. It also provides steps to ensuring work is done and nothing is missed. The instructor is great and her feedback really places me where I need to be as far as "am I doing well?"

...It was very beneficial refreshing the use of certain drugs to target specific needs of different cases, most of the time we get comfortable with using the same drugs for every patient.

...I found the course to be very through, the local anesthetic section was very helpful for myself and my practice, we are using more line blocks and incisional blocks on our patients with great results. Also gave me other anesthetic protocols.

...thanks for the very good experience working with VETMEDTEAM and the exceptional Mary Ellen Goldberg. She's the absolute best I have experienced through online education. I am probably going to take her advanced anesthesia courses just to keep going forward with her guidance in the future. Very encouraging and supremely knowledgeable.

...I liked the fact that the course challenged me to think beyond what I do everyday and allowed me to approach changing some of the existing protocols.

...How to assure your patient is receiving the best care while undergoing anesthetic procedures. Providing optimal pain control using "balanced anesthesia" Having confidence in using anesthetic equipment and monitoring equipment Knowing when to alert to VIC in anesthetic emergencies Learning about rodent, ruminant and equine anesthesia


Required Materials

Anesthesia and Analgesia for Veterinary Technicians 4th Edition John A Thomas DVM and Phillip Lerche BVSc, PhD, Dipl ACVA 2011 Mosby/Elsevier

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

Mary Ellen Goldberg, BS, CVT, VMT, LAAS, SRAMary Ellen Goldberg, BS, CVT, VMT, LAAS, SRA

Mary Ellen Goldberg graduated from Harcum College and the University of Pennsylvania. She took the Virginia state boards and is also licensed in the state of Florida. Mary Ellen is a Surgical Research Anesthetist certified through the Academy of Surgical Research.

She worked at the Virginia Commonwealth University in the Division of Animal Resources as a Laboratory Animal Anesthesia and Analgesia Specialist and has been the instructor of Anesthesia and Pain Management at VetMedTeam, LLC since 2003.

In addition, she is the Co-Editor of the International Veterinary Academy of Pain Management’s newsletter and active in the formation of Academy credentialing for veterinary technicians and veterinarians. Mary Ellen is an elected member of the Board of Directors and Executive Secretary of the IVAPM (International Veterinary Academy of Pain Management). She is on the Exam Writing Committee and the Case Study Review Committee as part of the credentialing process for Certified Veterinary Pain Practitioner (CVPP). She is a member of the Executive Committee. She is a member of the American Academy of Pain Management, American Society of Pain Educators, and Association of Veterinary Anaesthetists.

Mary Ellen has now been appointed to the faculty at the Mannheimer Foundation, Inc., a primate facility in South Florida, to teach residents in Laboratory Animal Medicine from the University of Florida and other Veterinary Colleges about Primate Anesthesia and Analgesia. Mary Ellen is part of the faculty/staff for Canine Trigger Point Therapy Programs in The Woodlands, Texas. She does relief work as a veterinary technician for the Lion Country Safari Hospital in Loxahatchee, Florida.

Mary Ellen has worked in various aspects of veterinary medicine from small animal and equine to mixed practice, coccidiosis research for a pharmaceutical company, zoo animal medicine and laboratory animal medicine.

She lives in Boynton Beach, Florida with her husband. She has 3 grown sons.



Price: $179.00



VetMedTeam 2014