Course Overview

The evaluation of blood is a core component of quality medical care for every patient. It is especially important as a diagnostic tool in the evaluation of animals experiencing an abnormal condition. The collection and preparation of blood samples are just as important to an accurate diagnosis as are the evaluation techniques. Incorrect handling of blood samples can render the laboratory results invalid. Blood evaluation is often facilitated via the use of an outside laboratory. However, it is critical for veterinary technicians to have a high level of skill and training in hematology. For example, it is recommended that every time a CBC is run in-house, a blood film be evaluated for cell abnormalities, inclusions or diseases. Many times, automated machines cannot differentiate these cells. This can lead to a missed diagnosis, or a delayed result when samples are submitted.

Veterinary technicians play a vital role in diagnostic services. Enhancing the skills of blood film evaluation can increase revenue, improve the efficiency of the diagnoses made by the veterinary team and improve technician utilization. Each of these will allow the practice to provide clients and patients with a higher level of care.

Clinical Pathology: Hematology Sampling for the Advanced Technician Part One is a 6-week course designed for the veterinary technician seeking advanced training. However, this course provides an overview of basic concepts before moving into more advanced areas and is, therefore, of value to the veterinary team member who is seeking a comprehensive course in hematology. Although this course carries RACE credits only for technicians, many veterinarians will find this course beneficial to their understanding of hematology and a good starting point for advanced level training. Participants are not required to work in practice to complete this course. 

This course was previously titled Advanced Principles of Hematology, Part One.


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 57-11033.


Course Content

Clinical Pathology: Hematology Sampling for the Advanced Technician Part One is a 6-week course designed to further the skills of the veterinary technician. Although this course carries RACE credits only for technicians, many veterinarians will find this course beneficial to their understanding of hematology and a good starting point for advanced level training.

This course begins with the basic preparation and evaluation of normal blood films, and advances into abnormal erythrocytes, leukocytes and platelets. Students learn to identify cells affected by pathologic destruction, inclusions and infectious agents. Hereditary dysfunctions are also covered, as many of our common breeds are predisposed to genetic abnormalities. Students will gain a comprehensive understanding of blood cell production, and factors affecting such processes. Platelet and coagulation disorders, recommended tests and immunohematology finish out the course.


Course Focus and Learning Objectives

Clinical Pathology: Hematology Sampling for the Advanced Technician Part One is designed for the credentialed veterinary technician seeking advanced training. This course first provides an overview of basic concepts before moving into more advanced areas and is, therefore, of value to the veterinary team member who is seeking to begin comprehensive training in hematology. This course is followed up with Clinical Pathology: Hematology Sampling for the Veterinary Technician: Part Two, providing advanced training across multiple topics.

Although this course carries RACE credits only for technicians, many veterinarians will find this course beneficial to their understanding of hematology and a good starting point for advanced level training.

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

  • Estimate blood volume of a patient
  • Evaluate packed cells, plasma appearance and determine fibrinogen from micro-hematocrit tubes
  • Prepare and evaluate blood films
  • Compare and contrast blood film staining procedures
  • Identify the function of erythrocytes, leukocytes and platelets
  • Identify abnormal erythrocytes and leukocytes, due to destruction, inclusions or infectious agents
  • Compare and contrast hemolytic anemias and immune mediated disorders
  • Describe the process of hematopoiesis
  • Evaluate clotting and platelet maladies
  • Differentiate acquired and hereditary coagulation disorders
  • Identify transfusion reactions
  • Assess immunodeficiency disorders


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

...I liked the slide review. understanding the difference between cells and why. I feel I need alot more work on this and hope i can take part 2 and if has alot slide examination.

...I felt this was an excellent course on hematology. Lots of in-depth information. I thought the text was very good. All of the material was beneficial. All aspects of the course were beneficial. Some information was a good review, other information was new and added to my understanding of hematology. I thought the assignments added to understanding and learning the information presented.

...The overall quality of the micro-photographs was excellent and were a vital part of be successful with this course. The instructor was kind enough to also provide further information when needed, which I appreciated very much. I enjoyed this course and the challenges it presented. Thank you for the opportunity to experience this. Happy day.

...the text book was very informative. The excellent photos are very helpful, though somehow the specimens never look that good when I create a slide. The case studies were a lot of fun, but I feel like I was not given enough information on any of the case studies to reach the final disgnoses that were revealed on the answer keys. However, perhaps it's not the end diagnosis that was so important as much as the process of getting there in the evaluation of the information given.

...I really liked the textbook we used. I thought the assignments and quizzes really helped to clarify what I was learning.

...I found the course case studies were most beneficial to me. Searching for all possible diagnosis with information provided for each case was challenging and interesting. Mandy's feedback was very helpful and educational for me. Thanks!!


Required Materials

Veterinary Hematology: A Diagnostic Guide and Color Atlas by John Harvey, DVM, PhD, DACVP; 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.


Additional Courses Using Required Text

The textbook used in this course is also used in Clinical Pathology: Hematology Sampling for the Advanced Technician: Part Two. Click on the course title to view details regarding that course.


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.


Course Fee

Price: $179.00

Please note: This course has moved to an on-demand format but participants who enroll prior to October 15, 2013 will not be able to start the course until that time. The reason is that the instructor is currently working with students who enrolled in the last session based version and their session does not end until October 15, 2013.



VetMedTeam 2014