Course Overview

This course, Veterinary Assisting: Anesthesia and Surgical Assisting, is modeled upon one of the 12 courses that make up the online portion of the VetMedTeam Veterinary Assistant Program. Our program has been NAVTA approved since 2011 and full program graduates are allowed to take NAVTA's Approved Veterinary Assistant (AVA) examination.

We recognize that a member may not wish to enroll in the full program but they have an interest in a specific area of training. This course is therefore being offered as a separate training option. It does not contain a clinical requirement.

As with the full program, this course is a valuable addition to a practice's in-house training protocols.

This course does not require employment nor prior experience.


Flexible Open Enrollment and the Activity Requirements

This course is designed to be as schedule friendly as possible as we understand it can be hard to fit interactive CE into an already busy life. Open enrollment allows students to enroll in this course at any time. Students can expect to be able to access their course with 48 hours of enrollment submission.

The participant is not expected to be online in the course at any specific times as there are no real time lectures. The instructor will respond to an assignment submission, or a forum question, within 48 hours, with extended time for holidays.

Activity Requirements:

In order to remain in the course, a student must post assignments for grading on a regular, frequent, basis. Module or final exams, or just logging into the course, does not meet this requirement. As long as the participant continues to make regular progress, course access time is not set to a specific deadline.

However, the course is not designed to take months to complete. If 30 days elapses without submitted assignment activity, the student will be removed from the course and graded as incomplete, as the lack of activity will indicate the student wishes to drop the course.

But What If Something Comes Up?:

There are times that students will have situations that interfere with their ability to work the course on a regular basis. In that case an email to VetMedTeam, as soon as such a situation arises, will allow us to work with the student to adjust the time frame. It all comes down to communication.


Course Focus, Content, and Learning Objectives

Veterinary Assisting: Anesthesia and Surgical Assisting is designed for those seeking to increase their skill in this area of practice.

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

  • outline the components of the surgical suite
  • explain the principles of asepsis
  • recognize basic surgical instruments and suture material
  • explain the process of cleaning, lubricating, packing, and sterilizing instruments
  • discuss folding and wrapping drapes and gowns
  • define surgical terminology
  • explain how to prepare an animal for surgery
  • explain how to assist the surgical team with gowning and gloving and how to open sterile items
  • discuss the general components of anesthetic equipment and supplies
  • outline the general components of the phases of anesthesia administration and possible adverse events
  • outline the general components of the recovery phase including monitoring, evaluation, pain management, and possible postoperative complications

Completion requirements:

Instructor Graded Critical Thinking Assignments: Designed to help the participant apply the newly learned skills and knowledge via implementation focused and patient based situations

Module Quizzes: Must be submitted with a score of 80% or better, multiple attempts

Course Survey

A certificate of completion is provided.


Technology Requirements

Reading content within the course is provided via PDF therefore the ability to download files and open PDFs is required.

It is recommended that participants utilize a program such as MS Word to create, and save, their assignment submission to their computer. Then the information can be pasted into the assignment submission area.


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/Analgesia 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, Dentistry, and Emergency services in Philadelphia, Vermont, and the Chicagoland area in a variety of patient care and leadership roles.

Becky is currently an ER Veterinary Nurse for Veterinary Emergency Group in Lincoln Park, Chicago, IL, where the hospital provides a unique open-concept experience for pet owners throughout all aspects of emergency care, even during anesthesia and surgery. She also serves on the Credentials Committee as well as is the Vice President (becoming President afterward) for the Academy of Veterinary Technicians in Clinical Practice.

Becky has lectured on anesthesia and dentistry topics throughout the US since 2006. She has contributed to magazines, textbooks, and VSPN on a number of topics, as well as being an instructor for VetMedTeam courses. Becky also spent many years as part of a Technician and Assistant Task Force for the VCA corporate Medical Operations division 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 loves working with all species of patients. She shares her home in Downers Grove, IL with her family and pets.



Price: $89.00 USD

Individuals enrolling in more than one course at a time, please indicate the preferred order of the courses. If desired, participants can start all courses at the same time. There is an area in the shopping cart to type in your preferences.

Practices may enroll individual team members in the same course. To learn how to assign a specific team member to a course, please visit the Assigning Students page.