Course Content and Outcome Guide for VT 201 Effective Fall 2015

Course Number:
VT 201
Course Title:
Credit Hours:
Lecture Hours:
Lecture/Lab Hours:
Lab Hours:
Special Fee:

Course Description

Introduces basic anesthetic agents, the use and operation of anesthesia machines and monitoring equipment, monitoring and care of the anesthetized veterinary patient, and the pre-operative considerations and duties for both surgery and anesthesia. Prerequisites: Admission to Veterinary Technology program.

Addendum to Course Description

This is the first term of a sequence of three consecutive courses offered in the fall, winter, and spring terms of the second year of the program curriculum. The purpose of this sequence of courses is to provide students the technical knowledge and skills necessary to properly and safely anesthetize, monitor, recover, perform pre-operative, operative, and post-operative procedures, as well as other aspects of anesthesia and surgical and medical nursing. The first course is devoted solely to the study of anesthesiology. This course is for second-year veterinary technology program students and is a graduation requirement for the Associates Degree in Applied Sciences in Veterinary Technology. Credits in this course are not transferable to a four-year school towards a baccalaureate degree. The required textbook is Anesthesia and Analgesia for Veterinary Technicians, by Thomas and Lerche.

Intended Outcomes for the course

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

  • Safely and effectively manage and maintain veterinary patients during all phases of anesthesia.
  • Work cooperatively with a veterinarian to assess a patient's risk status and determine appropriate anesthetic and perianesthetic protocols providing effective pain management and maximizing anesthetic safety and effectiveness.
  • Recognize the major effects, side effects, and indications for the major classes of injectable and gas anesthetic drugs used in veterinary medicine.
  • Choose and utilize appropriate techniques and equipment to accurately and effectively monitor a patient's ongoing status before, during and after anesthesia providing adequate anesthesia, analgesia and a safe recovery.
  • Safely and effectively select, utilize, adjust, and maintain anesthetic delivery equipment to ensure proper function and provide maximum benefit to ensure safety of the anesthetized patient and attending staff.
  • Recognize and respond appropriately to anesthetic equipment malfunctions or inappropriate equipment setup to ensure proper function and provide maximum benefit ensuring safety of the patient and staff.

Course Activities and Design

This course is designed to be a lecture-lab course. It is a three credit-hour course that meets for six-lecture-laboratory hours per week. The lab is split into 2 sections with half of the class attending each section. This is to reduce the number of students assigned per animal patient, and thus reduce the number of procedures being performed on each animal (such as IV catheter placement and endotracheal intubation). It also ensures a student to instructor ratio of approximately 7:1. Topics covered will include preanesthetic patient considerations, anesthesia monitoring and allied equipment, pharmacology of anesthetic agents, principles of pain management, gas anesthetic machines and scavenging systems, and safety concerns using gas anesthetics. The laboratory will cover practical application of the above, plus the placement of intravenous catheters, tranquilization, sedation, and anesthetic induction, endotracheal intubation, maintenance and recovery of small animal and aquatic patients.

Outcome Assessment Strategies

  • Grading will be based upon student understanding of the course content as demonstrated by periodic examinations, homework assignments, quizzes, a comprehensive final exam, performance of laboratory tasks, and attendance . To be eligible for a passing grade, the student must have attended a minimum of 80 percent of each of the lecture and lab classes.
  • Graduate performance on the €œAnesthesiology€ sub-section of the Veterinary Technicians National Examination
  • These outcomes will be routinely assessed and used to drive relevant changes in the curriculum

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

Content labeled with an asterisk indicates content required by our accreditor. Content that is also italisized indicates tasks that the student must be able to perform since they are listed as €œessential tasks€ by the Accreditation Policies and Procedures of the American Veterinary Medical Association's Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities..


Develop an understanding of the various terms, considerations, and drugs related to preanesthetic preparation.  


Develop knowledge of the normal and abnormal patient vital signs during general anesthesia.  


Develop an understanding of the pharmacology of the various types of injectable anesthetics.  


Develop a comprehensive knowledge of the principles and practice of inhalation anesthesia.  


Develop a comprehensive knowledge of inhalation anesthesia and be able to administer these anesthetics using various types of machines effectively and safely.  


  • Calculate dosages of appropriate anesthetic-related drugs*
  • Administer anesthetic-related drugs (injection, endotracheal tube, mask)*
  • Place endotracheal tubes in patients*
  • Utilize clinical signs and appropriate equipment to monitor patient status during anesthetic procedures* (e.g., esophageal stethoscope, blood pressure monitor, capnometer, electrocardiogram, pulse oximeter)*
  • Evaluate patient and implement pain management protocols as directed*
  • Recognize and respond appropriately to patients in compromised states*
  • Perform appropriate resuscitation procedures as needed (e.g., calculate and administer appropriate anesthetic antagonists and emergency drugs as directed)*
  • Complete controlled substance log* (does not need to be official controlled substance log; mock logs may be utilized)
  • place intravenous catheters (cephalic*, saphenous*, jugular)
  • maintain and care for catheters*
  • Maintain and operate anesthetic delivery and monitoring equipment:
    • pulse oximeter and capnometer*
    • esophageal stethoscope*
    • electrocardiograph (e.g., recognize abnormal rhythms/audible sounds, properly apply leads)*
    • anesthetic machines, including rebreathing systems, non-rebreathing systems and masks*
    • endotracheal tubes*
    • resuscitation bag*
    • scavenging systems*
    • oxygen sources*
    • respiratory monitors*
    • blood pressure monitoring devices*
    • laryngoscopes*
    • ventilator
    • defibrillator
    • temperature monitoring device* (e.g. thermometer, etc.)