Academic Catalog


Foothill College Course Outline of Record

Foothill College Course Outline of Record
Heading Value
Units: 4
Hours: 36 lecture, 36 laboratory per quarter (72 total per quarter)
Prerequisite: APAV 55; per California Code of Regulations, this course is limited to students admitted to the Advanced Veterinary Assisting Apprenticeship Program.
Degree & Credit Status: Degree-Applicable Credit Course
Foothill GE: Non-GE
Transferable: CSU
Grade Type: Letter Grade Only
Repeatability: Not Repeatable


Intended for the pre-clinical training of veterinary technology students. Survey of basic responsibilities and technical duties of veterinary technicians. Clinical nutrition and feeding of the dog and cat. Basic principles of wound healing. Basic electrocardiography. Venipuncture for catheter placement, blood collection, and intravenous administration of fluids and medications. Troubleshooting of intravenous catheter set-ups. Bandaging and splinting. Introduction to anesthesia: stages of anesthesia, components of anesthetic equipment. Introduction to basic operating room skills and procedures.

Course Objectives

The student will be able to:
A. Identify the various components of the ECG machine and record an artifact free diagnostic ECG tracing
B. Explain the genesis of the electrocardiogram and recognize the components of the ECG
C. Describe the phases of a typical anesthetic event
D. Identify the parts, and explain the use of common anesthetic equipment and circuits
E. Discuss the basic principles of fluid administration
F. Perform venipuncture and place intravenous catheters
G. Discuss intravenous catheter maintenance and troubleshooting
H. Describe the phases of wound healing and exemplary wound care
I. Identify common bandage material and explain fundamental principles of bandaging and splinting
J. Demonstrate proper application of bandages
K. Apply basic principles of nutrition and describe clinical feeding practices in the dog and cat

Course Content

A. Electrocardiography
1. Parts of the ECG machine
2. Types of ECG machines
3. Recording an ECG
a. Artifacts
b. Troubleshooting
c. Patient position and tips
B. Electrocardiogram
1. Genesis of the ECG
2. Physiology of each wave
3. Normal variations
4. Artifacts
5. Common abnormalities
C. Phases of a typical anesthetic event
1. Stages
2. Planes
3. Monitoring
4. Common surgeries
a. Neuter
b. Spay
D. Anesthetic equipment and circuits
1. Gas anesthetic machine
2. Breathing circuits
a. Rebreathing
b. Non-rebreathing
E. Fluid administration
1. Fluid compartments in the animal body
2. Oncotic pressure
3. Assessment of dehydration
a. Clinical signs
b. Calculation
4. Fluid selection
5. Assessment of fluid needs
a. Maintenance
b. Ongoing losses
c. Dehydration
d. Rate
e. Fluid pumps, drip rates
F. Venipuncture
1. Selection of vein
2. Selection of syringe and needle
3. Aseptic technique
4. Blood collection
5. Intravenous injections
G. Intravenous catheter placement, maintenance and troubleshooting
1. Intravenous catheter placement
a. Selection of vein
b. Selection of catheter
c. Securing the catheter
2. Aseptic technique
3. Problems and how to solve them
H. Wound healing
1. Phases
2. Triage
3. Wound care techniques
I. Bandages and splints
1. Bandage materials
2. Layers
3. Bandage technique and construction
4. Splints
J. Bandage application (lab)
K. Principles of nutrition
1. Energy producing nutrients
2. Non-energy producing nutrients
3. Dog nutritional needs
4. Cat nutritional needs
5. Reading a pet food label
a. Laws
b. Marketing
c. Controversies
6. Client education
a. Treatment through nutrition
b. Obesity

Lab Content

A. Intravenous techniques
1. Cephalic vein blood draw (dog and cat)
2. Saphenous vein blood draw (dog and cat)
3. Jugular venipuncture (dog and cat)
4. Intravenous catheterization
5. Intravenous fluid administration
B. Wound care
1. Clipping
2. Cleaning wounds
C. Bandages and splints
1. Apply a Modified Robert Jones bandage
2. Mason-Meta splint
3. Robert Jones bandage
D. Electrocardiography
1. Produce a Diagnostic ECG Tracing
E. Anesthesia machine parts and flow of oxygen molecule

Special Facilities and/or Equipment

Classroom and laboratory equipped with multimedia presentation and projection capabilities. Laboratory equipped with intravenous catheters, needles, syringes, injectable solutions, bandaging materials and splints, microscopes, clinical pathology supplies, vascular access models. Injection models. Expired medications used for teaching.

Method(s) of Evaluation

Students will demonstrate proficiency by some or all of the following:
A. Written quizzes and examinations.
B. Written homework assignments.
C. Term project.
D. Two practical laboratory examinations. Proficiency will be individually assessed in skills appropriate to this course, as required by the AVM
A. Students practice the required skills during lab classes, and know the criteria for demonstration of competency.

Method(s) of Instruction

A. Lecture
B. Discussion
C. Cooperative learning exercises
D. Oral presentations
E. Laboratory activities: demonstration and skills practice

Representative Text(s) and Other Materials

Bassert, Joanna M., and Dennis M. McCurnin. Clinical Textbook For Veterinary Technicians. 8th ed. W. B. Saunders Co., 2014.

Taylor, Susan. Small Animal Clinical Techniques. Elsevier, 2010.

Tear, Marianne. Small Animal Surgical Nursing: Skills and Concepts. 2nd ed. Mosby, 2012.

Although one or more of these texts is older than the suggested "5 years or newer" standard, it remains a seminal text in this area of study.


Types and/or Examples of Required Reading, Writing, and Outside of Class Assignments

The student may be required to complete some or all of the following assignments:

A. Reading assignments: Weekly reading assignments from text, class handouts, and online sources ranging from 50-100 pages per week.

B. Writing assignments, participation in online forum discussions, short answer essay questions.

C. Research project on nutrition.



Registered Veterinary Technician