Academic Catalog


Foothill College Course Outline of Record

Foothill College Course Outline of Record
Heading Value
Units: 4
Hours: 3 lecture, 3 laboratory per week (72 total per quarter)
Prerequisite: BIOL 41.
Degree & Credit Status: Degree-Applicable Credit Course
Foothill GE: Non-GE
Transferable: CSU
Grade Type: Letter Grade Only
Repeatability: Not Repeatable

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Demonstrate knowledge and competency in entry level medical and surgical nursing tasks required of the first year Veterinary Technology student.
  • Understand and apply the importance of universal precautions and aseptic technique in a variety of common clinical situations.
  • Recognize and articulate the common hazards encountered in the veterinary workplace to include both personal risk and patient safety concerns.


Intended for the pre-clinical training of veterinary technology students. The following topics are covered: occupational health and safety, animal handling and restraint, administration of medication, venipuncture and physical exams. Intended for students in the Veterinary Technology Program; enrollment is limited to students accepted in the program.

Course Objectives

The student will be able to:
A. discuss the state and federal laws that govern safety in the veterinary workplace and describe the requirements for Cal-OSHA compliance.
B. identify health and safety hazards in a veterinary clinic or biomedical institution and describe safe practices and universal precautions.
C. describe the classes of sterilants, disinfectants and antiseptics and explain their clinical application.
D. demonstrate safe, humane and proper methods of animal handling and restraint.
E. demonstrate competence in preparing and administering medication.
F. perform basic steps in physical examination of dogs and cats.
G. perform venipuncture.

Course Content

A. Laws governing health and safety in the workplace
1. federal laws
2. state laws, Cal-OSHA
3. local laws
4. proper disposal of biohazardous sharps and medical waste
5. documentation
B. Health and safety hazards in the veterinary workplace
1. chemicals
2. biohazardous materials
3. radiation safety
4. waste anesthetic gas and hazards of compressed gases
5. electrical equipment
6. animal bites
7. zoonotic diseases
8. ergonomics
9. universal precautions
10. health hazards: pregnancy
C. Classes of sterilants, disinfectants and antiseptics
1. surface application
2. how and where to use different chemicals
D. Animal handling and restraint
1. proper lifting technique
2. canine restraint
3. feline restraint
4. rabbit restraint
E. Preparation and administration of medications
1. documentation
2. 5 rights
3. capsules, tablets and liquids
4. syringes and needles
5. enteral routes of administration
a. per os
b. per rectum
6. parenteral routes of administration
a. subcutaneous
b. intramuscular
c. intravenous
d. identify parts of an intravenous administration set
e. intradermal
f. topical
F. Basic steps in physical examination of dogs and cats
1. history
2. TPR
3. systems approach
4. nose to tail approach
5. record keeping
G. Venipuncture
1. cephalic
2. saphenous
3. jugular

Lab Content

A. Practical training in the American Veterinary Medical Association Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities list of essential skills. Those skills appropriate to a small animal nursing course will be demonstrated and practiced by students.
B. Students are expected to practice and gain proficiency in the lab setting. Proficiency is assessed using a set of standard criteria. Emphasis is on skill development and hands-on experience in specific required areas.

Special Facilities and/or Equipment

A. Classroom and laboratory with multimedia presentation and projection capabilities.
B. Laboratory with suitable small animal holding kennels, work tables, supply cabinets and scrub sink.
C. Live animals, including, at minimum, dogs and cats.
D. Demonstration equipment and supplies, including fluid administration equipment, medications and administration supplies, anesthetic equipment, autoclave, surgical soft goods and instruments, gowns and gloves.

Method(s) of Evaluation

Methods of Evaluation may include but are not limited to the following:

A. Written quizzes and examinations.
B. Written homework assignments may be assigned.
C. Two practical laboratory examinations based on standardized criteria. Proficiency will be individually assessed in skills appropriate to this course, as required by the AVM
D. Nerd book assignment.

Method(s) of Instruction

Methods of Instruction may include but are not limited to the following:

A. Lecture
B. Discussion
C. Cooperative learning exercises
D. Laboratory
E. Demonstration and practice of skills

Representative Text(s) and Other Materials

Bassert, Joanna M., and Dennis M. McCurnin. Clinical Textbook For Veterinary Technicians. 9th ed. W. B. Saunders Co., 2018.

Loy, Kristin. Essential Clinical Procedures for Veterinary Technicians. Bluedoor, 2018.


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

A. Weekly reading assignments from text, class handouts, web resources, and outside sources, ranging from 50-100 pages per week.

B. Written assignments, short answer essay questions.

C. Term project may be required.



Registered Veterinary Technician