vet3asc advanced vet surgery care




Credit points: 15

Subject outline

In this subject, students will learn how to move beyond routine surgical nursing, to work as a senior surgical nurse and manager. Students will learn how to manage surgical theatres and wards within a veterinary hospital, to ensure that patient care at the pre-, peri- and post-operative stages is prioritised appropriately and maintained to a high standard. Students will learn how to plan, monitor and manage the anaesthesia and analgesia of a range of complex veterinary surgical patients. Students will also learn how to critically examine theatre space design and workflow. The management of theatre personnel, equipment and patients involved in a surgical theatre's daily operations will be taught. Finally, students will plan the specific pre-, peri-, and post-operative care requirements of a range of complex surgical patients. Students will undertake a work integrated learning (WIL) placement which allow them tofurther develop their depth of knowledge and practical experience in surgicaltheatre and ward management, including the nursing, anaesthesia and analgesiamanagement of complex surgical cases.

SchoolSchool of Life Sciences

Credit points15

Subject Co-ordinatorDilhani Premaratna

Available to Study Abroad StudentsNo

Subject year levelYear Level 3 - UG

Exchange StudentsNo

Subject particulars

Subject rules

Prerequisites Must be admitted into SBVN and have passed VET2IAN and VET2PVN


Incompatible subjectsN/A

Equivalent subjectsN/A

Special conditionsN/A

Learning resources


Resource TypeTitleResource RequirementAuthor and YearPublisher
ReadingsPain management for veterinary technicians and nursesPrescribedGoldberg, M (ed) & Shaffran (consulting ed.) (2014)Wiley-Blackwell
ReadingsAnaesthesia for Veterinary TechniciansPrescribedBryant (2010)Wiley-Blackwell
ReadingsSmall animal surgical nursing 3rd ed.PrescribedTear, M. (2017)Elsevier

Graduate capabilities & intended learning outcomes

01. Recommend care interventions based on the evaluation of data related to the physiological effects of anaesthesia and analgesia from a variety of monitoring techniques

Student teams work through case studies of animals who have been given an unknown anaesthetic and/or analgesic agent/s. Students are provided with data including vital signs from a variety of monitoring techniques. Students attempt to differently deduce and explain which agents these patients are likely to have been administered. The student teams then work together to recommend any care interventions that would be required in these case studies (e.g. alterations to the anaesthetic levels, analgesia requirements, temperature assistance interventions, etc.) The team's findings are then pooled for the workshop and a discussion is undertaken with the entire workshop regarding which agents were actually involved.

02. Develop anaesthetic and analgesic protocols for a range of life stages, health conditions, procedures, emergencies and complications

Each student team is given a number of patients to develop appropriate anaesthetic and analgesic protocols for. The teams then share their plans and the reasoning behind them, with the class as a whole.

03. Appraise the design, management and purpose of theatre spaces, equipment and personnel

Students undertake reading on theatre design. During workshops, student teams are given some case study examples of working theatre spaces from a variety of veterinary hospitals and clinics to critically evaluate. They come up with a list of weaknesses for each space, and suggest what could be done to improve them in a practical and economic manner.

04. Generate plans for the pre, peri and post-operative care of a range of surgical patients

Students undertake a number of readings and watch some videos to help them learn about the care needs of a range of surgical patients. One of the important aspects of surgical care is wound management, and during a workshop, student teams with the support of tutors, work through a number of case study scenarios, in which they focus on appropriate wound management for each of the cases.

05. Select, set up, assist with, clean and maintain appropriate equipment, instrumentation and miscellaneous consumables for a variety of surgical procedures

Student teams undertake a rotation activity within a workshop, where they are given a surgical patient case study at each table, and are required to list and then gather the appropriate equipment, instrumentation and consumables for that particular patient's procedure from a central stockpile.

Subject options

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Start date between: and    Key dates

Epping, 2019, Semester 1, Blended


Online enrolmentYes

Maximum enrolment sizeN/A

Enrolment information

Subject Instance Co-ordinatorDilhani Premaratna

Class requirements

WorkShopWeek: 10 - 22
One 5.0 hours workshop every two weeks on weekdays during the day from week 10 to week 22 and delivered via face-to-face.
"Fortnightly workshops on campus"

Placement - Off SiteWeek: 10 - 22
Six 7.5 hours placement - off site per study period on any day including weekend during the day from week 10 to week 22 and delivered via face-to-face.
"WIL Placement. Roster-dependent."

Unscheduled Online ClassWeek: 10 - 22
One 2.0 hours unscheduled online class per week on any day including weekend during the day from week 10 to week 22 and delivered via online.
"Students to undertake readings or watch videos."


Assessment elementComments%ILO*
Unstructured Reflective Journal (850-essay words equivalent)Equivalent to 850 words Reflection of WIL experience in relation to surgical care. 2001, 02, 04, 05
1.5 hour written end of semester examination (1,500-words equivalent)Held during examination period3001, 02, 03, 04, 05
5 min oral presentation and 1,200-words written report (1,600-words total)Written case study of a patient undergoing a surgical procedure, reviewing pre-, peri- and post-operative surgical, anesthetic and analgesic and monitoring requirements (30%, and 1000 words). Oral presentation to the class (5 mins presentation) (10%, and 600 words equivalent) (End of semester)4001, 02, 04, 05
16 min team oral presentation (4 mins/student - 200-words per student)Student team of 4 students Oral presentation 16 mins (4 mins/student; 400 words equiv. / student) Student teams critically evaluate a working veterinary surgical theatre environment, and design improvements that could be made to it. They are to justify their choices using an evidence based approach. 1003