vet3ecc emergency and critical care




Credit points: 15

Subject outline

In this subject, students will undertake a work integrated learning (WIL) placement to learn and apply the knowledge and skills required to manage the veterinary nursing emergency and critical care (ECC) area of a veterinary clinic or emergency referral centre. Using an evidence-based approach, students will learn how to triage, prioritise and manage the nursing care of emergency and critical care veterinary patients. In doing so, students will learn how to integrate knowledge of the pathophysiology of a range of critical care and emergency veterinary conditions, with each animal's specific history and nursing care needs. Students will learn how to monitor complex and seriously ill emergency and critical care patients, interpret the data obtained and take appropriate actions based on the results. Finally students will learn how to work as an effective member of a veterinary ECC team, including how to lead such a team when required.

SchoolSchool of Life Sciences

Credit points15

Subject Co-ordinatorDimuthu Wijesinghe

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 VET2VNB


Incompatible subjectsN/A

Equivalent subjectsN/A

Special conditionsN/A

Learning resources


Resource TypeTitleResource RequirementAuthor and YearPublisher
ReadingsVeterinary Technicians Manual for Small Animal Emergency and Critical CarePrescribedNorkus, C. (2012)Wiley-Blackwell
ReadingsAdvanced Monitoring and Procedures for Small Animal Emergency and Critical CarePrescribedBurkitt-Creedon, J. and Davis, H. (2011Wiley-Blackwell

Graduate capabilities & intended learning outcomes

01. Research the pathophysiology and treatment of a range of emergency and critical care veterinary patients

Students undertake readings and watch videos to learn about the pathophysiology and treatment of a range of emergency and critical care conditions. Individual students investigate the literature in depth about a case study case of personal interest, and then share what they have found with their peers via an oral presentation.

02. Select appropriate diagnostic and monitoring techniques and interpret data produced for emergency and critical care veterinary patients

During a workshop, student teams are given a sample of simulated case study patients including the case history and signs. The teams then work together to create a list of appropriate diagnostic and monitoring techniques. They inform the tutor of what tests they would choose to undertake. The students are then given the list of tests that were undertaken for those patients, together with the data which was generated. The students work together to interpret the data produced, and use this to plan what nursing care is required for the patients, and whether the veterinarian needs to be urgently informed.

03. Evaluate and prioritise veterinary patients for treatment based on their presenting clinical signs and symptoms.

During a workshop, student teams work together to evaluate a number of simulated case study patients, and to triage the urgency and level of care required. They then make a plan together for the management of the full group of patients, and prioritize the care that will be given, based on their earlier triage findings. The tutor then guides the whole class through a discussion of the cases, and the evaluations and prioritizations that have been made.

04. Plan, implement and review the nursing care of a range of small animal emergency and critical care conditions

Individual students investigate the literature in depth about a veterinary emergency or critical care case study of personal interest with which they have been involved. They then reflect upon the care that this patient received for this condition, based on their reading of current best practice. They come up with some recommendations for improvements for the care of a patient with that condition for the future. Students share the case and their evaluations of it, with their peers, via an oral presentation, which helps the class to learn in some depth about the recommended best practice care of a number of conditions.

05. Manage and direct a veterinary team using clear, concise and accurate communication at a level appropriate for each team member

Students will simulate via a role play scenario.

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 1.0 hours unscheduled online class per week on any day including weekend during the day from week 10 to week 22 and delivered via online.
"Delivered as reading material, quizzes, video clips."


Assessment elementComments%ILO*
2000-word unstructured reflective journalEquivalent to approx. 850 words. Students to reflect on WIL experience in emergency cases.2001, 02, 03, 04
1.5 hour final examination (1500 words equivalent)Held during examination period3001, 02, 03, 04
1 x 1200 word case study emergency care plan with 5 min oral presentation (1700 words total)Part A - Critically evaluate the care given to an emergency or critical care patient, and provide evidence based recommendations for improvements - 30%, 1200 words. Part B - Oral presentation on the Case Study and their Evaluation of it -10%, 5 minutes, 500 words equivalent 4002, 03, 04
8 minute leadership role-play scenarios (400 words equivalent/student)Student role play - emergency coordination. (Individual assessment, but team assists with the simulation) Tutor picks an emergency situation to simulate, and assigns the student as the co-ordinator of a group of nurses (students). Tutor assesses the student acting as the team leader, as they guide their peers through managing the emergency situation. They then question the student regarding the reasons behi1002, 03, 04, 05