Principles and practice of anaesthesia and pain management

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12th July - 16th August, 2022

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Online Tuesday nights 7:30pm (QLD time)

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CPD Value: AVNAT Points: 12

(80% pass mark is required in the post-course QUIZ to qualify for AVNAT CE credit.)

Early registration bonus sessions Wednesdays August 10th and 17th at 7:30pm Brisbane time

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Open for Veterinary Nurses and Veterinary Technicians only

Join VetPrac’s very own Margie McEwen for a six-week, online, skill-building, confidence-boosting practical course in anaesthesia and pain management.

We understand the challenges of anaesthetic monitoring, from routine desexing right up to the high-risk patient with a host of comorbidities. We also recognise that VetPrac participants can be visual, auditory or practical learners. Pick your poison… we have you covered!

Come along for real-time simulated anaesthetic scenarios, where we can adapt the beeps and blips to show you how your patient responds when you modify an anaesthetic. Watch the blood pressure drop when we simulate an opioid overdose, or see the change in blood pressure as we adjust the plane of anaesthesia. Then we’ll troubleshoot and restore our monitors to a calming, stable status.  

This is your invitation to a wealth of information, and our open discussion forum. We’ll show you how you can monitor, adapt and overcome some of the more challenging anaesthetics, and give you more confidence in your work in practice. Join this course to sharpen your skills. Register today and have a direct impact on the quality of care you can bring to your team.

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Register before 22th June 2022 and receive free access to two bonus sessions on unusual pet anaesthesia with Gary Fitzgerald!

Do you struggle with…

  • The desired effects of common anaesthetic drugs, and their side effects?
  • Managing a bumpy anaesthetic case?
  • Confidence in feline pain management and anaesthetics?

What if you were able to build your skills and knowledge in an interactive and safe online anaesthesia course??

This online course is not like others. The flipped classroom will have you engaged, asking questions, and getting them answered. You have the opportunity to bring your cases to the table and get feedback from our board-certified anaesthesiologist, Dr Margie McEwen. Each week we will look at a different topic and the practical tips and tricks learnt from decades of experience, and share them in a friendly, interactive forum.






What you will learn

You will revise :
  • Anaesthesia & analgesia drugs

  • Vitals and their normal ranges

  • Anaesthesia monitors

  • CRI and Drug calculations

Develop your skills in :
  • How to recognise and troubleshoot anaesthetic complications

  • Understanding pain physiology and opioid drug pharmacology

  • Evaluating a CRI program and how it targets the pain for your patients

  • The holistic approach to monitoring a patient under anaesthesia

  • How to manage the challenging “healthy” anaesthetic

  • How to manage some of the unique feline complications

  • And so much more…

Weekly Schedule

Week 1 – Anaesthesia and Analgesia for Paediatrics

A significant amount of paediatric anaesthesia knowledge is derived from studies on young to middle-aged animals and research extrapolated from human babies. Yet the small animal paediatric patient can be a very vulnerable anaesthetic candidate, with potential for complications reaching years into the future. In this session, we demonstrate the key differences between adult and paediatric patients and discuss how we can adapt the anaesthesia and analgesia plans to navigate this sensitive life stage.

Week 2 – Optimising Opioids

Pain control is a fundamental requirement for clinical care and animal welfare. This week, we apply the physiology of pain to the veterinary patient. We’ll cover opioid drug pharmacology, why this is important, and host an open discussion on the common opioids in veterinary practice. The icing on the cake is a case-based summary of the theory in this session.

 Week 3 – Clear the Confusion on Constant Rate Infusions

Last week we considered the physiology of pain, and this week we expand into the multi-modal approach to analgesia. We focus on giving you the confidence to evaluate a CRI program, developing your spidey-sense (and clinical acumen) for spotting side effects, and how to troubleshoot them.

Week 4 – Maximise Your Monitoring Skills: Anaesthesia

Not even the very best anaesthetic monitoring equipment will save you if don’t check your patient. This week, we are honing in on the holistic approach to anaesthetic monitoring. From a stethoscope and thermometer, to end tidal CO2 and pulse oximeter… every piece of equipment has its value, but the most important one is you.

Week 5 – Managing Brachy Breeds: Anaesthesia and Pain Relief

Brachycephalic anaesthesia is a whole new ball game. From aspiration pneumonia to complete airway obstruction or collapse, brachycephalic breeds can challenge even the most experienced anaesthetic technicians. Learn more about Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome (BOAS) and how it impacts your management of our snubby-nosed friends. We’ll explore techniques from sedation and induction through to recovery, with a hearty side of analgesia.

10th August Bonus  – Venipuncture and Venous Access in Unusual Pets 


  • Identify common sites of venipuncture
  • How to calculate safe sample volumes
  • Identify common sites to achieve venous access
  • Tips and tricks on taking blood and placing IV catheters
  • Where, when and how to place intraosseous catheters

Week 6 – Foundations for Feline Anaesthesia

Furry felines are in a class of their own when it comes to anaesthesia. They stress more, and they have lots of sharp spears to keep you on your toes! Learn how to manage some of the unique feline complications like laryngeal spasm, bradycardia and hypothermia. Develop your clinic protocol and feel more comfortable for your next feline anaesthetic.

17th August Bonus – Recognising Pain in Unusual Pets


  • What is the preservation reflex?
  • Recognising and assessing pain in unusual pets
  • Delve into species variation is analgesia choice
  • How do we administer in these patients



6 hours over 6 weeks and $397


Build on the skills you use every day


Plan and manage anaesthetics with more confidence

Your Educators

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Dr Margie McEwen

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Qualifications: BVSc DACVAA MANZCVS

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Specialisation: Board certified Anaesthesiology

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In 1997 she was awarded membership of the Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists, and in 2000 completed an anaesthesia residency at Cornell College of Veterinary Medicine, Ithaca, New York. Margie became a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Anesthesia and Analgesia in 2002. After spending the last five years working as the section head of the UQ Vets, Gatton Campus Anaesthetist section and lecturing in both the veterinary science and veterinary technology streams, Margie saw a change on the horizon. In December of 2019, she made a change into post graduate education for the veterinary field and became the new director of VetPrac. Margie’s interests are in pain management, anaesthesia, teaching and learning, and communication.

Bonus Content Educator

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Gary Fitzgerald

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Qualifications: B App Sc (Veterinary Technology)

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Specialisation: Lead Nurse at the UQ VETS Small Animal Hospital

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Gary graduated from the University of Queensland Veterinary Technology program in 2006. He worked in private practice for 6 years while lecturing at UQ casually, before returning to the university to work fulltime within the Clinical Studies Centre in 2012. From here he attained the role of Lead Nurse at the UQ VETS Small Animal Hospital in 2014 and leads a strong small animal nursing team. He enjoys all aspects of his job but training students, small animal anaesthesia and reptile medicine, anaesthesia and surgery are his major passions.

What our participants say…

“Margie and her content was so amazing and it was really engaging to listen to. Could not recommend more.”


“The course was amazing. Loved the pre reading and also the ability to ask questions
and have them answered during the active course session.”


“Very educational and comprehensive. Easily accessible information and classes.
Wonderful teacher (Margie) who was so helpful and knowledgeable”


“An interactive and insightful course. Ideal for general practice nurses, as topics were
relevant for a variety of levels of experience.”


This course begins in...








Your Questions Answered

Are the online courses recorded?

Yes! Each live session is recorded, and the recordings are shared to each participant in a folder link. Registrants will have access to all the recordings for 14 days after the completion of the course. After 14 days participants will have the opportunity to subscribe each month to continue to have access to the materials.

Can I pay off my registration fee?

Yes! We offer payment plans so registrants can pay off their fee easily. To request a payment plan, please contact [email protected].

What happens if the course is cancelled?

If VetPrac cancels any workshops, you will be provided with a refund.

Are there group discounts available?

Yes! If you are coming in a group of 3 or more, discounts are available. Please contact us directly to discuss group discounts.

What happens if I pay and then later can’t attend?

As per our workshop terms & conditions, refunds are provided (if the cancellation is in writing) up to 45 days prior to the workshop. Cancellations made 45 days prior to the commencement of the workshop incur a 50% administration fee. Cancellations made 7 days prior to the commencement of the workshop are not refundable.

Still have questions? We’ve got answers.
0409 743 100 or 0411 798 165

Still have questions? We’ve got answers.
0409 743 100
0411 798 165

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