- 8 units
- 8 graded quizzes
- 81 hours of CE credit
Veterinary Team Telehealth Training Curriculum for Employees
Designed to upskill veterinary professionals, the Veterinary Team Telehealth Career Certificate curriculum covers foundational and advanced topics in telehealth, teletriage, and communications to prepare workers to effectively offer telehealth services.
Veterinary Team Telehealth
Average completion time: 1-6 mo
In this course, your learners will develop the necessary skills to ensure success in the program. Starting Your Program is designed to help your learners make a smooth transition to Penn Foster, including learning how to use all the tools and resources that are available to them, get help when they need it, understand the Code of Conduct, and improve their study skills and time management. The goal is to help your learners become confident, independent learners.
In this unit, your learners will study telehealth and basic terminology, discuss where veterinary telehealth started, how it has been utilized in veterinary medicine, and the technological advances. They’ll learn about categories and types of telehealth that are commonly used or are possible, and the roles of veterinary team members in each of these situations. They’ll also learn about some benefits for both the client and their pet, and for the veterinary team, in providing or being able to utilize this form of health care. COVID-19 changed the face of health care quite dramatically, and veterinary telehealth has changed quickly in response. They’ll explore the details of telehealth so that they know the basic factors involved.
Having a valid veterinarian-client-patient relationship (VCPR) is a fundamental requirement for practicing veterinary medicine. In this unit, your learners will discover what that relationship designation means, whom it affects, and how it dictates the ability to prescribe medication and diagnosis of disease in animals. They’ll also learn about the stances the AVMA and AAVSB have on the need for a valid VCPR in telemedicine, and they’ll discuss which governing body regulates veterinary telehealth.
They’ll learn how to investigate telehealth regulations state by state and what implications there are for practicing telehealth across state lines or in a different state than where a veterinarian is licensed to practice medicine. While this is a rapidly changing situation, there are some basics they’ll learn that will allow them to keep up with any changes as they occur.
In this unit, your learners will study the unique challenges that can arise when communicating with veterinary clients via telecommunication. Even when using videoconferencing platforms, client communications that occur via technology often lack the nonverbal cues that are present in an in-person interaction. Therefore, it’s important to modify their communication strategies; what works well for in-person communication won’t always work for telecommunications. As veterinary visits move from an in-person format to a technology-based platform, consideration must be given to changes in protocols. Client consent, in particular, may differ significantly in telemedicine.
As telehealth becomes a more common method for providing veterinary care, it’s important to remember what options are available and which team members can provide care for particular situations. In this unit, your learners will study telehealth, telemedicine, and teletriage. They’ll learn about their role in providing teletriage services. Teletriage is the act of determining whether a pet is experiencing an emergency. This unit will discuss the process for performing teletriage and recommending appropriate care for the pet. They must successfully elicit and assess the client’s complaint, including the history of the pet’s signs and the pet’s current status. They’ll learn the importance of documenting these interactions thoroughly to become a part of a patient’s medical record. They’ll also learn more about effective communication skills in teletriage. This is often a high-stress time for the veterinary client, and special care must be taken to communicate effectively and compassionately.
In this unit, your learners will study how to identify and address emergencies in veterinary teletriage. To provide valuable advice and help their patients, it’s important to understand the limitations and risks associated with this medium. They’ll learn about the four different types of veterinary emergencies and why each requires immediate care. Additionally, they’ll learn to recognize common indicators that a pet may be critically ill or injured. Finally, they’ll learn how to help owners stabilize their pets until they reach a veterinarian who can provide emergency care.
In this unit, your learners will study how to identify common veterinary emergencies related to each of the major body systems. Taking a systems-based approach to teletriage can be beneficial. Localizing a client’s complaint to a specific body system places them in a better position to ask themselves about the most common emergencies that could affect this body system and how they can determine whether this patient is dealing with one of those common emergencies. They’re not diagnosing a pet via teletriage, but a systems-based approach can help them quickly identify common life-threatening emergencies. This unit isn’t intended to be an extensive guide to all of the veterinary emergencies that they may encounter while performing teletriage, and they may experience things that this unit doesn’t address. Remember, it’s always better to err on the side of caution and recommend emergency care if they’re uncertain.
Providing telehealth services, like many other aspects of veterinary medicine, requires adherence to established standard operating procedures (SOPs) and workflows. As your learners have proceeded through this course, they may have noticed a number of references to the fact that policies may vary between practices. It’s important for every practice or group that provides telehealth services to implement guidelines ensuring that all employees know the best practices to follow and can provide consistent guidance to veterinary telehealth clients.