Online CPD for Vet Nurses

Pain and Analgesia (*NEW* - Mar 23)



Start:  6th March 2023

CPD:   10 hours (UK), 10 points (AUS, NZ) over 4 / 6 weeks

Level:  Intermediate





As veterinary nurses, we want to provide our patients with the best possible care that we can and it’s hard to see our patients suffering and in pain. Luckily our profession allows us to prevent this in many ways, but are we tackling pain the right way and making the best choices for analgesia? Can we make improvements to help our patients remain pain free and reduce side effects of the therapies we choose – whether that’s for our patients in the clinic or at home?


In order for us to treat and manage pain in our patients, we first need to understand the physiology behind how animals feel pain. We will start by expanding our knowledge and understanding of the pain pathway, before moving on to the different analgesia options for acute and chronic pain conditions. We will finish the course with pain scoring. By the end of the 4 weeks, we will have overviewed pain and the different treatment options available with the hope, that alongside the veterinary surgeon, we can build patient specific multi-modal analgesia plans for all our patients.


Week 1
The Physiology of Pain

  • Pain definitions
  • The mammalian pain pathway
  • Different types of pain
  • Principles of analgesia

Learning outcomes:
After completion of this week, participants should be able to:

  • Outline the definition of pain and associated terminology
  • Describe the different stages of the pain pathway and sites for analgesia intervention
  • Understand the concept of multi-modal analgesia and pre-emptive analgesia

Week 2
Analgesia for the In-patient

  • Review the analgesia agents used to treat acute pain conditions:
    • Opioids
    • NMDA antagonists
    • Local anaesthetics
    • Alpha 2 agonists

Learning outcomes:
After completion of this week, participants should be able to:

  • Be familiar with the different systemic and local options for treating acute pain
  • Discuss balanced multi-modal analgesia plans for patients in the veterinary practice
  • Understand the mechanisms of action, effects and side effects of the listed analgesic agents

Week 3
Analgesia for the Out-Patient

  • Review the analgesia options for managing pain on a longer term basis:
    • NSAIDs
    • Paracetamol
    • Tramadol
    • Gabapentin
    • Alternative therapies

Learning outcomes:
After completion of this week, participants should be able to:

  • Be familiar with the different systemic and alternative therapies for treating chronic pain
  • Discuss balanced multi-modal analgesia plans for patients at home
  • Understand the mechanisms of action, effects and side effects of the discussed analgesic interventions

Week 4
Pain Assessment Methods

  • Review the different pain scoring options for both in-patients and out-patients
    • Canine pain scales
    • Feline pain scales
    • Grimace scales
    • Chronic pain scales
  • Pitfalls and problems with pain assessment

Learning outcomes:
After completion of this week, participants should be able to:

  • Have a better understanding of the different pain assessment types
  • Appreciate where pain assessments can be beneficial for managing conditions and allowing for appropriate analgesia interventions in the hospitalised patient
  • Provide owners with the tools to monitor and assess their pet’s pain and quality of life at home
  • Describe the indications and contraindications for pain scoring

The course will be fully tutored by Lisa Angell, and will consist of 10 hours of CPD given in various formats, including tutorials, tasks, case studies, forum discussions and quizzes.

This course is tutored for 4 weeks, followed by a two week extension of untutored ‘catch up’ time, before the course officially ends.

All delegates will then have unlimited lifetime access to the learning material for future reference.


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Lisa Angell

VTS (anaesthesia and analgesia), PgCert Vet Ed, FHEA, RVN


Lisa qualified as a veterinary nurse in 2007 and joined the Queen Mother Hospital for Animals at the Royal Veterinary College as a dedicated anaesthesia nurse in January 2010 following 7 years in general practice.  Lisa became head anaesthesia nurse in 2013.


In 2012, Lisa became board certified as a Veterinary Technician Specialist in anaesthesia and analgesia, and in 2020, Lisa graduated with a post graduate certificate in Veterinary Education. Lisa enjoys all aspects of anaesthesia but has a particular interest in locoregional analgesia techniques.


This online course is worth 10 hours of CPD.


A certificate will be available from the ‘My Courses’ section, for you to download and print, once you have completed the course.  A permanent record of your total CPD hours will also be recorded in your account section.


The Australian Veterinary Nurse and Technician (AVNAT) Regulatory Council has allocated 10 AVNAT CPD points to this continuing education activity.


This course is also recognised by the New Zealand Veterinary Nursing Association (NZVNA) as providing 10 CPD points.


Upon purchase you will be registered to attend the course, for 4 weeks from the start date.  The course will consist of various interactive tasks and lessons, including quizzes, case studies, forum discussions and further reading material.


The course is fully tutored, with new material will be provided each Monday morning, but the onus will be on the individual delegate to ensure that all tasks are fully complete.  The certificate will only be issued at the end of the course when all tasks have been accomplished.  Fewer CPD hours will be awarded at the the end of the course if there are unfinished tasks or there has been no contribution to the discussion forum, for example.


The course is fully flexible, and there are no weekly ‘deadlines’ – the lessons and tasks may be completed whenever is convenient for each delegate, and any live lessons with be recorded and made available later that same day.   Furthermore, all the course material will be available for a further 2 weeks, to allow delegates the opportunity to catch up on missed lessons and tasks, or to take the opportunity to delve further into the suggested reading texts.  Please note however, that the course will not be tutored by the speaker during these final two weeks, but the time spent will count towards your CPD hours.


After 6 weeks, the course will be complete and there will be no further opportunity to gain the certificate or CPD hours, however, you will have unlimited lifetime access to the tutorials, further reading and quizzes for future reference.  If you make any personal notes during the course using the ‘take notes’ app, these will be saved, along with your certificate and CPD record for permanent access in ‘My CPD’.


For some further information about our Online Tutored CPD courses – please read our PDF guide to Online Tutored CPD

This course has been listed as ‘Intermediate’ level


All of our courses are aimed at veterinary nurses in general practice, but everyone who works in the veterinary profession is very welcome to attend, whether you are a clinical receptionist, veterinary surgeon, student nurse or have been a qualified nurse for over 20 years!


The courses are not formally assessed for skill level, so the following CPD levels are just a rough guide to help you decide if a course may be more or less suitable:


  • Introduction – maybe most suitable for qualified nurses in general practice approaching a new topic or looking for a refresher course.
  • Intermediate – maybe most suitable for qualified nurses in general practice along with referral / specialist nurses looking for a refresher course
  • Advanced – maybe most suitable for referral / specialist nurses and highly experienced qualified nurses in general practice.

You will earn 200 Pawprint Points (£20 website credit) when you purchase this course


Our loyalty scheme rewards you with 10% in website credit to spend on future courses.  Choose pay with Pawprint Points during checkout.

Invoice My Practice

Payment with debit or credit card is the preferred payment method

Please ask your practice manager or accounts department to visit the website, register an account in their own name, and during checkout, complete the ‘delegate name’ and ‘delegate email’ sections with your personal details.  We will then register you a personal account on your behalf, and transfer the course booking over to your new personal account.  We will of course email you all the information you need to access this new account and your CPD course.

If you need an invoice and no other payment method is available to you, then please email [email protected] with all the following information:

Please note the following:

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