The Surgical Research Anesthetist (SRA) certification is intended for the technician who works as an anesthetist who also has responsibilities as part of the surgical team that include aseptic preparation and peri-operative care of surgical patients.

The SRA candidate must have documented experience with at least two species as reflected in an anesthetic case log.

<< Download ANESTHETIST Application Form >>

Case Log:

  • The case logs for the SRA will consist of a minimum of 30 anesthetic cases, with no more than 15 in any one species. Acceptable cases must be longer than 30 minutes of surgical duration, have had the applicant present from induction through recovery, have the applicant primarily acting as the anesthetist and have a minimum of monitoring to include heart rate, respiratory rate, body temperature, and at least one of the following parameters: blood pressure, SaO2, or capnography. At least two different species must be included. Rodents may be included provided that the above monitoring was performed with the applicant present. Applicant may not deliver the patient to the surgeon and then leave the room.
  • Acceptable survival surgical procedures are required for the SRA logs and narratives, which involves a minimum of 72 hours of survival post-surgery before euthanasia. An exception may be made for complex acute procedures which require the applicant to adhere to a rigorous anesthetic management protocol with multiple drugs being administered to maintain the patient (these exceptions will be made at the discretion of the certification committee on a case by case basis).

Narratives:

The applicant must submit two narratives which detail two of the cases from the applicant’s anesthesia log. Each narrative should comprehensively describe all aspects of the anesthetic protocol, including the following:

  • Drug Regimens including doses, routes of administration and timing related to the surgical procedure (prior to surgery, during the procedure, etc.) for pre-anesthetic, anesthetic, analgesic, and antibiotic drugs.
  • Justification for the anesthetic regimen used.
  • The methods used to monitor the animal’s condition and anesthetic depth pre-operatively, intra-operatively, and immediately post-operatively.
  • A description of the animal’s condition during the procedure in linear format including what adjustments were made in drug administration, the reasons for these changes, and the results.
  • Animal preparation for surgery including areas clipped, surgical positioning, antiseptic prep regimen, and fluid therapy.
  • An overall assessment of the efficacy of the anesthetic protocol for the animal and what changes, if any, were made based on the results.
  • Any complications which occurred during the anesthetic period and how they were addressed.
  • Post-operative monitoring and pain assessment including species appropriate signs of pain and distress and duration of monitoring including follow-up procedures and care.

The Surgical Research Technician (SRT) Certification is intended for technicians who perform minor surgical procedures, such as peripheral vessel cannulation, indwelling pump implantation, subcutaneous implantation, etc.

A minimum of two different procedures need to be documented in a surgical case log.

<< Download TECHNICIAN Application Form >>

Case Log:

  • The SRT case log will include a minimum of 12 survival, aseptically performed procedures defined as “minor” surgical procedures. At least two different procedures must be included. Non-survival procedures should be included to help outline the candidate’s experience, but won’t count towards the required number of cases.
  • Minor procedures include: peripheral vascular cannulation, vascular access port implantation, castration, large reservoir subcutaneous pump implantation, and/or subcutaneous radio-telemetry device placement, etc.
  • Examples of procedures that do not qualify as minor procedures are implantation of subcutaneous ID chips or any procedure using an injectable type device.
  • Acting as a sterile assistant on major procedures may be accepted as long as the duties were significant (including at a minimum substantial dissection and closure) and are adequately described in the log.
  • The case log must include the type of procedure, the date of the procedure, the species and sex involved, a record of any complications and their treatment, whether the procedure was performed aseptically, the final disposition of the animal, and the candidate’s role (primary surgeon or assistant). If the candidate’s role was as an assistant, the duties performed need to be described.

Narratives:

The applicant must submit two narratives of cases represented in the case log. Narratives should comprehensively describe all aspects of the procedure, including:

  • Drug regimens, including doses, routes of administration and timing related to the surgical procedure (prior, during, or after the procedure) for pre-anesthetic, analgesic, and antibiotic drugs
  • Justification for the regimen itself
  • The methods used to monitor the animal’s condition and anesthetic depth pre-operatively, intra-operatively, and immediately post-operatively
  • Animal preparation for surgery including areas clipped, surgical positioning, and the antiseptic prep regimen
  • Detailed description of the surgical technique including incision creation, tissue dissection, identification of the tissues encountered, methods of hemostasis used, identification of critical instruments used, and closure techniques (suture patterns and materials used)
  • Acceptable survival surgical procedures involve a minimum of 72 hours of survival post-surgery before euthanasia
  • Post-operative monitoring and pain assessment including species appropriate signs of pain and distress and duration of monitoring and follow-up treatments

The Surgical Research Specialist (SRS) Certification is intended for the surgeon who performs major surgical procedures, such as those which penetrate a body cavity, or orthopedic manipulations, vessel and/or nerve anastomosis, etc.

A minimum of two different major procedures in two species need to be documented in a surgical case log. If the majority of work is performed in rodents, then 4 different procedures need to be performed.

<< Download SPECIALIST Application Form >>

Case Log:

  • The SRS case log must have a minimum of 12 major, survival procedures in which the applicant acted as primary surgeon. There must be at least two different procedures, in two different species, other than a rodent. If procedures are performed only in rodents, a minimum of 24 cases must be included in the log with 4 different procedures being performed.
  • Major procedures include those that enter a body cavity, vascular anastomosis, significant orthopedic surgery, or involve significant CNS manipulation such as intra-thecal cannulation and nerve anastomosis.
  • The case log must include the type of procedure, the date of the procedure, the species and sex involved, a record of any complications and their treatment, whether the procedure was performed aseptically, the final disposition of the animal, and the candidate’s role. If the animal is transferred to other personnel post-surgically, this observation may be included in lieu of reporting the final disposition of the animal.
  • Acceptable survival surgical procedures involve a minimum of 72 hours of survival post-surgery before euthanasia.
  • Non-survival procedures should be included to help outline the candidate’s experience, but will not count towards the required total.

Narratives:

The applicant must submit two narratives of cases represented in the case log. Narratives should comprehensively describe all aspects of the procedure, including:

  • Drug regimens, including doses, routes of administration and timing related to the surgical procedure (prior, during, or after the procedure) for pre-anesthetic, analgesic, and antibiotic drugs
  • Justification for the regimen itself
  • The methods used to monitor the animal’s condition and anesthetic depth pre-operatively, intra-operatively, and immediately post-operatively
  • Animal preparation for surgery including areas clipped, surgical positioning, and the antiseptic prep regimen
  • Detailed description of the surgical technique including incision creation, tissue dissection, identification of the tissues encountered, methods of hemostasis used, identification of critical instruments used, and closure techniques (suture patterns and materials used)
  • Acceptable survival surgical procedures involve a minimum of 72 hours of survival post-surgery before euthanasia
  • Post-operative monitoring and pain assessment including species appropriate signs of pain and distress and duration of monitoring and follow-up treatments

Candidates should include all of the cases they perform in their log in order to accurately outline their relevant experience. The log reinforces the importance of monitoring outcomes as a life-long responsibility of surgeons and anesthetists performing aseptic survival surgery. It is the responsibility of the candidates’ organization to review the log and attest to its accuracy.

The cases reflected in the log must occur over a 12 month period, with no more than three years transpiring between the oldest case and the date of application. In certain cases, exceptions may be made at the discretion of the Certification Committee and the Academy’s President.

View CEU Requirements

How To Apply

In addition to the references below, the Academy has developed a comprehensive study guide that provides an overview of some of the information contained in these references. The intent and use of this study guide comes with the understanding that the ultimate source of exam questions originates from content contained within the recommended reading list and not solely from this study guide. Topics covered in the references may appear on an exam without coverage in this study guide. Do not use this guide as the sole study source in preparation for the certification exams. The outline design of the study guide is to allow applicants to use it as a note-taking framework when reading the references.

In any work of this size and scope, errors may have crept into the text. Please make the Academy aware of any inconsistencies in accuracy so that corrections can be made. Suggestions and requests are also welcome in order to make this study guide the most useful reference possible for applicants.

Please save your application to your computer and then upload to our My Docs Online account (instructions can be found on the applications)

Certification Process

  1. Ensure you meet all requirements to take the exam you are applying for. This will take a minimum of 1 year. Please view the application for the certification level you wish to obtain for the specific requirements.
  2. Apply for the exam by April 15th of the year you intend to take the exam.
  3. Applicants will receive notification the first week of July confirming acceptance to take the exam, or, a request for additional information.  If more information is required, you will be contacted within 1 – 2 weeks.  After this is provided, you will either be accepted or rejected to sit the exam.
  4. If the reason for rejection is “insufficient cases”, you will be given the opportunity to defer to the following year.
  5. Start studying!  A list of references can be found here
  6. Take the exam offered at the annual meeting

Certification Resubmission & Exam Retake Information

Members that have failed, missed, or have been excused from sitting for their exam may reapply or retake their Certification exam and remain in good standing (if applicable) by the following procedures detailed below.

(1) Failed Exam:

  • First Year Post
    (1) Re-Submit a new application with original logs and narratives
    (2) No fee to take the exam
    (3) Submit failed letter from ASR
  • There will be no additional attempts, submit as a new candidate

(2) Failure to Attend Exam:
*
30 day grace period post test date to contact the testing committee with an explanation

  • First Year Post (if excused)
    (1) Re-Submit original application
    (2) No fee to take the exam
    (3) Submit excused letter from ASR Certification Committee
  • There will be no additional attempts, submit as a new candidate

(3) Excused — Maternity, Military or other personal reasons:

  • General Procedures
    (1) All excused leaves must be submitted in writing to the ASR Certification Committee
  • First Year Post
    (1) Re-submit original application and excused letter
    (2) No fee to take the exam
    (3) Updated six-month case log
    (4) One updated narrative
  • Second Year Post
    (1) Re-submit original application and excused letter
    (2) $100.00 testing fee
    (3) Updated two-year case log
    (4) Two updated narratives
  • There will be no additional attempts, submit as a new candidate

Certification Resources

The lists of references below have the ISBN listed at the end of each listing. The ISBN or ASIN can be used to locate the reference at a bookstore or for searching on an online web site such as Amazon, iowastatepress.com or in a library. When studying always use the latest editions of the references that are available. Please keep in mind that you should seek other references if you cannot determine or find answers to topics that you are studying for the exam.

These references are used to gather information to create questions for the exams, and, not all of the contents of a reference are used. Please use these references to understand the concepts of topics for the exam and not memorize or study the references in full. The best types of study guides are things that you do everyday in your work environment and the knowledge that you learn from the experience of others.

List to subject to change without notice.

  1. 2000 Report of the AVMA Panel on Euthanasia; JAVMA 218: No. 5, 2001
  1. Research Animal Anesthesia, Analgesia, and Surgery; Smith, A.; Swindle, M., Scientist Center for Animal Welfare, 1994, ISBN 081381829X
  1. Fundamental Techniques in Surgery; 2nd edition; Knecht, C.D.; Allen, A.R.; Williams, D.J.; Johnson, J.H.; W.B. Saunders Co., Philadelphia, 1981, ISBN 0721613927
  1. Clinical Textbook for Veterinary Technicians; McCurnin, D.M.; W.B. Saunders Co., Philadelphia, 1994, ISBN 0721606121
  1. Veterinary Anesthesia; Lumb, W.V.; Jones, E.W.; Lea & Febiger, Philadelphia, 1997, ISBN 0683082388
  1. Small Animal Surgery, An Atlas of Operative Techniques; Wingfield, W.; W.B. Saunders Co., Philadelphia, 1979, ISBN 0721694632
  1. Small Animal Anesthesia; Warren, R.G.; the C.V. Mosby Co., 1983, ISBN 0801653983
  1. Veterinary Endosurgery; Freeman, L.J.; Mosby, Inc., St. Louis, 1999. Part I, Principles of Endosurgery, pp1-102, ISBN 0815133219
  1. Ethicon Wound Closure Manual (1994), ASIN B000AXQFG0
  2. Veterinary Anesthesia & Analgesia Support Group

  See the chart for an overview of Question Distribution.

SRA Sample Questions:

1.) A correct statement regarding doxapram hydrochloride (Dopram-V) is that it is a:

  1. Local anesthetic.
  2. Narcotic antagonist.
  3. Cardiac depressant.
  4. Respiratory stimulant.

2.) Animals which receive barbiturate anesthesia while in a state of alkalosis will require a:

  1. A longer induction period
  2. A shorter induction period
  3. No change in the induction period

3.) One of the following is not an advantage of a non-breathing system?

  1. Economical
  2. Soda Lime not required
  3. Nitrous oxide can be used safely
  4. Dry, cold gases are delivered to the patient.

4.) Cardiac output is calculated by:

  1. CO x SVR
  2. HR x CO
  3. HR x SV
  4. PCV x Hb

5.) When monitoring blood pressure the heart response during systolic is:

  1. Relaxation of the heart
  2. Contraction of the heart
  3. Arrhythmia of the heart

6.) Increasing the kV for a radiograph will:

  1. Decrease the penetrating ability of the x-ray photons
  2. Have no effect on the radiograph
  3. Increase the penetrating ability of the x-ray photons
  4. Produce a whiter image with high contrast.

7.) You are going to anesthetize a 125 lb. pig and want to pre-op the pig with the following:

  • 1.5% atropine at 0.02 mg/lb IM
  • 10% ketamine at 5 mg/lb IM
  • Innovar Vet at 1ml/30 lbs IM

How many mgs of each drug are you going to give the pig?

  1. Atropine – 4.5, Ketamine – 450, and Innovar Vet 2.99
  2. Atropine – 6.5, Ketamine – 130, and Innovar Vet 9.00
  3. Atropine – 2.5, Ketamine – 625, and Innovar Vet 4.16
  4. Atropine – 3.25, Ketamine – 750, and Innovar Vet 4.30

ANSWERS: 1-D, 2-A, 3-D, 4-C, 5-B, 6-C, 7-C

  See the chart for an overview of Question Distribution.

SRT Sample Questions:

1.) When performing a cannulation surgery on a rat or mouse, aseptic technique is not necessary?

  1. True
  2. False

2.) List the largest to smallest in suture size?

  1. 7-0, 2-0, 1, 2
  2. 1,0,2-0,7-0
  3. 3,2,1,0
  4. B & C
  5. None of the Above

3.) Why are intra-peritoneal injections given in the lower left quadrant of the abdomen in the rat?

  1. Accessibility
  2. Cecum is located in the left quadrant
  3. Cecum is located in the right quadrant
  4. Intravenous injection are too rapidly absorbed

4.) What type of needle is best used for closing skin (choose the one used on dense tissue)?

  1. Cutting needle
  2. Round bodied
  3. Reverse cutting
  4. Taper cut

5.) The gallbladder of the rat is relatively larger than that of the mouse?

  1. True
  2. False

6.) Cardiac output is computed by multiplying:

  1. Minute volume times heart rate
  2. Residual volume times left ventricular pressure
  3. Systolic pressure times heart rate
  4. Stroke volume times heart rate

7.) What agency is responsible for enforcement of regulations relative to surgery that are found in the Animal Welfare Act?

  1. NIH (National Institutes of Health)
  2. USDA (United States Department of Agriculture)
  3. FDA (Food and Drug Administration)
  4. IACUC (Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee)

ANSWERS: 1-B, 2-D, 3-C, 4-A, 5-B, 6-D, 7-B

  See the chart for an overview of Question Distribution.

SRS Sample Questions:

1.) Which of the following suture is non-absorbable?

  1. Surgical gut
  2. Polyglycolic acid (dexon)
  3. Polyglactin (vicryl)
  4. Polypropelene

2.) Which of the following mechanisms is preferred for abdominal viscera retraction?

  1. Moistened laparotomy pads
  2. Allis tissue retractors
  3. Weitlaner retractors
  4. Balfour retractors

3.) At a surgical level of general anesthesia with spontaneous ventilation the tidal volume of the lung is usually

__________ compared with pre-anesthetic levels.

  1. Not affected
  2. Decreased
  3. Increased by 10%
  4. Increased by 50%

4.) The anatomical term describing the hip joint is the:

  1. Femoropatellar joint
  2. Acetabulum
  3. Coxofemoral joint
  4. Atlanto-occipital joint

5.) In shock, blood loss leads to acidosis.

  1. True
  2. False

6.) Minimally invasive surgery along with intra-abdominal insufflations tend to (choose the answer that is 100% correct):

  1. Improve post-operative recovery, decrease ileus, increase venous return
  2. Improve post-operative recovery, increase ileus, increase venous return
  3. Improve post-operative recovery, decrease ileus, decrease venous return
  4. None of the above

ANSWERS: 1-D, 2-A, 3-B, 4-C, 5-A, 6-D

Each of the following files are PowerPoint 97-2003 Presentation files (.ppt). Download times will vary depending on Internet connection speeds and the size of the file being downloaded. Several of the following files are large and will require longer download periods.

Q: When should my application be submitted by?
A: April 15th

Q: When will I be notified of my acceptance/ exclusion?
A: A certification letter will be mailed by July 1st.

Q: Where can I take the exam?
A: Currently, the exam is offered only at the yearly meeting of the Academy, which is held in different cities in September or October of each year; the site will be known at least one or two years in advance. Contact the Academy’s office or Certification Committee for information for the location in a given year.

Q: What do I do if I’m excluded?
A: Contact us; the review may be extended for applications that are not initially accepted but may be with further clarification from the applicant.

Q: Should I only review the study guide and not bother with the reading list?
A: Like the reading list, the study guide is another reference and should not be memorized or used by itself.

Q: How do I submit my documentation to take each test?
A: Packets are now submitted electronically by uploading the completed application, caselogs and narratives appropriate to the applicable certification exam to https://www3.mydocsonline.com/cupload.aspx?id=ASRftp; payment of the $200 non-refundable application fee must be made before application will be accepted.

Q: What is the fee for taking each exam?
A: There is a $200 application fee each time the candidate applies to take a new certification exam. There is no fee to retake a failed exam if it is taken the year after the candidate did not pass.

Q: How many questions are on the test?
A: 200 Total:
150 Multiple choice and True/False
50 Questions on re-printed pictures/figures

Q: What is a passing score?
A: You must obtain a score of 68% in order to pass your exam.

Q: How long do I have to take the test?
A: 4 hours are allocated.

Q: What documentation is required for the Surgical Research Anesthetist (SRA)?
A: 30 cases; 30 minutes or longer; minimum of two species; 2 anesthesia narratives.

Q: What documentation is required for the Surgical Research Technician (SRT)?
A: 12 survival procedures in at least one species; minor procedures as listed in description; 2 narratives of different procedures represented in the case log.

Q: What documentation is required for the Surgical Research Specialist (SRS)?
A: 12 cases minimum, two different procedures, unless the majority of cases are in rodents, in which case a total of 24 cases, four different procedures is required.

Q: I can’t sit for the first year’s exam; can I sit for the second year?
A: Yes, but you must contact the committee as soon as you know you won’t be able to take the exam to receive a deferment. You may be asked to submit an updated log depending on the dates of your original cases, and you will need to submit an application the following year (no additional fee).

Q: I can’t sit for the first year’s exam or the second year exam; can I sit for the third year’s exam?
A: Yes, but you must contact the committee as soon as you know you won’t be able to take the exam to receive a deferment. You will then need to submit an updated two (2) year case log, two (2) updated narratives applicable to your exam, and your original application (no additional fee).

Q: Can I be excluded from taking the exam?
A: Yes, the committee will contact you with the reason.

Q: Will I be required to be a member in good standing with the Academy to maintain my certification(s)?
A: Yes, this will be an annual requirement.

Q: How many Continuing Education Credits (CEU) do I need to keep my certification?
A: Minimum of 15 CEUs per 24-month period.

Q: Is the Annual Meeting of the Academy of Surgical Research the only place I can earn CEUs?
A: No, relevant surgical lectures at other meetings is acceptable; speaking or presenting, conducting labs or participating in them, publishing papers or aiding in publishing papers or auto-tutorials are acceptable ways of earning CEUs.

Q: Who do I contact for questions pertaining to an exam?
A: Academy of Surgical Research
15490 101st Ave N #100
Maple Grove, MN 55369
(763) 235-6464

OR…

Email the Certification Committee

ASR Certification Study Guide PDF

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