The best reference for what is happening, to get involved in decision making/support as well as what direction camp nurse practice is heading is www.aca.org www.campnurse.org
ACA acredits over 2,400 camps and works closely with other youth-serving organizations
i.e. American Cancer Society, American Red Cross, American Academy of Pediatrics, Boy Scouts of America, Girl Scouts of America, Camp Fire USA to name a few ....
I have found that I can get answers specific to the areas for which I serve as a consultant in a single location
The state regulations database is easily accessed from this site
Each state regulations are what is needed. The comments and opinions I find supportive and informative but when I needed to know regulations this was the source
Public Policy committees are active in researching and advising change in practice at the national, state and local level . These committees are composed or RNs, MDs, legislators, insurance companies, national organizations representing specific illnesses i.e asthma
The Healthy Research Study 2006-2010 is ongoing and new camp participation is welcomed
sample finding :
injuries are more likely to occur midweek(Wednesday and Thursday) and between the hours of 12N-6PM
Camp research is used to : enhance the quality of the camp experience, understand, the importance of the camp experience, connect and collaborate, and improve camp business operations
some of the findings that have supported and helped me understand changes has been are posted in the ACA Compass Point magazine :
Best Practices for Medication Management by Day and Resident Camps
Recommendations for Managing Asthma at Camp -based on the NAEPP-National Association of Asthma Education and Prevention Program
Camper Medications and Medical Issues (excerpt)
...more than 71% of camp directors report that campers who are taking medications have increased over the past three years
campers are taking more medications and there is grater variety in the types of medication brought to camp
I first logged onto Allnurses in hopes to find out what was going on in terms of prescriptive authority . I found support and encouragement
What I have learned from ACA web site research, attending local new regulations forums offered by the states and District is that due to the ever increasing complexity of medications and camper history physicians in general are less willing to give blanket consent to medicate someone sight unseen .
The insurance companies are advising us(MD and RN alike ) to take a risk aversion position ... thus it is becoming more common than not .
The result has been that the camper's physician is asked to provide individual camper specific prescriptive authority .
This takes us to the health history when giving any OTC medication (commonly used over the counter medications such as (Ibuprofen, Tylenol, Benadryl, Neosporin)
Looking at mediation administration of any kind from this approach, it makes sense to ensure that we do the patient no unintentional harm by giving a medication that we can have no way of knowing adverse reaction based on medication or history we are unaware of at the camp site level
The state regulations take us back to nursing practice in terms of what delegated prescriptive authority means at the camp level i.e. this includes camps that use first aiders who are not certified EMT, military medics, ....
I rely on Allnurses for peer support and barometer of what are emerging or current issues/concerns..
I use ACA for research based informed decision making re: camp first aid practice /intervention
First hand experience
I have found that as a camp nurse is often more important in terms of bee stings, especially multiple to know about baking soda paste and ice water than to have permission to administer benadryl
This comes from having been int he situation where a camper was allergic to benadryl and one who was not. Both suffering multiple bee stings and were brought to first aid.
I mixed the baking soda paste places it on all sting areas
let it dry scraped it off with handle of plastic spoon
placed ice water in baggies and large handkerchiefs girls are asked to bring to camp to dry hands etc
Since I could not offer benadryl to one camper I got to see the outcome of this impromptu, situation -driven study
Both girls felt better after about 20 minutes . Both physicians commented to parents that the comfort issue was definitely addressed best by the baking soda because the stings were no longer inflammed.
Neither physician had ever heard of that intervention, neither had ever been camp physicians or knew of anyone stung at camp .....
Of course toxin release can occur again in heat related conditions(camp) so Benadryl was prescribed for one the other girl was prescribed a different medication