New to camp nursing...former psych nurse

  1. I've been teaching allied health/first aid/health care careers to high schoolers for 5 months. I was a psych nurse with typical medical emergencies on the unit for 2.5 years. I've just been hired on as a camp nurse with 3 weeks of orientation. Any books you'd recommend in addition to "The Basics of Camp Nursing" and the AMA's first aid and emergency guidebook? Any advice for a psych RN turned camp nurse?
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    About pinkiepie_RN, BSN, RN Pro

    Joined: Jun '07; Posts: 1,024; Likes: 294
    Specialty: General adult inpatient psychiatry


  3. by   Alex Egan
    Actual medical emergencies injuries or serious illness were pretty rare at my camp. Learning how to triage the actual illness from a large variety of sore throats upset stomach's and diarrhea that came in everyday was the real challenge. You'll get onto it pretty quick, don't worry about it. My expearence was that camp was more a mindset than anything else.
  4. by   pinkiepie_RN
    Thanks for the support. I guess I'm just worried about being so far from home (4.5 hours!) and have a little anxiety about homesickness myself.
  5. by   CampNurse1
    Camp Nursing can be pretty lonely sometimes. After all, we are sometimes 20 years older (in my case 30, lol!) than the other staff. Our profession is completely different from the other positions at camp, and, often the only knowledge the staff has of nursing is stereotypical. "Oh, they pass pills, anyone could do that." "It's okay if someone gets sick or hurt, we have a nurse to patch them up." It's best to be a little self-contained. Go to some of the activities. Don't expect much socialization with the staff. Bring some good books and movies, but most of the time after a long day, you will just want to go to bed. If the internet is important to you, bring your own wifi hotspot. Every camp I have ever been to has not had great internet. At one camp I ended up in front of the office, late at night, with bugs swarming around my laptop. Also, you don't want to be banking or punching in passwords on an open network.

    You will get good at finding subtle signs during your focused assessments. Every day that passes, you will get more experience. Remember, no matter how intense a moment, by the next day, and especially the next session, it will be ancient history. Oh, and don't get mad at unnecessary medications. You will be amazed at the whacked out meds & supplements some parents send. You can't fight city hall on this one, so, smile serenely and give the meds, if it is safe, of course.
    Get as organized as you can before camp starts.

    The short answer is: Like nearly every job in nursing, you will have to figure a lot of things out on your own. So, take a deep breath, do your best, and ask questions a lot. Good luck and contact me if I can help.
  6. by   CampNurse1
    Your comment on mindset is a thing of beauty.
  7. by   bargraphix
    kinda the same if it is an overnight camp... lot of homesick kids that are not really sick. of course done make any assumptions and risk the kids health