What else do I need to do re: training and ? about kids ...

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    I will be applying to a few camps for next summer. I have been an RN for 11 years, 2 in CCU and then 8 in cardiac rehab. I have recently made the switch to the ER. We do get a few peds cases, but a major childrens hospital is right up the road, so admittedly I am not a ped pro. I am, however, PALS certified. What else can I do or should I do in the meantime ?

    Also, ideally, my daughter (will have completed 1st grade) will be attending the camp....the youngest group needs to have completed 1st grade. She is somewhat independent and did GREAT at a local day camp this year but I am wondering what has been your experience as far as taking your kids along ? Did they have open access to you ? Or was it weird having you there, but not really accessible ?
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    Quote from carachel2
    I will be applying to a few camps for next summer. I have been an RN for 11 years, 2 in CCU and then 8 in cardiac rehab. I have recently made the switch to the ER. We do get a few peds cases, but a major childrens hospital is right up the road, so admittedly I am not a ped pro. I am, however, PALS certified.

    1- What else can I do or should I do in the meantime ?

    Also, ideally, my daughter (will have completed 1st grade) will be attending the camp....the youngest group needs to have completed 1st grade. She is somewhat independent and did GREAT at a local day camp this year but I am wondering (2) what has been your experience as far as taking your kids along ?

    3- Did they have open access to you ?

    4- Or was it weird having you there, but not really accessible ?
    I found a book online that was slightly helpful. A search on this Camp Forum will likely give you more insight as to what to expect.

    I was a Camp Nurse, for one season, about three years ago. We were in a very remote area of upstate New York. My kids were 10 (girl) and 12 (boy); the experience was incredible. We have memories that will last a lifetime. We still talk about the friends we encoutered and the experience to this day.

    The "experience" is as varied as the camp and your child will allow. I would highly recommend it to anyone willing to sacrifice the time and, for me, high loss of income.

    3- I saw my kids everyday but was not in control of their day t stay activities and choices; not a bad thing... but there was a certain amount of adjustment for me in not having complete choice in what they were doing. The children my children were socializing with were from a different world (priveledged and somewhat used to having the best of everything).

    4- It was great having me there for them. They would come and chat on a regualr basis and I saw them for all meals (different tables) and whenever they really wanted to.

    Camp mangement and rules vary greatly. Likes and dislikes at my camp is discussed in other posts you will find here at this forum. To be honest, I can say for sure, the good outweighed the bad. I did have a problem with the management and I think it was a rare situation for a summer camp to be run the way ours was run.

    Good luck with you and let us know how your decision is unfolding.

    night
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    Quote from nightngale1998
    I found a book online that was slightly helpful. A search on this Camp Forum will likely give you more insight as to what to expect.

    I was a Camp Nurse, for one season, about three years ago. We were in a very remote area of upstate New York. My kids were 10 (girl) and 12 (boy); the experience was incredible. We have memories that will last a lifetime. We still talk about the friends we encoutered and the experience to this day.

    The "experience" is as varied as the camp and your child will allow. I would highly recommend it to anyone willing to sacrifice the time and, for me, high loss of income.

    3- I saw my kids everyday but was not in control of their day t stay activities and choices; not a bad thing... but there was a certain amount of adjustment for me in not having complete choice in what they were doing. The children my children were socializing with were from a different world (priveledged and somewhat used to having the best of everything).

    4- It was great having me there for them. They would come and chat on a regualr basis and I saw them for all meals (different tables) and whenever they really wanted to.

    Camp mangement and rules vary greatly. Likes and dislikes at my camp is discussed in other posts you will find here at this forum. To be honest, I can say for sure, the good outweighed the bad. I did have a problem with the management and I think it was a rare situation for a summer camp to be run the way ours was run.

    Good luck with you and let us know how your decision is unfolding.

    night
    I never thanked you for replying...thanks for such an informative post.

    I have accepted a position at Camp Crestridge (in NC) for one week. This is our first time at camp, so one week sounded like a great way to get our feet wet.
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    I think you made a good decision in going to a camp for a week to get your feet wet.

    I was a camp nurse for the first time last year for a month, and I worked harder than I have ever worked in my life, for such a sustained period of time. I lost ten pounds and sweat from the time I woke up til I went to bed. (We woke up running at 7am and didn't get to bed til midnight every single night). But in an odd way, it was fun. My nursing experience was this: ER nurse for ten years, school nurse for four, CCU for two, newborn nursery for one and so on. I think with your CCU background, you'll be good at deciding whether someone is really sick--shocky, something serious. From being a mom, you probably have a good "******** detector", as I call it, which is key. Like the teen girls trying to get out of something due to having their period, or little kids who are homesick or just unhappy.

    What I saw the most of last summer was sore throats, URI's that I started calling kennel cough it was so prevalent (I still want to know what that was all about), fatigue, muscle soreness, heat-related stuff---it was so hot that I was very concerned about dehydration and heat stroke. I had three broken bones, six broken toes (I don't really count those as broken bones because they don't require xrays or treatment other than good shoes and socks) due to those ridiculous flip-flops every girl wears. We did have a few minor injuries---make sure you have access to ice and know how to wrap ankles or wrists with ace bandages--I would suggest going to your ER and asking an experienced ER nurse to show you---I have seen a lot of nurses do a terrible job with that. Also ask her to show you how to put on a decent eye patch---those are tricky. We gave out lot of cough drops and I had kids gargle with saltwater or just rest in the health center so they could cool off. A lot of it is attention seeking behavior.

    We had a few seizures, one kid with daytime and one sleep onset. One go-kart accident with lots of abraded skin. You need to know first aid; I would brush up on that....I found my experience as a school nurse almost worthless but my ER experience made me totally confident of my assessment skills. It was a great time and you will probably do fine. I hope you have a good co-worker---that was absolutely key in my experience and I got lucky---I had a fabulous one the first two weeks and another great one the second two weeks, even if she was from California (just kidding but I was a little nervous about that).

    Anyway, good luck. What is the name of your camp?
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    I forgot to respond to your question about having your child at camp with you. It was great---I saw him at every meal, and talked to him then. He could visit me during free time every day, which he did after about two weeks when he'd start getting homesick. He REALLY got homesick--he had just finished second grade. But after a few days, he was fine. One night he had a slight fever which worked out nicely since he could then spend the night with me in the clinic. But I would never have sent him that far from home for that long without me, and he had the time of his life. I was going to find a different camp this summer but he loved it so much that we're going back. Good luck to you.
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    Quote from marybethm
    I forgot to respond to your question about having your child at camp with you. It was great---I saw him at every meal, and talked to him then. He could visit me during free time every day, which he did after about two weeks when he'd start getting homesick. He REALLY got homesick--he had just finished second grade. But after a few days, he was fine. One night he had a slight fever which worked out nicely since he could then spend the night with me in the clinic. But I would never have sent him that far from home for that long without me, and he had the time of his life. I was going to find a different camp this summer but he loved it so much that we're going back. Good luck to you.
    Wow ! Thank you Marybeth for such an informative post. I TRULY appreciate you taking the time to type all of that out. I feel good about my decision to do the one week camp...especially with DD being so young (she will be 7). I cannot even fathom sending her that far from home for two weeks at her age ! I will brush up on the skills that you noted and get back to you after camp.
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    I can't wait to hear how you liked it and how it went for you. You'll do great and your daughter will have a blast.


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