Camper to Nurse ratio?

  1. Hi everyone,

    I worked as the camp nurse at an overnight girls' camp last summer. It was a very good experience and they have asked me to come back. I'd like info, if anyone has it, on what optimal camper-nurse ratios are for a camp that's geared toward healthy children?

    Last year, I was the only nurse/health provider for 130 campers and staff. I was on 24/7 for three weeks. We had a lice outbreak (I trained some of the staff to help me with that one.....) and then a number of cases of heat exhaustion during a severe heatwave....Plus, of course, all the usual stuff that camp nurses deal w. every day.

    Despite all that, I had a good-but-totally-exhausting experience and would like to go back, but need to figure out exactly what would help make this a sane experience for me. I don't think they would spring for a second nurse, but I think they would consider giving a young staff member to be my assistant. Just not sure if that's enough (then again, if that person can be the one to hand out band-aids at midnight to all the girls who cut themselves shaving at that hour, I'd be grateful!!!!)

    Thanks for any input
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    Joined: Sep '11; Posts: 74; Likes: 18

    12 Comments

  3. by   Alex Egan
    At my camp the ratio is about 100/1 for live in nurses. With the head nurse and local part timers it's about 85/1
  4. by   Sudsy
    Thank you! That is a help to hear!
  5. by   bsyrn
    We have 4 nurses for approx 250 campers and staff but we have a lot of special needs kids with lots of meds. It sounds like 1 nurse and an assistant would be fine for 130 healthy kids and staff. As for bandaids at midnight for shaving incidents...cabin first aid kits would solve that problem.
  6. by   arronlpn
    We have two nurses, only because we run a Boy Scout Camp and a Cub Scout Camp at the same time on different ridges of camp. our camp has no ratio guideline. Leaders are responsible for locking up and making sure the scouts take their medications, unless the need to be in the fridge. We teach all the staff first-aid and how to handle emergencies in camp. If it is an emergency and I don't have an emergency on the Cub Scout camp I can be called over to assist the Boy Scout Camp.
  7. by   masafnp
    The camp I worked at two years ago is planning on 200 campers for this summer. Right now they have 160 signed up for this summer - a three week camp. I had one helper two years ago, and they have only hired one for this year. Is that reasonable, or should I ask for a second assistant. I was on 24/7 the last time, and wiped out by the end. Thoughts please
  8. by   Alex Egan
    Quote from masafnp
    The camp I worked at two years ago is planning on 200 campers for this summer. Right now they have 160 signed up for this summer - a three week camp. I had one helper two years ago, and they have only hired one for this year. Is that reasonable, or should I ask for a second assistant. I was on 24/7 the last time, and wiped out by the end. Thoughts please
    Don't forget to include the staff I'm that number. If you see them for any medical need and handle their charts they create work. I bet you're pushing a 200/1 ratio there. UAP don't count if they can't independently give meds or treat. You may ask them to advertise for a local prn nurse we had great luck with them in the past. They come in for 8-12 hours a day or two a week. You can either catch your breath work wise or take a brake.
  9. by   LikeTheDeadSea
    2:150 campers plus about 50 staff. Live-in, we rotate nights and day hours.

    We have a lice service check every camper and cabin-living staff member upon arrival on the first day, they can't go down to cabins until they have been checked. Treatment is done immediately for anyone found with it. (at parent's cost). (knock on wood) No outbreaks!
  10. by   masafnp
    Thanks for the advice.
  11. by   masafnp
    Two nurses, or one nurse and one UAP Like the dead sea?
  12. by   LikeTheDeadSea
    Quote from masafnp
    Two nurses, or one nurse and one UAP Like the dead sea?
    2 Nurses. We utilize counselors with Wilderness First Aid training if additional support is needed. There is usually 1-2 counselors with this a year. (Although they go on the trips, so are often not at camp)
  13. by   masafnp
    thank you.
  14. by   Oma to 11
    I am at a day camp with anywhere from 350 to 400 campers each week. There are 600 campers registered and I have to review all their charts. I have an EMT that comes in daily but usually goes on the trips. After 9 weeks of this I am exhausted. When we started camp 15 years ago we had only 150 each week, that was easy. Now I feel like I need another nurse but the camp doesn't want to pay for one.

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