Meds at camp

  1. Camp has started! We had 40 campers come in with medications this first week - most of these with multiple meds. We had 2 nurses doing the health registering of the total 130 campers. Registration was from 3:30-4:30PM with most arriving around 4:00 PM. Needless to say, we nurses held up the registration line with all our questions. Parents do preregister using UltraCamp online, however, most had done this in January and many of the meds had changed since that time. Does anyone have any suggestions on how they make this work without parents/campers getting frustrated by having to wait in line?

    Also, with registration ending at 4:30, this gave me only 30 minutes to get meds ready for the 5:00 PM supper administration time (There were 19 needing meds at this time). I have talked to the Director and they are considering moving supper back to 6:00 PM for the next session's registration day.) How do the rest of you administer your meds? The campers here do not come to the health center for administration. Logistically, it works better for me to take the meds to the dining hall at meal time. Do any of you have this situation? And if so, how do you prepare the meds for administration? Trays? Med cups? All the camper's meds in their original containers in a baggie? (This is what I did the first day....way too time consuming). Help!
  2. Visit JaClasse profile page

    About JaClasse

    Joined: Mar '09; Posts: 13
    School Nurse; from US
    Specialty: 27 year(s) of experience


  3. by   Neveranurseagain
    It may be a HIPPA violation to take meds to the dining hall as there is no privacy there. Even if it is a camp, HIPPA needs to be followed. You also don't want other kids knowing who takes meds as they may pick on them and call them pyscho or ADHD.

    As far as checking in meds, they should all be in their original container, then check with the parent to be sure the label is correct, then place them in a plastic bag. I put a red sticker on the baggie to mark the ones that need to be given in the next few hours so the can easily be identified. I prefer to leave meds in the original container to dispense them--less risk of error. Also have your water cups prepoured, and a worksheet with a check list of who is due according to am, lunch, dinner, and hs. ai just mark a check next to their name, and go back and chart it in the MARS later. But an hour is not long enough to process meds--perhaps the camp would agree that meds should be mailed to the infirmary one week before camp starts so they are there when the campers arrive.

    Why don't the kids go to the health center for their meds?

    There should be too many med questions if the drugs are in the original container with the correct directions. Our camp insists on it.

    What meds need to be given at dinnertime? We hardly ever have dinner time meds.
    Last edit by Neveranurseagain on Jun 10, '09
  4. by   JaClasse
    Thank you for your response. My understanding is that we do not fall under HIPAA since we do not collect 3rd party funds for health care. Regardless, I agree that confidentiality is an issue. Our health center is at quite a distance from the dining hall, so in order to catch up with their group, campers would have to get up early and come for meds, which also makes them very identifiable. It seems to be the best time to take them, so that they don't miss out on any activity or are separated from their group. We do try and set up in the back of the cafeteria and have them come when others are taking trays up, etc. It is definitely not an ideal situation. I'll keep thinking on this one!

    I appreciate your suggestion on the red dots. We did this as well, and it was the only thing that saved us! And I agree...the original container, properly labeled, is a must.

    As far as the supper meds...we had several ADHD meds (to be given BID) as well as allergy meds. Breakfast and PM dinner seems to be our busiest times.
  5. by   Michigan
    I leave Friday to start camp on Sat. I believe HIPAA comes into play anytime you have access to medical info.
    I review the campers info on Friday (all regristrations must be in proir to camp time)for red flags- serious allergies, behavior problem, serious medical condition. I then determine who else will need this info: check with kitchen food allergies, but not telling what camper; epi pen use with the dorm counslers, DM with counslers. Also on Friday we have staff meetings and I'll go over any special items then also- s/s hypogly, KEEP THE KIDS HYDRATED, etc.
    I agree your time frame does not allow to setup meds, need more time. I know I will need to call at least 6-7 parents to question meds. Thank you God for cell phones as this normally is a process. Campers arrive with med info and ALL meds in original container. If info does not agree with bottle- parents receive a call. NO meds can be the dorms (Exception- inhalers, epi pen- if serious allergy and counselor holds the pen). Would not believe the meds kids come to camp (Xanax??) with and parents have no idea how they obtained the med
    I was trained by nurse who did camp for multiple years and we have changed some things. Still seems the best way is to use plastic bags with the med bottle in them. We take our list and meds to every meal. Campers come to us, we normally sit at different table, so would be difficult for some to tell what med another camper is taking.
    If a camper does not show we find them, but again do not tell what meds they did not take, only that the camper needs to see us.
  6. by   turncoughdeepbreathe
    In July I will be doing my first crack at camp nursing, for a 3 week session of middle schoolers. The other nurse was there last year, and in talking to her, it sounds like they do the exact same thing, as far as taking the meds to the dining hall, then apparrently they call the kids up through a PA system by cabin or dorm. I am nervous and excited and praying for nothing terrible to happen!
  7. by   Penguin67
    I did camp nursing for 10 years. One of the camps that I worked at had me eat my meal 30 minutes earlier than the camp, so that campers could stop by the health room on their way to eating or on the way out of the dining hall to get their meds. It worked quite well. I'd hate to give out meds in a dining hall. With all of the talking, chattering and eating, there seems to be a good possibility of making an error.
  8. by   blondy2061h
    Our camp had 15 min passing time between meals and med time. I only had 1 camper needing meds before dinner and lunch. Breakfast and bedtime med pass had more time, which was when the majority of the meds were. Campers stopped by the health center. I got my heavy meds made into cups which I labeled w/ camper name. The rest were in ziplock bags by age group w/ camper name on it and I just grabbed their bag when they got there.
  9. by   smiley321
    My camp also has kids stopping by the health centre before meals for their meds (some after meals if the meds depressed their appetite). I completely agree that dispensing meds in the dining hall is a huge violation of privacy; I do not think kids will get made fun of based on WHAT meds they are taking, rather they would get mocked/singled out/etc for taking medications at all.

    As for organizing them, what worked best for me placing each camper's medications in a plastic bag and then further organized into cabin groups. Camper's may enter the health centre one at a time to take their meds (there is a large window I stay in front of so as to always be visible and not "alone" with a single camper). this way confidentiality was maintained and meds were easily accessible. I was able efficiently record that the meds were taken while they were being taken.
  10. by   jenriske
    At the camp I worked at for a couple weeks last summer (and am returning for the whole summer this year) this is how we did meds:
    each camper's meds were in a baggie with their name
    we had muffin tins (multiple depending on how many kids with meds that session) and labeled each spot with a name
    each spot then got a med cup labeled am/lunch/pm/hs- one for each time meds were needed
    then each day during a slow period, i would put go down my paper mar with each baggie and sort out the meds for the next 24hrs.
    if it was something like inhaler or liquid med, i would put an additional sticker on that time's med cup which would alert me to recheck the mar for something other than pills

    this process actually worked really well. everything was kept in a locked cabinet.
  11. by   merlee
    I worked at a very large camp (400+) where MANY kids were on recurrent meds, and there is no HIPAA at camp. The campers came generally before meals to the Health Center, frequently escorted by a counsellor. We poured their meds into those multiday containers, one per camper, each labeled with the camper's name and what time of day the meds were to be given. We had the containers in trays, and flipped the container sideways so we could easily spot which ones were left to be given, in case someone was missed.

    This system worked very well, and we weren't trying to open, literally, a hundred bottles in the morning.
    Inhalers were kept in a separate tray, and liquids/injectables, eyedrops, etc, kept appropriately, as well.

    Believe me, in 2 days every camper in a bunk/cabin/group knows who is on meds. They just don't know if it's allergy meds, behavioral meds (many), or something else. And we had diabetics, cancer meds, bedwetting meds, and heaven knows what else!

    So it depends on where you are giving the meds, what is safest for your circumstances, and the number of kids involved.

    At the very least, there needs to be 'crowd control', a good system for lining up, and a system for insuring that each kid showed up.
  12. by   lumbarpain
    I worked one summer at a YMCA day camp... I guess my experience doesnt really count but even though their were 30 somewhat kids I had very little meds to give......guess I was lucky that year. I had my PLAY SICK ones too that would just HANG out with me at the office because they just didnt feel like being with the group..........and one temp which was immediately sent home with an upset parent.....but what happened is that the kid HAD the temp before he left for camp so the parent really should have made sure he was well to go off to camp that day. , that was it......otherwise I sat in the office waiting for them to pop in which hardly happened. Man that was a hot humid summer also. Was nice though.
  13. by   rikergirl
    that is exactly what i did too. the children come to the health room after they eat. and on way to bed. i ate 30 minutes early