I wanted to share my experience about a camp with you so that you are warned out of a terrible experience. I worked this summer for Long Lake Camp in Long Lake, NY. The staff was great and the kids were wonderful, but the administration is a whole different story. Constant talking down on us, lying to our faces, blaming us for things we didn't do, disagreeing with crucial nursing judgement on a consistent basis, and rarely listening to our concerns. The administration would take turns going on power trips over us- for what reason I am not sure. They have not been able to retain a single nurse so far and I know why.
I still love being a nurse and I take pride in the fact that I still gave excellent medical care to all my patients this summer, but I will never return to Long Lake Camp again. All the other nurses that worked there with me said the same thing. We were shocked at the constant demeaning unprofessionalism. I am sure camp nursing can be great, but please, steer clear of Long Lake Camp.
Sorry to hear you had a bad experience. Camp is a very different practice environment, and difficulty with management can be common. I have come access a few red flags over the years.
1. No MD on site or specifically under the employ of the camp.
2. None clinical management, with the complete lack of a clinical head.
3. Lack of or uneven application of a medication policy.
4. A lack of acceptance that camp health service is providing primary care as well as occupational health service to staff.
5. Clearly defining what is a medical problem and what is in the realm of psychosocial needs not a health concern.
If your interviewing be sure to get solid answers on how these issues are addressed. They are not necessarily deal breakers but sure to explore them throughly. Even then they are often issues to some degree at every camp.
The other issue really is that almost every nurse is walking into a speciality practice they have never done before, with very little information on how to find a good camp. Nobody would try and move from medsurg to NICU by taking a new job and moving across country based only on the interview at the new hospital. That's exactly what nurses who hire on at camps do most times.
If you can look back on your experience what red flags do you think you missed or dismissed?