What do you do at your camp?

  1. Sorry for the delay Nightingale, here's a brief description of nursing responsiblities at my camp.

    Our camps are 6-8 days long, each camp focusing on a specific age and disability range with anywhere from 60-140 campers. Arrival day includes the nursing staff taking all meds (now blisterpacked by the campers phamacists) and filling in our scheduled medication records. Usually arrival of campers is over in 4 hours. Then we meet with our admin staff to enter new meds or dose changes from the previous year in order to print labels. Then the pouring of meds (ughh!) We have 4 med times and try to pour 24hrs at a time.

    Individual camper meds are put in individual med bags and sorted according to cabin and camper and "put out" for the med counsellors to give to the campers. Each camp varies with no. of meds and pouring can take anywhere from 2-8 hrs a day. The bulk of time for us is usually taken up by meds. In a season we pour about 10,000 - 13,000 meds.

    A clinic is held in the afternoon for minor things from 1300-1430, rest period, where counsellors bring in campers with various minor complaints to be seen. Ofcourse counsellors bring in campers at any time if the concern is suspected to be more serious. If rest period is quiet then we go and do a mini-rounds in the cabins as this is one of the few times campers are all together.

    HS rounds are held around 2100-2300 or later depending on no. of campers or extensive concerns expressed by campers.

    In the meantime scheduled care such as bowel care, cath/bladder care is done and ofcourse calling home to discuss with care providers or parents findings noticed during rounds.

    There are two activity periods in the morning and afternoon and one campwide activity in the evening and the nursing staff are encouraged to attend but it seems we rarely have the time.

    Our day usually goes from 0700-2300 sometimes later with alternating call at night. Time off is where you can get it during the camp.

    Our nursing staff in the last few years due to shortage consists of one RN and one 3rd or 4th year nursing student (which means the RN can't leave camp). Each manages half the campers with the RN supervising everything the student does.

    We have 10 camps over the season with ideally two separate nursing teams, running the camps odd and even, but sometimes there's overlap of the nursing student(s).

    Our wages for RN's is $200/day (CAN) which comes to about $130/day (US).

    I've never had an opportunity to discuss camp nursing with RN's from other camps and I'd really like to hear about how other camp's are set up from a nursing point of view. Please feel free to contribute your experiences here, especially you Nightingale.


    P.S. Please be forgiving of any grammar or spelling errors, I'm writing this after coming off of nights.
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    About Joshua21

    Joined: Dec '01; Posts: 57; Likes: 2
    ER RN & Camp Nurse


  3. by   nightingale

    I apologize for not responding quicker. I knew I wanted to take time to respond to give it adequate attention. I appreciate your asking the question and taking the time to be so detailed with your response.

    Our camp did not have a theme other then varied sports and social events. There were weekly overnights of campers. There was also a week long trip by the oldest teen group of about a dozen teens and approximately 5 counselors.

    At the start of camp we performed head/lice check of all the 300 or so campers. The age's ranged from 7 years to 18 +. WE also proved the head/lice checks to the camp counselors, instructors, and teachers.

    We organized medical slips with permission slips and Mars. We had "pill call" each day after meals. We organized and set up pills for counselors who had those campers on overnights such as camping out; this happened approximately once a week for a small percentage of campers and the list of campers rotated. There were approximately 60 campers who took pills regularly. Most pills were taken in the morning with some having pills up to three times a day. WE also held onto PRN meds the campers and counselors had.

    We had "sick call" twice a day after breakfast and after dinner hour. We were available 24/7 for emergencies for all campers and staff. To be honest, there were a lot less sick calls during the middle of the night then I expected; I would approximate it at 3-5 times in an weekly.

    There were three of us nurses available. AT the time, all three of us were RN's. A third nurse was to rotate in as an LPN. Time off really varied. There were three days off that were not 24-hour days for each of us. Although the head nurse, had weekends off to accommodate her other job.

    Quite frankly, I was pretty bored. I looked forward to some opportunities for wellness teaching and that was really not encouraged. In fact, there was little teaching done at the clinic and when I pointed this out I was laughed at. I felt rather sorry at times for those kids who really just wanted to come down for a break from the grind of their busy schedules; this was discouraged and simply not allowed in most cases. Do not get me wrong, the letter of health care was done but there were missed opportunities that were not allowed. One counselor pointed out how simple hand washing teaching to the cabins could have minimized many colds there were being spread; so I taught the counselor how to teach the kids.

    I will gladly send you information regarding compensation but prefer to do it via email. Please PM me your email address if you have any questions regarding this.

    Great discussion! Let me know if you have any questions.

    Last edit by nightingale on Sep 14, '02