New to camp nursing? We have some tips!
- Take a few supplies with you when you do a “walkabout” camp! A small pack or fanny pack with some bandaids and tweezers will have you prepared when kids approach you around camp for small things. Be prepared to document those small encounters as well.
- Always stay curious. Be prepared for thorough physical assessments, even when something seems obvious. Gently probe to be sure you’re getting the whole story.
- Practice good self care! Camp nursing is hard work. Take advantage of time off and down time to do what feeds your body and soul. Stay hydrated. Don’t forget the sunscreen. You’ll be able to give more when you’ve taken care of yourself.
- Use your resources. There are many valuable resources listed on the ACN website (cleverly tucked under “Resources”)
- Know the state regulations that govern your camp. (ACN website > Resources > State Specific Resources)
- Don’t forget to tend to staff health care. The Health Center may be a great place for weary counselors to find a listening ear or a quiet space to recharge for a few minutes.
- Sleep in PJ’s! You never know who will come knocking at your door in the wee hours of the morning.
- Be prepared for weather: insulating layers, raingear, a hat for warmth. Even in “warm weather” states weather can be dramatic and you may be out in it.
- Have good conversation with your camp director and leadership staff about EMS and critical response resources in your area. Start with the relationships that your camp administration has with these local agencies. If appropriate consider introducing yourself to key people before an incident happens.
- Write it down – even on the napkins in the dining hall. Documentation is key providing thorough and effective care.
- Call the ACN office if you have a perplexing question. ACN offers the hotline service and is happy to field questions. 502-232-2945
The rewards for being a camp nurse will last a lifetime. You’ll be glad you made the choice to spend a summer at camp!