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Camp Health Research Initiatives
As camp healthcare providers we are among the masters of improvisation, those creative with a Band-Aid and marker, those who tolerate extremes of heat and cold. Yet sometimes there is a question, problem, or new program that begs to be studied in some depth. This is camp nursing research. Through this research, camp nurses utilize evidence (from the current literature) to guide their practice and make client care decisions. By incorporating research-informed practices, camp nurses can enrich their clinical experience and training.
Current and past studies on camp health provide the information needed to continue developing the profession of camp health. Collaboration between the Association of Camp Nursing, universities, funding agencies and industry partners is foundational to these evidence based research studies.
Active Research Projects
ACN is conducting an ongoing research project to better understand camp-related fatigue. In Phase1 of the project, focus groups were conducted with camp nurses and directors in the spring of 2018 to better understand how fatigue is conceptualize and experienced in camp settings, as well as strategies for managing fatigue. Preliminary findings will be reported at the 2019 ACN Symposium. Look for more information about this exciting project.
Concussions In the Camp Setting
In collaboration with the Association of Camp Nursing, concussion researchers at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia conducted a survey study evaluating the practices of camp providers in managing concussion in the camp setting (August 2017.) Despite the frequency of head injury at summer camps, protocols for managing concussion in this setting is limited, and the variability of its management in this setting is unknown. By characterizing the patterns of management of summer camp providers, we hope to be able to design appropriate guidelines to aid the summer camp provider in managing pediatric concussion.
Based on this study, the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Research Instutute presented a webinar on Concussion at Camp. The webinar was recorded, and is available as a member benefit. Log in, and click on “Webinars.”
Past Research Studies
ACN participated in an Anaphylaxis study in conjunction with Nationwide Children’s Hospital and Harvard University initiated in May 2016. Camp nurses provided feedback regarding anaphylaxis in the camp setting allowing us to better understand the implications of care and identify measures to address safety.
Pediatric News published the study findings, indicating that camp healthcare staff would benefit from more education about how to manage anaphylaxis in the camp setting.
Camp Health Study
The 5-year Healthy Camp Study (2006 – 2010) was conducted by the American Camp Association and ACN to better understand injury and illness rates and mechanisms among campers and staff to inform better health practices in camps. Learn more about this research at the links below:
- Healthy Camp Study Impact Report
- Injury and Illness Benchmarking and Prevention of Children and Staff Attending US Camps: Promising Practices and Policy Implications (Garst, Erceg, & Walton, 2013)
- An Injury and Illness Surveillance Program for Children and Staff: Improving the Safety of Youth Settings
- Healthy Camps: Initial Lessons on Illnesses and Injuries From a Longitudinal Study
- Policy Statement – Creating Healthy Camp Experiences