Being a camp nurse is actually an excellent summer job for someone with a bachelor of science in nursing, but it’s different to what you might be used to if you don’t have any prior experience. Make no mistake, it’s a very rewarding experience and mostly a stress-free job. However, it might be helpful to know what the camp directors are expecting from you and also what you should expect to face while at the job.
If you are not working at a camp for special needs children or if your camp isn’t particularly large, chances are that you will be the only nurse in the camp. What this means is that you will likely have to make do with the little resources that you do have at your disposal. Since it’s not an uncommon occurrence to lose cell phone reception and internet in the middle of the woods, it might be best to make sure that your camp is carrying everything that you may need beforehand. With hardly anyone there to help you if the need arises, being resourceful and self-sufficient are important traits for a camp nurse.
Experience and Qualifications
Most campers seldom encounter any serious accidents or emergency situations, but when they do, it becomes a necessity for the only medical professional present at the camp to be able to handle it. This is the reason why camp officials often prefer to hire a camp nurse who has experience or higher qualifications, or preferably both. Since completing an online BSN program from a top-tier university such as ADU Online is so easy for a registered nurse (RN) these days, it is advised you take up the course to both increase your chances of being hired and to gain the necessary knowledge for handling true emergencies in the middle of the wilderness.
Care and Emotional Support
One must understand that when you are the camp nurse, you will be expected to deal with the psychological and physical problems of not only the kids but the staff as well. The isolation of camping may cause new campers and even some staff to feel depressed or homesick. As the nurse, it would be your duty to make them feel comfortable enough to share their issues with you. You don’t have to actually counsel them, but just providing a place to talk and relax is usually enough.
In addition to these three, a rather tedious but important skill which a camping nurse is required to possess is the ability to manage and maintain documents. Health logs, medical histories, physical assessment data, and other similar documents will need to be maintained in an orderly fashion. The amount of documentation is not really too bothersome for someone who has experience in dealing with actual hospital paperwork, but then again, hospitals and healthcare institutes usually have other people to assist you, unlike the average summer camp. Nevertheless, any nurse who has spent some time on emergency duty or even just on regular duty during the busy hours will probably find being a camp nurse to be a refreshing break.