A Day in the Life of a Camp Nurse

photo credit Iroquois Springs Camp
photo credit Iroquois Springs Camp

Let us help you imagine what a typical day as a camp nurse may be like.

You wake up to the sound of birds outside your window and fresh air on your face. You hear the distant giggle of children as they take an early morning swim in the gorgeous lake. In fact, you can see them right out your window – check out that gorgeous lake view with the mountains in the background.

cropped-camp_ihc_lake_shot3.jpg
photo credit IHC

Off to the dining hall for a bite to eat. That’s right; no cooking or kitchen clean up for you this summer! Camps now offer healthy and great tasting options in the dining hall, and many offer a buffet bar to suit the tastes of all campers and staff. After visiting with new camp friends and enjoying your morning coffee, you check in at the heath center for your daily shift.

The day begins with medication dispersal to any campers and staff who take daily medications or who are currently taking antibiotics. Gone are the days when nurses had to single-handedly manage all the campers’ medications bottle by bottle. Many camps now use highly organized outside companies to pre-package all the campers daily medications to keep the health center running smoothly and efficiently.

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photo credit Camp Towanda

Next duty comes sick call, where you help out the doctor on duty to assess any strep throats, rashes, stomach aches, etc. Many camps keep a doctor on staff and all camps accredited by the American Camp Association operate under standing orders compliant with their state. If you are at a camp without a doctor on duty, you or another nurse are assessing the campers’ illnesses.

staff looking for a job
photo credit Camp Towanda

The health center is a busy place! In between chatting with the campers who come in for assistance, you may find yourself answering the phone or charting. You may have to schedule a doctor’s visit (perhaps an x-ray or something else that cannot usually be handled on camp grounds), or even be the one to drive the camper to the doctor out of camp.

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Camp KenMont KenWood

As the day continues, you look at the daily schedule and see you have the afternoon off. What a great time to take advantage of the facilities at camp. You schedule a time to climb on the rock wall and you make it to the top. Congratulations! To cool off, you take out a kayak and enjoy the serenity of the water. You may even see your own children out on the water (yes, most camps allow nurses to bring their own children as campers for free or at steeply reduced rates – be sure to ask).

 

 

 

 

After dinner (again, in the dining hall. Still no cooking or washing dishes for you this summer! and still awesome and tasty options), you head back to the heath center ready for the second part of your daily shift. You come back re-energized and ready to work.  Campers stop by if they take bed-time meds. This is also the time to give injections like growth hormone shots and to follow up with campers on health issues they had during the day. Again you find yourself charting, assisting, and assessing. You are part of a team; some camps have two nurses and some have as many as nine or ten, depending on the population size of the camp.

Every camp will have its varying degree of nurse responsibilities and scheduling.  However, every camp is looking for a dynamic nurse who can multi-task and be a positive role models for its campers.  Think about your skill set. Are you a team player? Do you enjoy new adventures? Do you like working with kids? Are you looking to learn at your summer job? If yes, then a camp nurse job may be in your near future!

Your next step is to find that summer camp job! Join us for FREE at CampStaffNurses.com to find hundreds of summer camp jobs across the country.  With one free, simple application, you can apply to dozens of summer camps and summer camps can search for you!

Prefer to listen to what it’s like to be a camp nurse? Here’s a great interview podcast with a veteran camp nurse explaining the values of working at summer camp.

1 Response

  1. Sue Leatherman

    Camp nurse 1st summer out of nursing school. Loved it! Learned so much. Went on to be a pediatric bone marrow transplant nurse at a Children’s hospital. Met my husband of over 30 years at camp; where we still do many projects together. Camp was, and will always be where my fondest memories and friends are!

    Liked by 1 person

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