Jeff & Katie Davis (jkaadavis@JUNO.COM)
Sat, 21 Jun 1997 12:09:07 EDT
This is my 9th summer to be camp nurse at Camp Mitigwa is mid Iowa. From
the very beginning the policy on medications has een as follows:
1. All those with inhalers that they use only as necessary are
instructed to keep them in their pockets at all times during camp.
Reason: If they are at one of the ranges or at the lake and
the inahler is at the Health lodge it's not going to do them an awful lot
of good to have to walk a half mile to get theiri medication. Our camp
is on 460 acres and it is a mile from the nature lodge to the Health
Lodge and the lakefront is about halfway.
2. Diabetics are given the option of leaving their medication in the
Health Lodge refrig. or keeping it in a cooler in their campsite. Most
diabetics prefer to keep their medication with them - they do on week-end
campouts. We also will make sure they have ice and I tell them to bring
me their syringes and I will put them in my sharps container although
most diabetics are properly trained in syringe disposal.
3. Prescription medications - how could a camp nurse who he/she was
dispensing medications to without some sort of identification system? I
don't know all of these kids and anyone could tell me they were someone
else and I would have no way of knowing. So, each troop designates one
adult as the "keeper of the pills" and any boy who brings ANY medication
to camp is intructed to get it to that leader. That leader sits next to
me during check-in and makes a list of which scouts have medication for
him to collect. Then, the boys are told that it is their resposibility
to go to that leader to get their medication at the proper times. The
leader also knows but the point it to have them show a little
responsibility for themselves. Most troops also handle it this way on
week-end campouts. For the kids on Ritalin and other year round meds.
the parents and the leaders have already dealt with this on a campout
basis. I even have some leaders who have been trained to give their
scouts the injections they need on a daily basis.
We usually have over 250 scouts in camp plus leaders so for the
nurse to travel around dispensing medication could take up the entirel
As far as the physical questions are concerned - it is very
clearly written on all of the different forms. Health History is
necessary for any outing less than 72 hours. So if a leader is coming to
camp to spend just one or two nights, the Health History will suffice.
Just be sure EVERYONE has one on file at the Health Lodge. The leader
who comes up for one night and say he doesn't need to do that is the one
you are going to see and will have no info on. Next, the physical exam
for those under the age of 40 is good for 36 months, as long as the
health history and insurance and emergency contact info is updated
As long as we are on the health form topic please allow me one
more soapbox-please be sure the area that reads ; In the event of
emergency I give permission.......has been signed by the adult or parent.
Without that signature, if someone needs medical treatment, and we
cannot reach their parents, we run into a legal liability. Even though
the treatment rendered was reasonable and proper, those parents can still
say what we did was wrong and could cause you and the medical personnell
a lot of grief. Or in the case of needing x-ays or suturing, (nothing
life threatening) care could be delayed while trying to reach the
parents. Also amke sure the insurance info is correct. WIth all of the
HMO and preferred providers plans, you could leave someone with a huge
bill if you go to the wrong hospital. We are one hour away from Des
Moines so we usually end up going there instead of the local hospital 15
minutes away because of insurance. Also you might need to make a call
tog et service out of area approved. Sorry this post got so long but
there are lots of questions when it comes to working a health lodge.
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City