The chaos begins

Yesterday I spent the morning working on crossword puzzles, the afternoon surfing the internet and lounging by the pool. I met one of the other staff members and he asked how things were going on my first day and I replied the worst way possible: it's been quiet. If you're a nurse, you know this will jinx you, and it did. 

In the course of less than an hour, which was the same hour I get "busy" with night meds, a girl came in bawling after being hit in the head by a log during a "shelter building" activity. While that was happening, the man in charge of my autistic group - who has been amazing, and helping me distribute meds if I pack them up for him, including one at 5:45 a.m. (no thank you!) - came to tell me that one of the kids puked immediately after he gave him the pills. That included clonidine and risperdal that came back up, and as I was telling him to go call the kid's mom, another kid came in saying that he is allergic to sagebrush, and had just fallen in a bunch of sagebrush. He claimed his throat was swelling up, but after a stressful assessment, I gave him some Benadryl after flipping through a totally unorganized binder of authorizations for medical treatments to make sure that was okay. Nearly 10 p.m. now, I wanted to call his parents, and everyone wants a phone call from the camp nurse at 10 pm, right? Luckily, not only did they not answer, they didn't use my offer to call my cell phone at any time during the night, and I never heard from him. 

This morning, just as I started breakfast, I saw a kid run for the trash can. The poor kid puked and puked, and as I was standing with him, he cried, "Can't you puke for me? I can't puke anymore, it's hurting my stomach." Aww!! He felt better afterward enough to join the normal activity, and as I was organizing the meds, one of his cabin-mates came to the health center. He too had apparently spent breakfast puking. After a rest he felt better, and shortly after, as I was getting ready to take a break, Puker 1 returned saying he felt like he was going to be sick again. Turned out he was homesick too, so I spent sometime with the bubbling kiddo, and after we found his misplaced backpack seemed to be doing just fine. 

In the afternoon, I came back from some pool time to find that the camp sharing the facilities here had a lice case - my favorite! I helped out with lice checks then, and tried to calm the hysteria that followed the discovery until dinner. Finally, it was dinner time, and as I ate my dessert sharing a seat far too small for the two of us with one of the kids, I decided the chaos was worth it. After dinner, though, came the real treat: one of the staff members had a bicycle shipped to him and as I helped put it together with him and my boss, I got the best bike maintenance lesson I ever have in my life. 


  1. Sounds like you are having a blast. I worked at a special needs camp for a year and a half as a programs staff. It's stressful but totally worth it. I hope you have a fantastic time at camp. You are a very important part of camp!

  2. I was a camp nurse at a special needs camp for the first time this year and LOVED it!! Each camper had a "buddy" to help with ADL's and remember when meds were due. I plan to do it again next year! Here's where I wrote about it--
    http://nebraskafamilytimes.blogspot.com/2012/07/his-kids-camp-part-1.html. I'll be reading more to see how long you'll be there--enjoy!