After the camp conference I was pretty much terrified about going to camp. I had images of diabetics going into diabetic ketoacidosis, drownings, open fractures and anaphalactic shock. I needed to get prepared. So I got my hands on some books. These were the days before the internet or google. So I had to get actual books people! I had a book on basic first aid, a reference book on communicable diseases (very helpful cuz a lot of things look like Ebola but they are actually not Ebola, who knew?) and a Merck’s manual (great reference). Over the years I added a pediatric primary care book which was helpful, as it had lots of photos of various rashes (cuz it is amazing how many kids come to you with “rashes of unknown origin”. What the heck were they rolling in?). I printed off articles on how to recognize and treat lice, how to do an emergency tracheostomy for someone choking, and how to treat tick bites. I had a handy dandy reference for CPR and artificial respirations. I also added a joke book of clean jokes (posting a “Nurse’s joke ‘o the day” on my white board is a nice way to establish a rapport with the kids, yes, but the counselors seemed most amused!).
I really had no idea what to expect, but I hoped I would be ready for anything!? Now that I gathered all my books, I looked at my pile. It amounted to a small medical library (are we a little insecure?? Oh ya!). I had to put them into a hockey bag! It weighed about 80 lbs. 🙂
I still had some room in the hockey bag, so, in an effort to be fully prepared, I, of course, had to add additional items that I might need in the nurse’s station. Now, the nurse’s station was fairly well appointed, but it is always better to have too much of something and just bring it home, then to not have it at all. These additional items included: finger splints, a magnifying glass for cross stitching (very helpful for removing slivers), a head lamp (ditto re: slivers, and for examining campers in their huts in the middle of the freaking night), steri strips (so helpful. Love these), antibiotic ointment (really can never have too much) , a bottle of lice shampoo (yup, needed that twice), fun band aids with cartoon characters (never, ever packed these again. I end up with a huge snaking line up of kids coming to the station for the lamest reasons, bogging down the line, all for a goofy cartoon band aid!), a gallon jug of Mr Clean with bleach (smells so clean, and is so necessary when you are dealing with a contagious stomach virus for example. I also later purchased a mop for the nurses station because nothing is worse than borrowing the kitchen mop and having the nurse’s station smell of sausages all day. I know this. Trust me.) and 3 different Bath & Body Works liquid hand soaps and hand sanitizers (my nurse’s station was the best smelling location at camp!).
Now my hockey bag weighed 95 lbs. And, I had not even begun to pack clothing for myself or the kids…