In the part of our survey that allows further comments and questions some parents asked about medical issues and our medical policies and procedures. Parents wanted to know more about our medical forms (why they didn’t seem to be a “standard school form”), as well as what happens if their daughter needs a prescription drug while at camp.
And some parents were curious about how we care for their daughters when surprise medical issues come up while at camp.
Regarding the health form, we don’t use the standard school form, but we DO use the standard American Camp Association (ACA) health form that is recommended to us by the ACA and is a requirement of being an ACA accredited camp. As we want to stay ACA-accredited, we’ll continue to use that form (available here).
The best comparison I can make concerning on-site medical care is that coming to camp for three or six weeks is akin in some ways to attending boarding school. During the time the student is at school — or the camper at camp — some of the more routine medical matters are simply handled in-house. This is done for a few reasons. First, having 230 girls in our care is a fair number of campers and we must necessarily handle routine matters using our professionalism and discretion. That’s what parents are entrusting us to do! 🙂
Secondly, as to routine care, our medical staff of on-site doctors and nurses are trained for the general practice needs of the campers and, based on the information on each camper’s individual medical form, can and do make decisions as needed. If a medical condition is more serious, staff takes the extra step to inform parents.
On the authorization form that parents sign for their camper prior to camp we get consent to “take care of your daughter in your absence.” From scraped knees to light sprains to tummy aches to the occasional infection, we take care of the camper, including issuing medicines. In the past we have not notified parents if routine prescriptions were given (such as a topical for a rash or an antibiotic for a bacterial infection). But going forward, we will be notifying parents if a camper needs a new prescription.
When you’ll get a call or e-mail
Concerning other communications with parents, our staff is trained on when to call parents, and as our parental authorization form notes, those four times when we do notify parents about care are if:
- Their daughter is taken to the hospital or an outside specialist (such as a dentist).
- Their daughter requires sutures.
- Their daughter spends more than 24 hours in the Infirmary.
- The Infirmary staff has other medical issues to discuss.
We also send the following notice to you in your camp forms:
In case your daughter needs medical or dental attention at a facility outside the camp setting, we will make such appointments and a staff member will transport and chaperone her to the appointment.
There are some routine instances in which medical staff stays in closer contact with parents like when campers have chronic illnesses such as diabetes or cystic fibrosis. This will remain the same.
Also, last summer we instituted an Infirmary e-mail address which is given to parents with camper forms. We ask that parents use discretion in communicating through this channel in order to allow our medical staff to direct the majority of their attention to the campers and the smooth functioning of the Infirmary. But that e-mail address can and should be used if a parent wants to do limited follow up with the medical staff while eliminating the need for a middle-man in the office. This e-mail has proven to be a helpful tool when needed.
I hope this helps make more clear just what we do to care for and communicate about your daughter while at camp. But as always, if you have any questions, feel free to e-mail me.
–Elizabeth Dawson Shreckhise, Assistant Director, Camp Alleghany for Girls