By: Danielle Goldberg, camp nurse
Last year after I graduated from Queen’s University, I spent a good part of the summer travelling and then spent a week at Camp George as one of the camp nurses. This was technically my first job as a Registered Nurse. While most of my friends immediately began pursuing jobs in hospital settings, I wanted one more summer before I entered the “real world”. After 4 months of searching for jobs I began working as a Trauma and Burns Rehab nurse at a Toronto hospital. I have been working on this unit for about 4 months, learning about rehab and adjusting to being a new graduate nurse.
Camp has always had a way of becoming a part of every aspect of my life. When I took the job at the hospital I was lucky enough to work with a former Camp George nurse on my unit. She was a huge mentor to me, meeting with me for coffee to talk about the new job, and helping me on the unit as I started as a new nurse. She has had an amazing career as a hospital nurse, but she too spent parts of many summers as a camp nurse.
Of course there are parts of nursing that are the same wherever you go. Even though my role as a hospital nurse is very different, I’ve found that many of the skills that I learned at camp come in handy everyday. The same skills are necessary in any area of nursing, such as patience, open-mindedness and empathy. Even though the conditions and patients are different many of the core aspects of nursing stay the same.
At camp, thankfully the majority of the people we see in the infirmary are healthy children who are in the middle of what’s likely one of the best and most memorable times in their lives. While I love the hospital setting and I am learning so much, I think I will always want to escape to camp for a week each year. There is something really special about being by the lake and getting to be a small part of the camper’s summers, at the place that was such a huge part of my childhood.
This summer at camp will be different for me. It is the first year that none of my sisters or cousins will be there with me. While most of the people I grew up with at camp are no longer there, I am so excited for the chance to take a break from “real life” in the summer and be a nurse in my favourite place in the world.
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