Nursing Students Build Skills at YMCA Camp Chase Clinical

During July 2018, Robin Young-Cournoyer, Pediatric Clinical Coordinator for Goodwin College, conducted a teaching clinical at Camp Chase YMCA, set on 78 beautiful acres on the Burlington/Farmington, Connecticut, town line. Participating in the clinical were current Goodwin Nursing students Kim Walker, Lauren Sembersky, Hayley Gronbach, Jessica McIntyre and Nesha Patterson.

The clinical was created through a collaboration of Young-Cournoyer, Goodwin Nursing department Chair Janice Watts, and camp director Jeff Spadaccini, with special support from Gabby Marandino of the Camp Chase health office, whose participation enhanced the Nursing students’ knowledge.

Young-Cournoyer reports that the entire experience far exceeded her expectations.

“This clinical setting enabled our Nursing students to implement the Quality and Safety Education for Nurses (QSEN) core competencies of patient-centered care, safety, teamwork and collaboration, quality improvement, and evidenced-based care,” she says. “The students enhanced their assessment skills, administered medications, and performed a review of the campers’ health conditions.”

For their final summary, the Nursing school students created a “Think Big” PowerPoint presentation that included an overall view of the camp, along with reflections and ideas for future implementations.

“One of the many highpoints of the week was to observe the collaboration between the camp staff and our students,” adds Young-Cournoyer. “It was as if they had worked together for years and were all working on ways to provide a better, safer, and healthier experience.”

Below are thoughts from the Goodwin students:

“The most valuable thing I learned is how much behind-the-scenes work, including a mountain of paperwork, a camp nurse does.” — Kim Walker

“Running a camp is incredibly difficult. Medically, there are many things a camp has to worry about to keep the campers safe and to ensure that they have an enjoyable time. State regulations can be challenging and involve effective communication with parents, physicians, and campers.” — Hayley Gronbach

“It’s been a few years since I was a counselor myself. I gained a new appreciation for running a camp. The office staff and unit leaders really have to keep up a lot of energy and momentum to maintain the schedule and the day-to-day magic.” — Lauren Sembersky

“A valuable thing I learned is not to make assumptions about someone’s ability to learn. Dealing with many different types of kids over the week taught me that judgment can impact access to vital information and affect teaching.” — Nesha Patterson

“I really appreciated the opportunity to interact with children in a fun environment and to learn about pediatric care in a setting other than a hospital. I don’t think I would have gained the comfort level that I have now interacting with kids if it weren’t for this camp experience.” — Jessica McIntyre

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