Since 2005, clinical assistant nursing professor Lisa Cranwell-Bruce has given up her summers to work with the Greater Atlanta Girl Scouts as a camp nurse. Nurse Lisa, as she is known at Camp Timber Ridge, dispenses health care to all campers and medications to campers with chronic conditions. While she is often supported by Georgia State faculty and students, this summer Nurse Lisa is offering clinical course hours to some nursing students. Undergraduate nursing student Erica Moon and Toria Nelson works at the camp as a health assistant and graduate nursing students Sarah Qualls and Marjorie Burdette have logged pediatric clinical hours at the camp.
Moon, whose camp name is MoonPie, assesses and cares for campers who become injured or ill during their time in camp. She also distributes medication and provides health education to the campers. Qualls and Burdette are both registered nurses enrolled in the Family Nurse Practitioner program at Georgia State so they are able to provide more advanced care for the campers. They screen all incoming campers and take health histories and provide physicals for campers and staff.
All of the nursing students working as health providers are supervised by Cranwell-Bruce, who is the current director of education for the Association of Camp Nurses. She also serves as an accreditation visitor for the American Camp Association.
Cranwell-Bruce shares her knowledge and experience with other camp nurses through the Association of Camp Nurses. She has presented both updated practice guidelines for camp health and tips on dealing with food aversion and the picky eater at previous American Camp Association and is presenting this fall at the ACA SE regional meeting on interprofessional practice for camp health care.
Another undergraduate, Maya Kelkar, is a new nursing student looking forward to changing her role from camp counselor to health assistant next year. Cranwell-Bruce has made summer camp a family affair as her daughter, Olivia Bruce, aka Chef Dragon, worked on camp kitchen staff this summer. Bruce is a lifelong Girl Scout who has worked or volunteered at camp since 2007. Her sister, Ilaria, has also been part of the camp and worked for Camp Misty Mountain, as well.
Camp closes the week of July 28 as the campers prepare to go back to school.