Travel Nurse Brings Fun to Summer Camp
All summer long, Medical Solutions has been following our Travel Nurses at Roundup River Ranch, a special summer camp for kids with serious illnesses. We’ve featured Kelli’s journey and Lisa’s story, and today we’ll take a final look at the Colorado-based camp with the adventures of Travel Nurse Adrienne C., BSN, RN.
Thanks for chatting with Medical Solutions, Adrienne. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I’ve been an ER nurse for the last 6 ½ years and started Travel Nursing a little over a year ago.
How did you hear about Roundup River Ranch, and what first inspired you to work there?
Last year, I worked for the last half of the summer at Roundup River Ranch. I couldn’t come up for the full summer because I was still on contract. When I first started traveling, I had Colorado on my bucket list. So, after I read the Medical Solutions email introducing the camp, I thought about what an awesome opportunity it would be to have that experience.
The challenge of trying something new with a population I was not 100% familiar with intrigued me and inspired me to get out of my comfort zone. I looked forward to getting a break from the usual hospital scene, the chance to take care of people who, although they may have extensive medical problems, aren’t acutely ill and supporting their health, and enjoying a Colorado summer outdoors.
How has your camp experience at Roundup River Ranch changed your personal and professional outlook?
Camp has given me a renewed sense of compassion. Caring for these kids while they have the time of their life and simply being a part of the magic has done wonders for my general outlook on those with major or chronic illnesses. So often, I had thought of all the negative aspects, what they could not or ought not be able to do. Then, I witnessed what happens when they feel empowered — it’s amazing what they’re able to accomplish.
I’ve learned to honor their independence and to work with them on their terms to accomplish their goals. (Even if it sometimes takes the patience of a saint.) It’s worth it to see them succeed. It is these successes that enables them to come home with more confidence and a sense of normalcy. These children have definitely made me a better nurse — I am now a wiser, more patient, and more empathetic person. I needed to remember that it’s OK to be silly and have fun while providing care.
What types of memories from this camp will you take back to your life as an RN?
My most vivid memories include meaningful conversations with the campers — I enjoyed watching them light up as they made new friends, tried something new, or overcame a fear or obstacle. I’ll remember the early mornings, the late nights, and the satisfying exhaustion that comes with knowing you did everything to ensure your campers had the best experience.
For me, some of the most rewarding moments happened when my campers revealed they loved their time here so much that they hoped to come back as counselors, nurses, and doctors to emulate those they have met. The staff I’ve worked with here have been phenomenal and inspirational in their efforts to provide life-changing moments for these campers.
What would you tell other nurses about this camp and would you recommend going back?
I believe every nurse should have the opportunity to come here. Assuming they have a passion for nursing, caring for children, and be willing to put in some long work days! I tell other nurses about the pure joy you get to see, the extraordinary level of dedication from staff and volunteers, and the opportunity to influence lives for the better. A dream of mine would be to continue coming back year after year.
What will you miss the most when camp is over?
In short, the atmosphere. Here is a place where everyone wants to do their absolute best and that creates an environment where one could believe in moving mountains. It is so uplifting and refreshing here. It makes it difficult to reenter the outside world of healthcare.
If you think you’d like to join Adrienne next summer at Roundup River Ranch as a Travel Nurse, contact your Medical Solutions Career Consultant today. You can also visit RoundupRiverRanch.org to learn more about this incredible summer camp experience.