Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
matuawarrior

Summer Camp Medical Issue . . .

Recommended Posts

Just out of curiousity, how do you handle notify the aquatics staff about medical conditions?

 

The Safe Swim Defense makes it clear that the person supervising an aquatics activity MUST be aware of any medical conditions that could impact the swimmers. It seems that some sort of list of conditions would need to be provided at least to the Aquatics Director, perhaps some of the other staff as well.

 

So, how is this done at other camps?

 

Are there other staffers that should be made aware of certain medical conditions?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

At my council camp, the medical recheck is done at the pool, immediately before the BSA swim test. If there's a showstopper, med staff and aquatics director go into a huddle with the SM concerned (youth) or the Scouter directly concerned (grownups).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My concern is that the personal information on the health forms is not protected. I take no drugs, have no health problems, and I am an adult. I make the decisions about participating in activities. I am intelligent enough to bypass a marathon run. My work can require that I take medical exams to determine if I was exposed to toxic chemicals. There is a reason for that exam. There is little reason for a "complete medical history" to attend a summer camp.

 

Whether the HIPPA laws apply or not really is not part of the question. If any medical information is released, it is a violation of privacy. If the information was about a camp director, I believe there would be a change in the way health forms are handled.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When you say your medical information is released, that confuses me. It's not released to anyone other than those you come, more less, into direct contact with. The Med forms aren't used only to see "red flags" but also are a means to contact people if there is some sort of outbreak that has occurred.

 

I'm not sure if you're aware, there are 3 Levels of Med Forms, L1 is just for basic events, it's actually filled out when you sign-up. L2 is your bi-yearly, that's right if you read the fine print you only need one every-other year, for summer camp. The L3, which most have probably not seen are for those attending High-Adventure and Back-Country events.

 

Don't be worried about your information leaking, when you're at camp, your forms are held-locked up, the only leak would be in Waterfront, or whereever med checks are, or may be performed and handing it to your scoutmaster. Other then at some camps the WF Director seeing them, no other staff is privied. Your information is not being released. The forms are confidential and if your camp is doing something other then that, perhaps a talk with the Camp and Program Directors is in order.

 

As for your med information being released, maybe more staff should see it. Because aside from your everyday cases of asthma or allergies, I had an incident last year that WOULD have been prevented had I seen the Med Sheet. Everything is alright now, but when EMS has to be called because confidentiality is upheld, perhaps it's time to become a little less secretive.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can't help feeling that the information on my medical form is mine.

Mine to share or mine not to share.

Sure I'm OK with the medical check in. However if this information is going to be shared with other people I do think that I should be asked before it is shared and my wishes should be followed.

Eamonn.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok... I work at a summercamp in WI and we had a very severe incident last year. Had the staff know how serious the matter was, paramedics could have been called sooner. We almost lost someone because of the freaking confidentiality. It's not like we are going out and publishing your info for everyone to see.Medical forms are not supposed confidential. A full medical background check isn't necessary. You fill out the important info like medicines, allergies and such so that WE as a staff know how to take care of you if you hurt yourself. I think that every staff memeber should know the people who have serious conditions. It's safer for the parent/child attending and the staff itself.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok, I hate to say this, I really do, because it pains me to go against camp and because we're ALWAYS short-handed. But, for the sake of arguement I will say it. Every week we have some sort of parent intervention in something or another, ALWAYS, from food to balloons, parents always manage to change program. What most don't realize is that the programs that camp and the camp staff provide have been tested, used, and Okayed by national. Believe me when I say national knows what they're doing, they've been doing it for 75 years for Cub Scouting!

 

The answer I'm about to give is quite simple. Like I said, I hate to say it because scouting is in ever low numbers, but, if you don't like camp - DON'T GO! If you're so concerned with information being leaked, released, shared, whatever, DON'T GO. Honestly, camp will run fine without you. And from the staff point of view, we ask, if you're going to put some kind of fork in the road, per se, don't go. It makes our lives hell, as well as the other campers, not only in your group, but in other groups.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Regarding all this about BSA health forms.

 

I think the real issue is how the forms are managed, not that we have to submit them. At least that is my main concern.

 

I for one, want someone on an outing to have access to my medical information, just in case. The question is how to manage that.

 

Some just say blindly hand it over and don't worry about it. I say that that is unwise.

 

I have asked repeatedly for the BSA policy on management of BSA health forms. I have yet to get an official (or even the same) answer from anyone. It appears that each activity leader has a lot of discretion on how to manage the forms. The BSA has a policy on almost everthing and it seems to me that with all the emphasis on BSA health forms that there would be an official policy on the management of those forms.

 

In my opinion, every person who submits a BSA health form for any purpose has the need, and the right to know who the custodian of those forms will be, who will have access to them, how and where and for how long they will be kept, and what the disposition of the forms will be. That is not unreasonable - in fact it is wise.

 

I have asked numerous people at various levels and got a different answer each time. In one case I was told that the medical records are maintained in a particular person's home! Now that I have a problem with if it is true. Based on what I know right now, there appears to be no official BSA policy on the management of BSA health forms.

 

So I will ask again. Is there an official BSA written policy on the management of BSA health forms? If so, what is is and where can we get a copy of it? Those are very straight forward questions. (The G2SS discusses BSA medical forms, but does not cover the management of those forms in any definitive way)

 

If there is not a policy, there certainly should be.

 

Another problem is the discussion of information on the forms. I have actually witnessed medical officers at camp, inquiring about the conditions from people, in front of others. That should never happen - with the exception of an emergency. During initial arrival screening at camp for example, those inquiries should be out of hearing of others.

 

I think all of us want to be safe, and to have a safe environment for Scouts, and part of that must include knowledge of their medical information. But it must be handled properly.

 

It does not have to be a big deal. If there is a policy, what is it? If not, we should try to get one in place and see that it is complied with.

 

Thanks.

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The information on a medical form is there for the protection of both the camp and the camper. The campers Doctor has signed the form saying that the camper is fit to be at camp or may have some special needs or restrictions.

If the camp is being run to BSA Standards, the person in charge of checking these forms is in some way qualified to do so. Sharing this information with people who are not qualified, without the permission of the camper is just wrong.

The camper does assume the responsibility of following the limitations that are placed upon him by his Doctor.

Parents being concerned about the welfare of their child is not only natural but something the camp staff should understand and be thankful for. While the camp may well have followed methods and ways that are trusted and true, the parent may not understand this and there is no such thing as having every base covered when you are dealing with children.

The camp is there for the camper. The camper is the customer and the goal of the camp staff has to be to meet or exceed the needs and expectations of the customer. Without these campers and their parents there would be no camp.

Eamonn

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Summer camps should definitely have good policies for dealing with these forms.

 

But what about packs and troops? How are the volunteer leaders in these groups supposed to know what they can and can't do with the forms? They pretty much have to be kept at someone's house (unless the CO has a place to keep them). Who should have access? I agree that it would be nice if National had some policies on this, but barring that, it's up to each group to use their own judgement. And maybe that's ok...privacy can be elusive as well as life-threatening, if you go with the previous posts.

 

Oak Tree

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Eamonn,

I agree with about 95% of what you've said. Camp is for the campers, without them, there is no camp, you are correct. You said that, "The camper does assume the responsibility of following the limitations that are placed upon him by his Doctor." I hate to say it, but can an 8 year old camper remember to say no to something because a doctor said no? I've been there before as both staff and as a camper at 8 years old. Owl, you're right it is the handling. I too, have not seen a published policy. I'd assume that for camp, there should be some sort of Directors' meeting with the health officer. The Dr./medic reviews the files for any red flags and informs the staff of them. For the most part, parents and leaders are really SUPER about letting the camp/program director know and they pass the information down and do so in a professional manner, typically at the morning staff briefing. I am going to email my bosses, or "Tradingpostlady" if you could talk to them, the would rock. But I now am interested in a true policy.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just don't see the big problem. I'd hand over my entire medical history to Council if they asked. Knowing their apocalyptic incompetence in keeping troop records, they'd stupidly lose or delete all of my records in a few months anyway, and then I'd have to give it all to them again. The cycle of professional BSA life goes on.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In the case of a Cub Scout or Boy Scout the wishes of the parent should be followed.

I happen to think that a young Cub Scout is more lightly to obey the wishes of his parents than say a 16 or 17 year old who thinks that he knows everything.

I am bot up to speed on the National Standards for Resident Cub Scout Camps. I do know that our Council used to require one adult leader for every four Cub Scouts and this went to one for every five.

Medical Forms will do little to prevent things from happening, they do expedite treatment and give a ER Doctor an idea of what he or she is facing if a child or an adult is brought in.

Eamonn.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You all make this whole entire topic way too hard. At our summercamp, at the very end, we shred everybody's medical forms because we require everyone to submit a new one the following summer. That goes for parents, kids and the staff members. It's not like we are publishing a newsletter that says "hey Jon Doe had Ghonorreah 4 years ago". I agree with Ducky that if you are THAT concerned about the medical forms, then you shouldn't be there. As far as I can recall the med forms ask about few "diseases" and medications and allergies. These "diseases" are like asthma, eyeglasses, hearing aids and what not. Not did you every have an STD. We aren't asking you to bring your entire medical records with you, the form only asks for the important information that could arise during a campout. Again if you are so concerned about your history then don't attend summercamp. Believe me the staff would prefer one less complaining adult.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Last summer was my 4th year to direct our day camp. THe biggest fight I had with the person who did our inspection was over medical forms. I did not include them in the folder with the registration forms that went to the unit leaders. She told me that I had to do that. I ask her if she was willing to open the council and the camp up to legal action for violating medical privacy.

That under federal lay we had to keep any medical informtion private. I had gone over the medical conditions with each unit leader. I also had color coded tabs for different medical condition. She stuck to her guns that I had to have those forms in the folders at the unit. As it worked out my program directory husband was helping that day. He is an attorney. I ask him what he thought. He told her that the information was private and should be available to the director and the medical officer only. That no other campers or staff should see the medical form unless there was a medical problem that made that necessary. Shut her up in a hurry. I had other problems with her. She didn't like the size of my red flags that marked the BB and Archery range. They were 18"x18". She said she wanted them to be 24x24.

Thing is that in the standards there isn't a size given. Simply that they are to be visable.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×