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Looking Outside: Summer Camp for Children Who Have Undergone a Solid-Organ Transplant

Bilhartz, Jacob L. MD; Drayton, Amy K. PhD; Shieck, Victoria L. RN, BSN, CCTN

doi: 10.1097/CNQ.0000000000000123
Original Articles

A high-quality critical care team is an essential component of any successful organ transplant program. From pretransplant care to the crucial postoperative period, its importance cannot be discounted. However, because of the focused nature of work in an intensive care unit (ICU), all too often members of the ICU team are not able to see and appreciate the ultimate fruits of their labor. These are factors that can contribute to the high rates of burnout and turnover among ICU teams. This article presents the concept of a summer camp for children who have received a solid-organ transplant. We discuss a vehicle by which ICU staff as well as other members of a patient's care team can gain a better appreciation of the full nature of both medical and, perhaps more importantly in this situation, nonmedical goals and outcomes in pediatric transplantation. We review our institutional experience running a summer camp for these children, discuss some of the important points in making such a camp successful, and discuss potential benefits to the campers as well as those taking care of them.

Divisions of Pediatric Gastroenterology (Dr Bilhartz) and Pediatric Psychology (Dr Drayton), Department of Pediatrics, and Transplant Center (Ms Shieck), University of Michigan Health System, Ann Arbor.

Correspondence: Jacob L. Bilhartz, MD, Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology, University of Michigan Health System, 1500 E Medical Center Dr, D5200 MPB, SPC 5718, Ann Arbor, MI 48109 (

The authors have no conflicts of interest or funding to disclose.

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