Study Reveals Improved Sense of Purpose in Medical Volunteers
NORWALK, CT (November 9, 2023)
SeriousFun Children’s Network (SeriousFun), the leading network of medical specialty camps in the world, has released a new report offering unique insight into the potential of medical specialty camps to positively affect the well-being of medical professionals caring for children.
Conducted by researchers from the University of Colorado School of Medicine and Children’s Hospital Colorado, key highlights from this study include:
- Secondary traumatic stress scores were statistically significantly lower amongst respondents after volunteering at a SeriousFun camp.
- Volunteers reported positive camp experiences with 99% feeling included and a sense of purpose. Personal (92%) and professional connections (88%) were forged and persistent at least three months after camp (~60%).
- Volunteering greatly influenced a provider’s personal and professional perspective as respondents reported finding respite, value, meaning, and rediscovering joy in medicine. Importantly, medical volunteers experienced their pediatric patients in a new light which increased appreciation of their positive impact on patients’ lives.
- When reflecting on their daily work while at camp, respondents reported that camp provided an ideal place for rejuvenation, teamwork, and giving meaning to practicing medicine without frustration.
“SeriousFun recognizes the importance of offering medical providers opportunities to build stress resilience and coping skills that translate to their day-to-day work,” said Dr. Laura Blaisdell, Medical Advisor, SeriousFun Children’s Network. “This study demonstrates improved lived experience of medical staff and volunteers who work with children and families, both at camp and in their communities, and helps to actualize our mission of serving kids with serious illnesses globally.”
SeriousFun Children’s Network is continuously working to grow its reach and impact by creating positive, inclusive, and empowering experiences for campers, families, caregivers, volunteers, medical professionals, and communities. Annually, SeriousFun camps and programs serve the needs of children living with more than 130 different medical conditions. Since the first SeriousFun camp opened in 1988, the network of camps and programs has delivered more than 1.7 million life-changing experiences to children and family members, totally free of charge.
SeriousFun Children’s Network welcomes medical staff professionals who are looking to expand their personal and professional perspective to apply for upcoming staff and volunteer opportunities for the 2024 camp season. To learn more about the impactful volunteer opportunities please visit https://seriousfun.org/get-involved.