It’s a scorcher out there! When you’re in your home doing interview and emailing paperwork to your recruiter, most Americans have the luxury of doing all of this inside their air conditioned home. Just as you made sure that your air conditioning is working properly at home, so should you be prepared to go on the road this summer.

Never start out on the road to your new assignment in the summer without doing some maintenance on your vehicle. If you aren’t skilled in vehicle maintenance, be sure that you take it to the service shop to have the following things done!

  1. Make sure that your air-conditioning system. Also check the tension on the belt. If the belt is worn out then I can guarantee you that it will go out in the hottest part of your trip, especially if you are going through Arizona!
  2. Check the pressure on your tires. Remember that heat will make air expand, and this includes the air in your tires. It is a fact that more tires blow out during the summer. Usually the hot air coming from the passenger seat, you can’t do anything about; except, installing an ejector seat 🙂
  3. If you are traveling with pets. Always try to take your pet with you if you stop at rest areas. If they have to stay inside the vehicle for a very short period of time, remember to always leave the windows down. Leaving Tinker Bell in the car while eating lunch, could be a grave experience.
  4. If you are an ER nurse then you probably know what happens when radiator caps are opened up while hot… you need a lot of bandages and silvadene. Keep a close eye on your temperature gauges. If your vehicle gets hot, pull off to the side of the road, turn off the engine and wait. Do NOT check the radiator at this time! (I know this is common sense, but you’d be surprised).
  5. If you are pulling a trailer or in an RV. Remember not only to keep tabs on your engine temperature, but it is well worth the “insurance” to have a transmission temperature gauge installed. That transmission oil will start to break down at 210 degrees. Stopping at an exit in the middle of the hill is a lot better than having to be towed to your next destination.
  6. As traveling nurses, we are usually carrying around a few of our favorite candles and cosmetics. Remember that the sun coming through the windows is warm, even if you have you A/C going. I would recommend putting them in a small ice chest to make sure that those items get there in an upright position instead of glob in the bottom of the suitcase.
  7. If you are driving through the northern states, it isn’t a matter of if there will be construction, but how much construction there will be! The freezing temperatures prevent year-round maintenance, so most major road repairs done during the summer. Please remember to slow down in construction zones. According to the American Traffic Safety Services Foundation, almost 800 people are killed each year in work zones.
    Your summer assignment at the beach or in the mountains can be a really fun time. Just please take out some time to make sure that you get there safely.

Written by Epstein LaRue, RN, BS, author of the number one rated nursing, trends, issues, and roles book series, “Highway Hypodermics.” For more information on travel nursing including travel company profiles, travel company evaluations, and hospital evaluations, visit her website at


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