Phoenix, Arizona is an incredible travel nursing location, but there's no denying that the place gets HOT, especially during the summer months. If you're on assignment, what do you do once you leave the air-conditioned hospital and step into the brutal desert air?
First things first: make sure to take a water bottle with you wherever you go and stay hydrated. You know how important hydration can be, and it's extra vital when you're routinely dealing with temperatures of over 90 or 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Invest in a nice insulated bottle, like a Klean Kanteen, and don't skimp on ice if it'll keep you cool.
Once you're good and hydrated, double check that you have plenty of sunblock on hand. Not the wimpy SPF 15 stuff, either... go for SPF 50 or higher. Yes, even if you're tan or dark-skinned. Desert sun can be incredibly harsh, and if you're in an area where there's sand or other light reflective surfaces, it packs an extra punch. Apply and reapply sunblock often. You may also want to invest in long-sleeved, lightweight sun protective clothing in light colors. There are plenty of options that are breathable and won't leave you feeling overheated.
If you have a rental car or friend's car to use, don't forget the sunshades in the windshield, and crack a window. On the hottest days, car interiors can get upward of 200 degrees. You read that correctly, and that's hot enough to burn. Protect your vehicle from those rays as much as you can.
Do you have allergies? Stock up on any medications you need, because the dust and pollen in Phoenix can make you feel itchy and sneezy all the time. While the nights can still be very warm, they're noticeably cooler than the daytime, so if your room is sweltering, open a window and get a fan going.
It's not all harsh weather and brushing off dust, though! Phoenix is a remarkable city with great food, culture and scenery. Once you've done what you need to do to keep yourself healthy, don't hesitate to look up local community swimming pools so you can take a dip. It's well worth it after a long, hot day. You might want to treat yourself to a little extra air conditioning, too.