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Jumping Through Time Zones: How to Stay on Top of Time Changes

Traveling is an exciting part of your job as a travel nurse; you get to see new parts of the country, experience new things, and make new connections! But there is a side-effect of constant travel– long-distance flights and changing time zones can impact your internal body clock, induce jet lag, or create confusion around time commitments. And after a long day of jumping through time zones, it can take up to one day for our body clocks to adjust for every hour the time shifts.

But while managing constant time changes can be a hassle, there are some easy ways busy healthcare professionals like you can stay on top of it. Here are a few ways you can master frequent travel and stay on top of constant time changes: 

  • Embrace technology! Allow your smartwatch or smartphone to synchronize to your destination’s local time by turning on your location. If that doesn’t work, you may need to adjust your settings. Whether you prefer Apple or Android products, you should be able to turn on the automatic date and time features in your settings app.
  • Get specific. Double-check the start time (and time zone) when planning future meetings, Zoom calls, or even new assignment orientations. One helpful trick when communicating with others is to incorporate the time zone in your everyday language. Start adding Pacific Time (PT), Mountain Time (MT), Central Time (CT), or Eastern Time (ET) anytime you mention the time. It never hurts to clarify the smallest detail because that could make all the difference. 
  • Find something to reference quickly. Almost every smartphone has a world clock feature alongside the timer or alarm clock. Try placing that app on your phone’s home page, or download a time zone app to reference when needed. You could even print out this helpful map to keep in your luggage or save a screenshot in your phone gallery to access in places with no Wi-Fi or internet. Whatever you can do to keep a handy reference close and accessible when on the go.
  • Plan in advance. Give yourself plenty of time and grace when planning activities across time zones, and don’t underestimate the effects of consistent jet lag! Left unaddressed, it can take a serious toll on your body and mental state and impact your relationships, job performance, and emotional state. 

As a frequent traveler, confusion or miscommunication around time zones is bound to happen, and that’s okay! Try to incorporate these tips into your everyday routine to help you stay on top of your busy travel nurse schedule. If you need some additional help, you can always reach out to your recruiter– they are here to help you every step of the way! 

Curious what assignments are available? Explore your next travel or full-time opportunity with Aureus Medical Group. 

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