RN school and tattoos? - page 2

I have been a LPN for about 5 yrs . . . I toy with the idea of going back for my RN or getting out of nursing completely. I recently got a large tattoo that goes from my shoulder to my elbow. The... Read More

  1. by   firstyearstudent
    Quote from nick98
    i have read in the past statements regarding policies on tattoos not showing at work/school. in my opinion i feel this is a form of discrimination.
    i personally have many tattoos 4 of which are very visible, and have never had a problem with school/work or any patients for that matter. if my school had that policy it would be the first thing i discussed with the head of the student government, the dean, and if no results there the local press. again though i fully understand many people's view points againest tattoos, i also understand my rights to not be discriminated againest based on what i have on my skin.
    i think not accepting a student because of tattoos might be discrimination, but requiring they be covered during clinicals probably wouldn't. but then i'm no lawyer...
  2. by   CuriousMe
    Quote from nick98
    i have read in the past statements regarding policies on tattoos not showing at work/school. in my opinion i feel this is a form of discrimination.
    i personally have many tattoos 4 of which are very visible, and have never had a problem with school/work or any patients for that matter. if my school had that policy it would be the first thing i discussed with the head of the student government, the dean, and if no results there the local press. again though i fully understand many people's view points againest tattoos, i also understand my rights to not be discriminated againest based on what i have on my skin.
    it's not a discrimination thing, it's a professional thing.

    someone could be the best lawyer in the world, but if they show up at court with pink and green hair wearing ripped jeans and a t-shirt....i'm not hiring them. i wouldn't think twice about sitting and sharing a meal with someone dressed like that, but if i'm putting my life in someone's hands.....i want to know that they are taking this seriously...in short, i want them to look like a professional as well as act like a professional.

    peace,
    cathie
  3. by   OB_or_NICU_hopeful
    I think many people do care. I had surgery recently, and one of the people who wheeled me into the operating suite had tattoos all the way up his arm. I have to admit I internally 'startled' at the sight and felt my heart skip. It just doesn't inspire confidence or appear professional. If I feel this way as a 32 year old female, imagine how many little old ladies feel?
    I'm sorry, but what exactly were you frightened of??
  4. by   ortess1971
    Quote from multicollinarity
    I think many people do care. I had surgery recently, and one of the people who wheeled me into the operating suite had tattoos all the way up his arm. I have to admit I internally 'startled' at the sight and felt my heart skip. It just doesn't inspire confidence or appear professional. If I feel this way as a 32 year old female, imagine how many little old ladies feel?

    I don't see this as being about discrimination, but rather about professionalism. You have zero control over your race or ethicity. Your race or ethnicity does not have any bearing on your inherant ability or morals. You do have control over tattooing yourself or not. Tattoos are associated with a certain cultural element that many aren't comfortable with. Rightly or wrongly, this is the case. So if you need to cover the tattoo up - so be it.

    I know that this is absolutely what you DO NOT want to hear. I hesitate to post this because I know that people who have tattoos will feel hurt or angry reading this. I just think it's important to balance your views of your rights with the perceptions of many, many patients.

    I certainly hope you don't let the tattoo alter your school plans. That would be a shame. I'm sure you can find a solution - perhaps long sleeves.
    I have four tattoos and am not hurt or angry by what you said. You are entitled to your opinion. I personally feel that a patient should worry about more important things and if they are offended by my tattoos peeking out, too bad. Some people will be offended by anything: I actually had a patient in clinical complain that she could see the students pantylines through our white scrubs! And most of us wore the thicker weight scrub pants. IMHO, if a patient doesn't want me taking care of them because I have tattoos and piercings, then it's their loss.They don't really have a choice on my shift though-there's only 5 of us-they get who they get.
  5. by   Multicollinearity
    I would never verbally complain. I'm simply illuminating the thoughts that run through many patients' minds. I'm also not comfortable expanding upon why I felt the way I did much, except to say that when you are naked in a hospital gown, surrounded by strangers, and scared - you want to see professional looking people. Many people's definition of professional excludes things like neon blue hair, 10 earrings, breasts hanging out of your shirt, a piercing in your tongue, and visable tattoos, etc. I believe I stated enough in my post. I have no interest in flame wars or hurt/angry feelings. This is my last statement in this thread.

    It would be good for nurses with visable tattoos to place themselves in the Other's shoes and gain a perspective that some are really not comfortable with this. This isn't about discrimination, but about professionalism.
    Last edit by Multicollinearity on Sep 17, '06 : Reason: clarification: I don't mean anyone has flamed here. My 'radar' just tells me that this is the type of thread that could go bad quickly.
  6. by   OB_or_NICU_hopeful
    Looking professional is subjective. Being a professional should be more about how you perform your job, and less about how you look. If someone is that judgemental then nothing is likely to please them.

    I'm not sure why you're acting like I'm attacking you for asking for clarification. I just don't see why in this century you would be "startled" by a tattoo.

    Just so you know, I don't have any tattoos or piercings beyond my ears.
  7. by   Lacie
    Wow I'll have to ask my family doctor if his patients react to his full sleeve tats??? He is also a biker, so guess that makes him "unprofessional". He does wear a tie though and shaves his head lol. In fact guess I'm crazy that I take my children and also my mother to him for treatment. She's 75 and just loves him beyond belief. We are originally from Kentucky in the bible belt but live in Florida now. In fact I got my BSN at EKU. Being female and also with tats yep I got some looks but be surprised how many patients seemed more intrigued by the stories behind my tats and the cultural background for getting them. I do keep them covered most of the time but on occasion they do get a peek at them. Dont let tats keep you from pursuing a great career, I now live in an area of Florida that is abundant for tattoos as we are in an area very well known for it's biker events etc. I have seen 60 year old grandmothers getting them at Biketoberfest and Bikeweek every year. Guess just depends on where you are and how closed minded some people can be.
  8. by   CuriousMe
    Quote from OB_or_NICU_hopeful
    Looking professional is subjective. Being a professional should be more about how you perform your job, and less about how you look. If someone is that judgemental then nothing is likely to please them.

    <snip>.
    Exactly....looking professional is subjective. As with most subjective things there's a more mainstream and then there are folks father from center. Folks don't know enough about what you do to be able to tell if you do it well, they use other clues to tell this....one of those is are you professionally attired? While tats (or neon hair, or multiple piercings, etc) are more accepted today than in years past.....I don't think they're quite as mainstream with most demographics as you seem to think they are. The idea that everyone who might have a problem with tats is judgmental is judgmental in itself....because they don't have the same cultural association with tattoos as you do, isn't judgmental.

    If a caregiver is there to give medical/nursing care to someone who needs it and is in a vulnerable state, why wouldn't you do what you could (within reason) to ensure you aren't making them uncomfortable? I definitely think that wearing a layer of clothing over visible tattoos is within reason.

    Peace,
    Cathie
  9. by   firstyearstudent
    Quote from CuriousMe
    Exactly....looking professional is subjective. As with most subjective things there's a more mainstream and then there are folks father from center. Folks don't know enough about what you do to be able to tell if you do it well, they use other clues to tell this....one of those is are you professionally attired? While tats (or neon hair, or multiple piercings, etc) are more accepted today than in years past.....I don't think they're quite as mainstream with most demographics as you seem to think they are. The idea that everyone who might have a problem with tats is judgmental is judgmental in itself....because they don't have the same cultural association with tattoos as you do, isn't judgmental.

    If a caregiver is there to give medical/nursing care to someone who needs it and is in a vulnerable state, why wouldn't you do what you could (within reason) to ensure you aren't making them uncomfortable? I definitely think that wearing a layer of clothing over visible tattoos is within reason.

    Peace,
    Cathie
    Exactly. At home and with my friends I used the "f" word (a lot!) and blaspheme regularly. Nobody thinks anything of it and my foul language doesn't have anything to do with how well I have done the jobs I've held. Yet I refrain from cursing in work situations because I don't want to make a bad impression or offend anyone.
  10. by   ortess1971
    I'm sorry, but I refuse to adjust my lifestyle for other people, patients or others. My tats are mostly covered but I do have a visible tongue piercing. I'm not one of those "martyr"nurses though. I take good care of my patients but I will not worry that someone doesn't like the way I look or is "afraid" of a person with body art. I can't wear long sleeved shirts under my scrubs and I find having to worry that some prissy type may be shocked by my tasteful tattoo work to be NOT within reason. Most of the types that are that judgemental and fearful have anxiety issues and will find something to frighten or irk them anyway.IMHO, I think asking nurses to modify their beliefs/lifestyle especially when it's something minor like body art, exemplifies everything that's wrong about how nurses are viewed ie. self-sacrificing angels of mercy who only think about others. I care for my patients, but I never claimed to be a saint or a nun! Do you see doctors worrying that a patient may be "frightened" by their appearance?
    Last edit by ortess1971 on Sep 17, '06
  11. by   CuriousMe
    Quote from ortess1971
    I'm sorry, but I refuse to adjust my lifestyle for other people, patients or others. My tats are mostly covered but I do have a visible tongue piercing. I'm not one of those "martyr"nurses though. I take good care of my patients but I will not worry that someone doesn't like the way I look or is "afraid" of a person with body art. These same people that are intimidated by someone with tats are usually the anxious type and will find something to frighten them and I wear a surgical mask for most of the case, so it's kind of a moot point. Got to go, I'm actually going for tat number 5 tonight....
    Pardon my confusion, but isn't being a nurse part of your lifestyle? Doesn't it already shape your nail choices (can't be to long, really shouldn't be polished)...how about your jewelry choices (long dangly earing's should be out)...how is covering up a tat any different?

    No one's saying that RN's shouldn't have tattoos or should be shot on the sight for showing up with them uncovered (or at least I'm not)....I'm just saying that having them covered during your shift seems like the most professional thing.

    Peace,
    Cathie
  12. by   firstyearstudent
    When you're dealing with the public you really have to set the bar low. Then you can expose (figuratively and literally) more of yourself as you get to know your patient's values and if sharing will have therapeutic value. Many folks who have tattoos, piercings, etc., see them as an expression of their individually (although God knows why when everyone seems to have them nowadays heh heh). A hospital is really not the place to revealing your "personality" in my opinion. I'd like my nurse to be competent and focused on me -- not her/himself. I don't want tattoos, blessings, Broadway show tunes, or political rants.
  13. by   Otessa
    I agree-look at old replies.

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