RN school and tattoos? - page 3

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   Otessa
    I've seem some students wear white thermal underwear tops or long sleeve t-shirts under their short-sleeved uniform.

    I have seen this with nursing students as well as RNs working day to day...
  2. by   loridoo
    I have a tat on my wrist that I cover with my watch when I'm at work. Occasionaly the watch will slip out of place and the tat will peak out. I received nothing but compliments. More often than not, they tend to be an icebreaker - something to talk about with the pt and make them more at ease with me.
  3. by   lemRN
    hi, please don't let that affect your decision of obtaing you RN degree. I know a lot of nurses who have tattoos. i just graduated from rn shcool in may of '05, my classmate have her whole name tattooed across her are. her uniform did not cover anything up. i know that society try to obtain their opions of what they see outside, but it's really what's inside that counts. just like now, they are doing background checks on nurses and fingerprints and everything. that does not stop some people even though they have a rap sheet. just please don't let that keep you from getting the job you deserve and have the life you want. good luck
  4. by   firstyearstudent
    Quote from loridoo
    I have a tat on my wrist that I cover with my watch when I'm at work. Occasionaly the watch will slip out of place and the tat will peak out. I received nothing but compliments. More often than not, they tend to be an icebreaker - something to talk about with the pt and make them more at ease with me.
    Exactly. And a jailhouse tattoo can be a great icebreaker, too -- if your patient has been in prison. It's best to know what kind of response you'll likely get before revealing yourself.
  5. by   tvccrn
    I live in Wisconsin and take care of people from many different nationalities. The argument that little old ladies will find it offensive don't hold water with me. The number of little old ladies admire my tats and tell me that they would have gotten one, "but it just wasn't done in my time" would probably astonish you.

    If it's not pronographic, doesn't support abuse of any kind and doesn't contain foul language, I don't see the problem.

    tvccrn
  6. by   Retired R.N.
    Quote from tvccrn
    I live in Wisconsin and take care of people from many different nationalities. The argument that little old ladies will find it offensive don't hold water with me. The number of little old ladies admire my tats and tell me that they would have gotten one, "but it just wasn't done in my time" would probably astonish you.

    If it's not pronographic, doesn't support abuse of any kind and doesn't contain foul language, I don't see the problem.

    tvccrn
    I'm not sure that you understand "little old ladies" as well as you think you do. The ones who tell you that " it just wasn't done in my time" were the ones who grew up with some very strict rules about politeness and how women were supposed to act in a certain way if they wanted to avoid mental and physical abuse. Having to live in a constrained atmosphere where one had little or no power to change the situation often brought out some very adaptive thinking and behavior in those women, and that kind of thinking stayed with them throughout their lives. So, whether they would never insult you by saying anything derogatory about your tatoos because they are too polite, or because they are afraid of angering you, they do have some very definite opinions based on their own personal experiences.

    Although I have retired to a spot that has warmer winters than Wisconsin, I did spend many years up there when I was younger.
  7. by   OB_or_NICU_hopeful
    And a "tattooed" person needs to worry about the opinion of some "little old lady" who thinks one way, but verbally contradicts herself???

    Honestly, what a ridiculous argument. The person is terribly frightened, but says she would have done it if she could have, but we should assume that next time we better cover up??? Come on!!!!
  8. by   tvccrn
    Quote from Retired R.N.
    I'm not sure that you understand "little old ladies" as well as you think you do. The ones who tell you that " it just wasn't done in my time" were the ones who grew up with some very strict rules about politeness and how women were supposed to act in a certain way if they wanted to avoid mental and physical abuse. Having to live in a constrained atmosphere where one had little or no power to change the situation often brought out some very adaptive thinking and behavior in those women, and that kind of thinking stayed with them throughout their lives. So, whether they would never insult you by saying anything derogatory about your tatoos because they are too polite, or because they are afraid of angering you, they do have some very definite opinions based on their own personal experiences.

    Although I have retired to a spot that has warmer winters than Wisconsin, I did spend many years up there when I was younger.
    I also said that these women have said that THEY would have had one. To me that's not, not trying to anger me that's saying they would have had one if times would have allowed.

    tvccrn
  9. by   ICRN2008
    I think that if you want to go to school to be an RN, you should go for it. Just don't be surprised if you receive some negative reactions now and then. Like it or not, there are a fair number of people who do not perceive a person covered with tattoos as taking their job seriously.

    I personally would have no problem being cared for by a nurse with a lot of tattoos, but I do have to admit that it would that would affect my perception of that nurse. There are general guidelines accepted by most of society as to what is professional and what not. These vary depending on where you live (and being from the Midwest I tend to be more conservative), but overall presenting oneself in a professional manner includes not displaying multiple piercings, tattoos, bright hair and revealing clothing at work.

    The hospital I am doing clinicals at right now (and my previous hospital as well) were very clear as to what was not allowed. All tattoos had to be covered, two piercings in each ear maximum, no piercings visible anywhere else, simple jewelry, and hair had to be a "natural" color.

    There is a reason that you do not see most executives, managers and others in the corporate world sporting these types of embellishments. They are keenly aware that their appearance affects other people's perception of them, and they want to come across as taking their jobs seriously.

    I am not trying to say that those who chose to adorn their bodies in "unconventional" ways should be given a hard time in any way, just that it should not be a shock if an employer asks them to refrain from displaying such adornments at work. We are all representatives of the organizations that we work for, and as such they have the right to dictate the rules to a certain extent. If people do not like it, they can vote with their feet.
  10. by   ortess1971
    Quote from CuriousMe
    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
    In my particular case, I chose to get inked in spots where at the most, they peek out a little(tried to go for the "last to sag" areas!) and per AORN, we cant wear long sleeved shirts under our scrubs anyway. My big problem with adjusting my appearance to suit the whims of a particular patient arises from the idea of where does it stop? An example: I'm pagan and will often wear a small pentacle around my neck. It affirms my faith and it was also a present from a loved one. It's very tasteful. Now, we all know that there is a fair amount of ignorance still about pagan religions and I come from a state that's about 60% Catholic. I'm sure there would be some little old lady somewhere that would think I was a devil worshiper, because like I said, there are still plenty of misconceptions about my faith. Am I not supposed to wear my necklace because someone might be offended by my choice in religion? I still say that as long as the tattoos aren't obscene or violent, they shouldn't be a problem. My hospital doesn't really have a policy on tattoos-there is a tech with a nose piercing that she wears a bandaid over, but that's so it won't come out and land in someone's abdomen. There is a PACU nurse that has one and she doesn't have to cover hers. Both of these nose piercings are small so I think that's why no one has said anything..Thankfully, it seems as though my hospital judges it's nurses on how they perform, not on how they look(as long as you're hygenic!) Just my 2 cents and I think I'm bored with this thread now... I brought up the necklace example because there are plenty of nurses who will wear a cross around their neck or a Star of David etc. Technically, this should be a no-no according to many of these posts because you may "offend" someone who doesn't agree with your choices.
    Last edit by ortess1971 on Sep 18, '06
  11. by   OB_or_NICU_hopeful
    deleted.
  12. by   Antikigirl
    I have said it once, and it bears repeating...a tattoo is a personal choice for the person...it has NO bearing on the abilities of a nurse or any other profession! I mean, do people get hired to be in healthcare if they have large moles or discolorations on places seen by pts? NO! This is a perm discoloration of skin too...just chosen by the individual at some point in their lives~!

    I have a tattoo...on my scapula (so never seen in scrubs), and plan on getting more that may be seen once in a while (like ankle). SO be it...that is my choice as a human being and individual! Does it effect my abilities..NO!

    In this day and age where you have to depend on the kindness of others, people need to realize that you must take people of all different shapes, sizes, and other things...so, tattoos...I see them to be on the lower end of acceptance than other areas that need much more work for the general public to accept!
  13. by   RNsRWe
    Wow, this thread has expanded since I last popped in! All I think I care to say at this point is an observation I've made: by and large, (for the most part), those who support their right to have tattoos and piercings showing do so out of a belief that if it's good for them, that's good enough, the rest of society will just have to deal with it. Their primary concern is their own rights of self-expression. Those who put forth the opinion that they are more concerned with the patient's comfort than their own "rights" tend not to be the tattooed folk. The talk of the importance of having a professional appearance currently accepted by mainstream society is mostly one-sided. Remember, I said "for the most part". But there does seem to be a pattern of 'if I have a tat I want to show off, that's my business and the patient be dam*ed.'

    Interesting. And a little disturbing coming from nurses, IMHO.

    Edited to add something I meant to address and forgot: When the people in favor of not openly displaying tattoos ask that the patient's comfort be considered in that decision, to consider beyond themselves, those in favor of openly displaying say the first group is "closed minded". Seems the term is being misused.
    Last edit by RNsRWe on Sep 18, '06

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