Attn: Nilepoc Re: Tattoos, Piercings, etc.

Specialties CRNA


I just read on the '37 applications' thread that you have tattoos, piercings, etc. Do you feel that having tattoos, etc. has had any affect on the way you are/were treated in school/profession? Are your tattoos visible or partially visible?

The reason, I ask is that I too have tattoos, right chest down to just above right elbow (is covered by scrubs, unless I have to reach up for something), and my left shoulder is covered. It is interesting to me when people first notice that I have tattoos, they are almost in shock. I have always earned good grades in school and carry myself well. The only 'different' visible thing about me is that I have a shaved head.

I've noticed that some people are actually let down, and almost offended that I have tattoos...acting like I tricked them into thinking I was a nice, intelligent, young man. LOL! :D Believe me, I don't hold this against them. It's definitely something that has been drilled into our heads since we were young. I might even discriminate if I was having sugery and the CRNA walked in with full sleeves and "love/hate" tattooed on his knuckels!

Anyhoooo, just wondering what your experiences have been in the SRNA/CRNA world concerning these things. I would imagine that in most areas of CRNA/SRNA practice it would be easy to keep tattoos hidden. Since I have decided to pursue the CRNA route I have decided to not get any visible tattoos - all will stay on chest, back, etc.

Thanks in advance for your input.;)


849 Posts

I'm not an SRNA or an RN, yet, but I do work in dentistry right now and I have a huge flower on my left wrist. It's always in view, nothing seems to cover it! I have had many people ask about it and sometimes they are just curious but other times they want to see my reaction. I just tell them my mom thinks there are worse things I could be doing to myself. That sorta puts an end to it, I don't think tatoos are any ones buisness, and to me, their meaning is personal.

Good luck!



81 Posts

I too am a tatooed person and personally love mine. That being said however, we do live in society with others who may not feel as we do about our tattos. I commend you for thinking of your professional self first and deciding to keep any future tatoos hidden. Mine are where they can be seen or not, depending on what I am wearing. I find I get the same reaction as you. How could you have a tatoo? You seem so nice etc. They are a personal choice, and having one doesn't mean that I'm not nice. Goodluck to you.


567 Posts

I get a great deal of greif over Hepatitis risk, and a few people have mentioned my earings. They are 8 guage, bilateral captive bead hoops. You can see one of them in the CT of my head to the left. Mostly I was told where not to apply for a job with them.

On the tattoo front, besides the infectious disease references, I get a bunch of people asking me what my arm band is. Which is kind of funny, as only about 30% of the people that ask figure out that the arm band is a full set of chromosomes (XY accentuated) and the letters ATCG around my bicep. That tattoo is not covered by scrubs, and is plainly visible. My other tattoo is on my shoulder blade, and only visible when I wear white scrubs, which I no longer wear since nursing school is over. whew.

Over all, no one has outwardly had a problem.

Qwiigley, CRNA

564 Posts

Specializes in Nurse Anesthetist.

I wouldn't sya I had a problem with a tatooed person to their face, but my friends, I do feel that I do think less of a person with multiple tatoos. I'm being honest as an average, Joe.... so keep the flames to yourself. You wanted to know what other people really think? Keep them hidden, if they are personal, keep them to yourself.


171 Posts

Thx for your honesty, Qwiigley.

As a tatooed person, I thought long and hard this summer about getting another that was below the elbow. I basically said to myself it itsn't worth the hassle or the judgement from others. Although I can say I don't care what people make of me in the non-clinical world, I do care how my pt's see me. I am now moving into an entirely new arena where first impressions are worth so much more and professionalism comes at a premium.


443 Posts

I agree with nilepoc on alomst ever issue but this one. I hate to even add my two cents here because I know it is a sensitive subject to those that have them already. why is it senstive? its mostly irreversable. even if you you were coaxed into beliving that it was some fatal charcter flaw that pushed you to get them in the first place you would have no recourse. so this is really a futile subject to argue. but here are my points and I think they are shared with the moral majority which you may or may not be a part of.

1. what if we all fell into this sort of classificaton. What would be the future of CRNA's. of course that would never happen we could never all fall into this same clasificaion but what gives you the right to act in away adverse to professionalism and leave me the one who has to stay sober.

2. a much less popular point is that the moral majority does belive that when you made the decision to get a tatoo. you weren't thinking clearly. you are then labled with the title of "poor decsion maker" is that who you want to keep you asleep when you get cut on a "poor decsion maker". the fact is your probaly not really a poor decsion maker becaue you wouldn't be where you are now if you were. but that is a thought process of society that will not change.

3. do want to be held to the same professional light as doctors and lawyer.

if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck its probably duck. if not who knows..

sorry in advance. I owe it to my life, my libery and my own pursuit of happiness to speak my mind on this subject.

p.s. same goes for gotes and body peircings. naturally.


612 Posts

I feel sorry for those of you who think that people with tattoos and piercings are lacking in morality or professionalism. I am a professional and I consider myself to have high morals, and tattoos. I did not get my tattoos in some moment of irrational behavior, instead it was a well thought process so that I chose the tattoo that allowed me to share a little about me in an art form. It is a personal choice that has nothing to do with morality or the quality of the person.

I know several MDs and lawyers/law students that have tattoos. I respect those people and in no way does their choice of personal expression interfere with their level of competence, morality or professionalism. Some people need to keep their own morals and opinions to themselves.

Specializes in med/surg, cardiac/telemetry, hospice.

I have a 19-year-old tattoo on my left shoulder that I (usually) forget is even there. It isn't seen by many, save hubby and those on the beach. The subject came up at work the other day, and I showed mine off, since I happened to remember it. My co-workers seemed shocked...

...I guess I blew their image of me, eh?laughing-smiley-015.giflaughing-smiley-018.giflaughing-smiley-015.gif


33 Posts

I see nothing wrong with tattoos and I don't think less of a person for having them. Everyone is guilty of doing this at least once but I try really hard not to judge a person solely on appearance.


410 Posts

While I don't agree with most things alansmith said above, I do think a point he makes is valid. While we can control our perceptions, there are many less open minded that you'll take care of, meet, interview with, ask for a job from etc. How we look does impact that relationship despite what we want to believe. Tattoos are personal expression, but just as everything else, voicing or displaying expressions may have consequences.

renerian, BSN, RN

5,693 Posts

Specializes in MS Home Health.

I am an RN and some people are shocked to see my deltoid tattoo.


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