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Can a Nurse have a Tattoo???

Posted

My mom keeps on telling me that Nurses can't have any tattoo or even any piercings, like industrial or cartilage or any thing like that. IS IT TRUE?!?!?!?!

Edited by Joe V

Pneumothorax, BSN, RN

Specializes in Critical Care, Emergency Medicine, Flight.

\ said:
My mom keeps on telling me that Nurses can't have any tattoo or even any piercings' date=' like industrial or cartilage or any thing like that. IS IT TRUE?!?!?!?![/quote']

U can but they can't be like on your face or one of those chest pieces or a sleeve. Some have a zero tolerance policy, other. Orgs say, cover it up with something like a bandaid watch etc.

Better to use ur judgement and lean on the side of professionalism and get them in places that won't be seen with your uniform / scrubs on.

Morainey, BSN, RN

Specializes in Orthopedic, LTC, STR, Med-Surg, Tele.

Yeah, you can have tattoos. I myself have two, but they are both easily hidden under scrubs (intentionally, when I got them I made sure of that).

Some places specify no visible tattoos. I've had classmates/coworkers with tattoos on their forearms, it's a tossup between facilities. One place said you have to cover it, but no long sleeves, so she got one of those UnderArmour things softball players wear when they slide on their elbows.

I have a cartilage piercing in my ear that no one has ever said anything about. Nose rings are kinda iffy. A teeny tiny little stud, sometimes nobody cares. Like I said... depends on the facility.

Rose_Queen, BSN, MSN, RN

Specializes in OR, education. Has 15 years experience.

Depends on the facility and how frequently they revise their dress code. We used to not be able to have any nose piercings. Now up to 1/8" stud is allowed, anything else needs to be required. Many people have tattoos that are visible and have added to their collection. Not sure what the exact policy says, but I made sure mine was able to be covered when I got it. I've seen nurses with the rings inside the earlobe (is that what you mean by industrial piercing? Not sure what that is). Also, enforcement depends on where you work. I'm OR, so with the jackets for circulators and sterile gowns with sleeves for surg techs, those arm tattoos are hidden. We're also stricter on jewelry- not allowed other than one pair of stud earrings that must be inside the hat. No rings, necklaces, bracelets, watches, what have you. I've seen nurses on the floors totally blinged out- not sure how that works with hand hygiene for some of them, and I sure wouldn't want my really long necklace dangling in some nasty infected wound.

noahsmama

Specializes in pediatrics, public health.

There have been multiple threads here on this topic in the past. I recommend using the Search box at the top right and searching on the keyword "tattoo" to find them. The short version is that it depends on where you live and the particular hospital's policies.

eatmysoxRN, ASN, RN

Specializes in Med/Surg,Cardiac. Has 1 years experience.

I hated and stressed in nursing school because I have a tiny heart on my hand... It is in the bend between my thumb and my pointer finger. Let me tell you, it was the WORST place EVER to have to wear bandaids. ESPECIALLY when I had to change it every time I washed my hands...Some of my clinical instructors told me to get the bandaids off STAT. If it wasn't covering a wound, the tiny heart wouldn't offend anyone.

Seriously, I don't know why tattoos and piercings have to be deemed unprofessional. I can understand not having so much metal on your head the MRI machine would suck you up from across the hospital. But a few piercings that don't dangle (ripped eyebrow area r/t crazy patient who yanks it out = ouch). No less, I think that unoffensive tattoos shouldn't be an issue.

Since I've been working, I haven't covered my tattoo. Although one of the places I've worked for had a strict no tattoo policy, they even said that it would be better to show then to try to keep nasty bandaids all day.

I do plan on having it removed. Quite honestly, we do live in a society where most decent paying jobs that are common and practical do not allow you to express too much individuality with piercings or tats.

I work a late night shift and even so visible tattoos are not allowed. I have a large tattoo on my left forearm. Wearing a long sleeve shirt just doesn't work for me. I have tried quite a few different options. Removal is not something I want to even consider so I've been wearing these Ink Armor tattoo cover up sleeves. If you get the right size they work really well.

Make sure you get the right size as they will stretch around your arm a bit. I don't regret my tattoo as it is dedicated to a relative of mine that passed away. As long as you don't get a tattoo on your face, hand or your neck there are cover up options. I have found the tattoo policy varies quite a bit from place to place.

Edited by tnbutterfly
link removed

turnforthenurse, MSN, NP

Specializes in ER, progressive care. Has 7 years experience.

You can have tattoos but a lot of places will request that you cover it up if it is visible. We had an RN who had a tattoo behind her ear but she always covered it up with a bandaid. Not sure about piercings...I would think a nose ring, lip or Monroe piercing would be iffy.

Hay, RN

Specializes in Med-Swing/Rehab.

I am a nurse and I have 13 tattoos. (:

hehehe

Also had my tongue pierced when I started at my current job but I let it grow up. ;x

sMoLsNurse

Specializes in Med-Surg, Ortho, Subacute, Homecare, LTC. Has 5 years experience.

I know a nurse who has 33 tattoos.. She works at a prison O.o

shay&lynn, ASN, RN

Specializes in Nursing Assistant. Has 4 years experience.

\ said:
I know a nurse who has 33 tattoos.. She works at a prison O.o

Lol!

I have six tatts, one is on the back of my neck. Our school asks that you cover them up for clinical and competency. Problem solved by wearing my hair down...it has to be pulled up if it's longer than shoulder length, mine is shorter than shoulder length.

This topic reminds me of a gal I went to lpn classes with. She had tattoos around both wrists and the clinical instructors had her wrap them in gauze... not the best idea, as it then looked like she had tried cutting both her wrists! After a few weeks of clinicals, she just went with wearing fitted long sleeve tees under her scrubs. Poor girl always looked so overheated!!

canned_bread

Specializes in Cath lab, acute, community. Has 11 years experience.

I researched this issue myself. Some private hospitals have dress codes and visible tattoos and piercings (other than single ear ones) are not allowed, however the law says you can't discriminate... so it's interesting. I guess you just have to hide them at the interview.

sauconyrunner

Specializes in Emergency. Has 11 years experience.

Most hospitals have No visible tattoos and something about peircings in their dress codes. You can have all the tattoos you want on your rear.

While the law says you can not discriminate, you can always not be hired for a myriad of non-discriminatory reasons....(even if the real reason was the nose ring). And you probably will have to cover them up for school and work.

May be best to sticking with putting them in hidden areas, or just avoiding them all together.

yousoldtheworld

Has 5 years experience.

I have three tattoos. Our company's general rule is that they must be covered, but they are fairly lax on that and have a few employees with not easily covered tattoos (back of neck, wrist, etc). Mine are mostly covered, though the bottom of one of them sometimes peeks out under my sleeve.

As for piercings, most places will make you take them out, not only for appearance, but also for infection control reasons.

yousoldtheworld

Has 5 years experience.

destova said:
This topic reminds me of a gal I went to lpn classes with. She had tattoos around both wrists and the clinical instructors had her wrap them in gauze... not the best idea, as it then looked like she had tried cutting both her wrists! After a few weeks of clinicals, she just went with wearing fitted long sleeve tees under her scrubs. Poor girl always looked so overheated!!

See, when it comes to this stuff, what's the point? Does gauze on a wrist, or a band-aid or something similar covering a tattoo really look more professional? As long as the tattoo isn't vulgar, I think it's silly.

\ said:

See, when it comes to this stuff, what's the point? Does gauze on a wrist, or a band-aid or something similar covering a tattoo really look more professional? As long as the tattoo isn't vulgar, I think it's silly.

Right, the gauze "solution" looked rather disturbing. Imagine being ill and tired and your nurse comes in looking like she's suicidal. Scary!!!! It was poor decision making on the instructors part. The tattoos weren't that big, and while I can't recall what they were of, I'm sure it wasn't anything crazy or I'd probably remember!

The long sleeve tees looked better than gauze, but in the end all her patients had a chance to see them anyway, as she had to pull up the sleeves for almost all pt care duties. But those sleeves went back down the minute an instructor was nearby

Topaz7

Specializes in Psychiatric- Detox and ECT.

It all depends on where you work at. I got hired in with a monroe piercing and red hair on a geriatric psych unit with no issues at all. When I started nursing school my nursing prof made me take it out. I think it is absolutely ridiculous that people are viewed "unprofessional" if they have tats or piercings and work in healthcare. It is 2012 not 1925, the ink doesn't mess up your brain chemistry and the piercings don't either. In my opinion it is discrimination and stereotyping. Having tats/piercings means you are uneducated, a heathen, unprofessional, dumb, incapable of doing the work you passed state boards to do? I don't think so, and maybe one of these days people will stand up for the rights to be able to be employed and still do what we want with our bodies. By the way I have never had even one patient complain to me or any of my supervisors about my piercing, in fact I got complimented on it even by the elderly people I cared for. Either that or they couldn't see well and thought my black diamond was a piece of glitter or a mole on my face.