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Heavily Tättooed: Can I get into nursing???

Nurses   (18,778 Views | 50 Replies)
by YukonDave YukonDave (New) New

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hi, i really like this thread.

i am also a male nursing student with a lot of ink on my arms (and chest, sides etc.)

i have made the professional decision to keep ink off my forearms because of discrimination. i find it appaulling that skin color is still such a big issue in this country, whether you are born with a certain skin color or put in on yourself.

as far as regrets....the only regret i have is there are still so many close minded people in this country. i regret i will where long sleeve shirts in business settings to protect my reputation. i regret people thinking i can't make decisions because i have 8 tattooes.

i have been told "i should be ashamed of myself"; "i look ugly", "i don't take care of my body" just because of tattoes. btw, its usually/unhealthy people who tell me this, which is strange since i have modeled, and i do long distance triathlons.

its a shame we will have to cover our art that we love so much

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Gennaver has 13 years experience as a MSN and specializes in Ortho, Med surg and L&D.

1,683 Posts; 8,924 Profile Views

So....... Im a 20 year old Male and would like to get into the nursing field. The thing is Ive got alot of tattoos. Starting from my shoulder all the way down to my wrist on both arms(called sleeves). Im just wondering if nurses can get away with wearing long sleeve shirts, or if I could even wear a white long sleeve under the nursing uniform. Do any of you wear long sleeves? Or any of your co-workers? Some honest advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for your time.

Hi,

I wanted to share that I have worked with nurses, (both male and female) who have had tattoo, (ink), sleeves, forearms, faces, neck...in the past. I never thought to ask them what sort of problems they may have faced in getting into nursing school though.

I have also worked with techs and nurses who have even had facial piercings, (beyond the tongue of course.)

Bottom line is the facility and their policies. Possibly it would be GOOD to know a facility that has a tattoo friendly workplace so that you can be 'ARMED' with this information when you go for your nursing school interview.

HEY? Maybe even ask the supposed new workplace if they would be willing to write a letter of encouragement to the school to take you on as a student as you will be welcomed as a nurse, tats and all!

Good luck!

Gen

p.s. one nurse told me that he though everyone should sport a little ink ;)

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Gennaver has 13 years experience as a MSN and specializes in Ortho, Med surg and L&D.

1,683 Posts; 8,924 Profile Views

hi, i really like this thread.

i am also a male nursing student with a lot of ink on my arms (and chest, sides etc.)

i have made the professional decision to keep ink off my forearms because of discrimination. i find it appaulling that skin color is still such a big issue in this country, whether you are born with a certain skin color or put in on yourself.

as far as regrets....the only regret i have is there are still so many close minded people in this country. i regret i will where long sleeve shirts in business settings to protect my reputation. i regret people thinking i can't make decisions because i have 8 tattooes.

i have been told "i should be ashamed of myself"; "i look ugly", "i don't take care of my body" just because of tattoes. btw, its usually/unhealthy people who tell me this, which is strange since i have modeled, and i do long distance triathlons.

its a shame we will have to cover our art that we love so much

Hi,

Yeah, isn't it a shame that a total stranger will share THIER hangups by telling you that you, (we) should be ashamed?

Mine is generally not visible, (3/4 back) but, while fishing over the summer last year a girl shouted to me that, "your body is a gift from god....how could you disrespect it like that?" Hmmm, okay, she had a hang up. :)

Gen

p.s. mine isn't really for public viewing anyhow so I don't mind it being covered up, then again, its my back...the only people who really got to see it are the artist, my doctor, my husband and whoever sees me in a bikini...generally not my coworkers :p

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zacarias has 14 years experience as a ASN, RN and specializes in tele, stepdown/PCU, med/surg.

1,334 Posts; 15,184 Profile Views

So....... Im a 20 year old Male and would like to get into the nursing field. The thing is Ive got alot of tattoos. Starting from my shoulder all the way down to my wrist on both arms(called sleeves). Im just wondering if nurses can get away with wearing long sleeve shirts, or if I could even wear a white long sleeve under the nursing uniform. Do any of you wear long sleeves? Or any of your co-workers? Some honest advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for your time.

I work in a fairly conservative medium-size city and there is a guy at my hospital who has very dark filled-in tattoes all the way down his arms and he wears short-sleeved scrubs. So, it's totally doable and you'll be OK. In clinicals they might require you to wear long sleeves, but don't know that for sure either.

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CathRN has 15 years experience and specializes in everywhere.

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I work with several nurses (male and female) that have tattoo's. I have a tattoo on my right ankle which you can't see with my scrubs, the only time it is visible is when I'm wearing shorts or a dress. Several of my co-workers tattoo's are visible and our bosses don't have a problem with it. I also work with several nurses (male and female) that have several facial piercings as well. To each their own.

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P_RN has 30 years experience as a ADN, RN and specializes in ORTHOPAEDICS-CERTIFIED SINCE 89.

6,011 Posts; 33,796 Profile Views

There is one particular makeup designed just for covering birthmarks and tats. It's called Covermark. I have a friend with a strawberry birthmark over 50% of her face. With Covermark it is totally unnoticeable.

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369 Posts; 6,082 Profile Views

One of my best friends is heavily inked to. She was having her wedding and didn't want the tats on her chest to show up in the wedding photos, so she used a makeup called DERMABLEND. It worked great! Lasted throughout the cermony and reception! She was even sweating and it stayed on. You coudn't even see them in the photos the coverage was so good. Check into the makeup angle if the long sleeves are not possible for ya!

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114 Posts; 1,899 Profile Views

While there may still be some managers and individuals with hangups - a place of business would be hard pressed not giving a qualified person work based on the colour of their skin (natural or otherwise). I would argue that as someone who has sat on selection panels seeing some ink on an individual is less of an issue than how healthy the individual is. I am generalising here but often people I have seen with tatts - at work or otherwise - typically seem to have a little more respect for their bodies - their bodies are there canvas and work of art afterall. A mate of mine has sleeves following time in the services and other areas, he has no issue working in our facility (small community hospital). He at times can communicate with some patients better as they open up and ask questions which provides an opportunity for him to build on communicating with them. I have also worked with individuals with face art - it took a second look to acept it but then it was about how well they did their work.

I wouldn't stress about the issue. If you present and act professionally then it is had to dispute the fact that you are professional. If you are self concous about your ink and 'cover up' for interviews or ask if they are alright it gives managers the chance to input their own ideas. I would say don't bring it up unless they do.

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not now has 3 years experience as a RN and specializes in LTC, med-surg, critial care.

495 Posts; 3,478 Profile Views

When I attended orientation for nursing school the director of nursing told us that she didn't mind what we did in regards to tattoos and piercings but we had to cover them up/take them out when we were at clinical. I have one on my ankle and it stays covered. On our research days I don't wear skirts. No problem.

We we did orientation for our clinical site this semester the clinical directors for both tele and ICU came in to speak with us. Both of them said that visible tattoo's were not allowed. Period. They even admitted to avoiding hiring those with visible tattoo's and repremanding current employee's that came to work with a new visible tattoo.

Long story short: it depends on where you live and who you're working for.

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820 Posts; 10,202 Profile Views

I work in a small town, Community Health currently, and in an ER before that. I have a tattoo on my shoulder, and patients never saw it, however we had a tech that had tattoos on the backs of her hands, a respiratory therapist with peace and lover on the tops of his knuckles, two radiology techs and one RN with tribal style arm bands that always show below their sleeve line. I dont think that in this day and age of healthcare professional shortages that facilities can afford to be that picky. If you are licensed, can do a good job at patient care, they need you, regardless of how much ink you have.

That being said... nursing schools are a different story. The way the students look does reflect on the clinical program and the school that they are attending. Because they are PROVIDING you a service (by educating you) they can afford to be more demanding. Worst case scenerio, you will probably have to wear a long sleeve t-shirt under your scrub top. yes, there are several make-ups that you can use, but i would not recommend them in a clinical setting. with the amount of times you will be washing your hands, and at times up to your elbows, the make-up is not practical. Even if it the label says it is waterproof, it will fade during the day. It, is also fairly expensive to do your whole arms with every day.

Follow the rules to the best of your ability, get through school, and then I doubt that you will have any problems in the workforce.

Good Luck, Brandy

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celticqueen has 18 years experience and specializes in medical with other stuff chucked in!.

125 Posts; 3,218 Profile Views

So....... Im a 20 year old Male and would like to get into the nursing field. The thing is Ive got alot of tattoos. Starting from my shoulder all the way down to my wrist on both arms(called sleeves). Im just wondering if nurses can get away with wearing long sleeve shirts, or if I could even wear a white long sleeve under the nursing uniform. Do any of you wear long sleeves? Or any of your co-workers? Some honest advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for your time.

The "powers that be" are always banging on about "diversity" aren't they, so why not eh?

All you can do is try, it would be a shame not to let you get on a nursing course just coz of your tats!

Good luck, Emma

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205 Posts; 3,386 Profile Views

There are some areas where any clothing below the elbow is a no-no when doing direct patient care for infection control reasons. As long as your forearms, hands and nails are clean, the tats shouldn't be a pt. care issue and

might be conversation piece/ distraction for your patients.

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