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Nurses with tattoos...

Posted

hello all!!! I am going for my BSN, have not yet started my actual Nursing classes. I have a really good friend who works as an RN in the ER at a nearby hospital and she has answered this question for me but I am wondering if all hospitals are as lenitent about this as hers is...I currently have NO tattoos. I recently lost a pet who meant a lot to me, he was a kitten and I was lucky enough to have gotten a paw print of his...I was wanting to get his print tattooed on my wrist, pretty much in the area where a watch band would be (I'm thinking here it will be visible if I want to see it, but hideable also), his print is very small, under an inch tall and wide so I am wondering what everyone thinks of this. My friend that I mentioned said that at the hospital she works at a lot of the nurses have tattoos on their arms and other places that you can see them. One guy even has a 1/2 naked woman! I know, of course, that no visible tattoos would be thought of by most hospitals as best, I am just wondering if I should totally rule out the idea of getting the tattoo there. I am wanting to know what you guys think or what your places of employment have as far as rules. I didn't know if it being so small and being something that is not a naked woman would make a difference. Thank you so much in advance!!!! :lol2:

MIA-RN

Specializes in Med-Surg, ED.

I would wait. I am totally for tattoos, and am getting my first one in a few days. (after at least three years of thinking and planning!)

I think that if you are going to put a tattoo somewhere visible, you need to spend a LOT of time thinking about it. (Mine will be on my back and not able to be seen unless I take my shirt off) Not just in relation to tattoos and nursing, but because that tattoo will be there no matter what, forever. So in ten years, if you are wanting a dream job as a nurse manager or executive or some other high-profile type job in any field, there is a risk that a visible tattoo might hold you back in some way.

You want to also think about what your school's policy is about visible tattoos. The school itself might have rules about them.

FireStarterRN, BSN, RN

Specializes in LTC, Med/Surg, Peds, ICU, Tele. Has 15 years experience.

I'm one of those 'older nurses' who has a personal prejudice against tattoos, if that's worth anything. I find visable tattoos disconcerting. To my twisted point of view, they make me think that the tattooed person might have been under the influence of drugs or alcohol at one time, and maybe has loose morals. I try to be non-judgemental, but don't always succeed.

Ah, I didn't even think about the school I will be going to having a rule! See, I knew I came to ask the right people! Thanks so much!!!

Our school today made it clear if you had tatoos on your arms that you had to wear a long sleeve shirt under your top..even if it was 90 degrees outside or you were not allowed to take your lab coat off in the clinical area.

I know at least 3 hospitals in my area that ban visible tattoos. Perhaps your ankle or your abdomen or somewhere else would be better? A lot of Nursing Jobs don't allow wristwatches to be worn.

al7139, ASN, RN

Specializes in Emergency. Has 5 years experience.

Hi I am an RN, and have 5 tattoos. All of my tattoos are well covered by my scrubs. I do work with several staff (RNs and others) who have visible tattoos. I have not really seen that there is any specific policy in my hospital, but I imagine if it was a tattoo that could be offensive to some people, that it would have to be covered. I went through school with a girl who had an upper arm tatto that showed below the sleeve of her uniform. She wore a longer sleeved shirt underneath it, because that was the policy of the school, even though it was in no way offensive. In this day and age, tattoos are more commonplace than they used to be, and I see more and more elderly patients with tattoos as well as staff. My advice is to ask about the policy at your hospital, to know if you should cover it at work. Don't let it deter you from getting a tatto, but be prepared to follow policy if necessary.

I love my tattoos, and plan to get more, but I am always careful to be able to adhere to policy (i.e. I would never get a tattoo on a place I could not cover when needed like my face or neck).

Amy

hello all!!! I am going for my BSN, have not yet started my actual Nursing classes. I have a really good friend who works as an RN in the ER at a nearby hospital and she has answered this question for me but I am wondering if all hospitals are as lenitent about this as hers is...I currently have NO tattoos. I recently lost a pet who meant a lot to me, he was a kitten and I was lucky enough to have gotten a paw print of his...I was wanting to get his print tattooed on my wrist, pretty much in the area where a watch band would be (I'm thinking here it will be visible if I want to see it, but hideable also), his print is very small, under an inch tall and wide so I am wondering what everyone thinks of this. My friend that I mentioned said that at the hospital she works at a lot of the nurses have tattoos on their arms and other places that you can see them. One guy even has a 1/2 naked woman! I know, of course, that no visible tattoos would be thought of by most hospitals as best, I am just wondering if I should totally rule out the idea of getting the tattoo there. I am wanting to know what you guys think or what your places of employment have as far as rules. I didn't know if it being so small and being something that is not a naked woman would make a difference. Thank you so much in advance!!!! :lol2:

I think you should also consider the fact that MOST nurses don't stay at their first job right after school. The likelihood of you being in different places working, you should consider that in the future, it might make it harder for you to get a specific job. What I mean is don't just base your decision on your friends place of employment allowing tats. Heaven forbid you find your dream job only to find out they don't allow visible tats. I think your precious kitty would understand the tat being in a more discrete part of your anatomy. just IMO

I'm one of those 'older nurses' who has a personal prejudice against tattoos, if that's worth anything. I find visable tattoos disconcerting. To my twisted point of view, they make me think that the tattooed person might have been under the influence of drugs or alcohol at one time, and maybe has loose morals. I try to be non-judgemental, but don't always succeed.

That's funny I have a tattoo of Jesus Hands holding my baby and it says "From God's Hands" on my arm. I hope no one thinks I'm a drug addict or alcoholic.

KckStrt

Specializes in Emergency.

If you look at my profile picture you will see I am defiantly informed bout this topic probably more then most. As for people who are judgmental about tattooed people, we really don't care what your opinion is of us as you shouldn't care what ours is of you. Now... on to your question. My school did talk to me in private about covering my tattoos, long sleeves and all, my hands are even tattooed and my morals ARE somewhat loose, but I am faithful too my wife and she loves me all the same, not to mention I'm a damn good neighbor... lol.... I couldn't cover my hands and wash them of course. But I did keep my arms covered for the most part.

I now work at one of the top 10 hospitals in the country and have had absolutely NO discrimination.. The culture of nursing is changing as well as more and more hospitals going on the "diversity" band wagon... BUT I must say, I am somewhat uncomfortable with long sleeves every say and I do get sick and tiered of people commenting on my tattoos every single day. Some days I do want to just "blend in" and not be noticed... But I can't at this point. I am looking to have laser work for removal done on my hands and neck.... yes my neck is tattooed as well... I find most Md's are as professional with me as I am with them. I have great relationships with most of my co-workers and my tattoos are becoming less and less visible to them... oh... did I mention my manager? She loves me.. I work my rear end off.. tattoos and all...

Think before you ink...

tiij

Specializes in Paediatrics - Neuroscience/Cardiac. Has 1 years experience.

dont regret your tatts steve, they're obviously a big part of you. and you cant be a bikie without tatts as much as you cant be a nurse without a watch of sorts!

i have a tattoo that you can see when i stretch my arms out. its on my inner bicep. havent been spoken to about it. so its all good.

i dont know i think they're are worse things in nursing than tattoo's. like some nurses' not being able to speak english for one.

KckStrt

Specializes in Emergency.

or nurses who don't check orders all day, or chart correctly or for that matter don't chart blood transfusions, or IV intake, or forget to chart pain meds... my list goes on and on... I just hope all nurses are not as "forgetful" as the last nurse I got report from!

island40

Specializes in ICU, School Nurse, Med/Surg, Psych.

You are going to hear all kinds of answers to the question about whether or not to get a tattoo because it really does depend on the place (even the unit) that you work. I have worked in long term care facilities in Iowa that require tattoos to be covered (as well as piercings other than ear studs) and in hospitals in Arizona that didn't have any reference to tattoos in their dress code. It is few and far between to see nurses at the VA hospitals and facilities that don't have a tattoo or two (retired military :)

If you want body art please don't be ashamed to show it off.

Tattoos these days are as common as earrings IMO!! I like the tastful ones, and a nice tat on a man's muscular arms grrrrrrllllll!!:redbeathe

txspadequeenRN, BSN, RN

Specializes in ICU, PICC Nurse, Nursing Supervisor. Has 20 years experience.

lol... you silly thang!!!!

tattoos these days are as common as earrings imo!! i like the tastful ones, and a nice tat on a man's muscular arms grrrrrrllllll!!:redbeathe

GadgetRN71, ASN, RN

Specializes in Operating Room. Has 15 years experience.

I'm one of those 'older nurses' who has a personal prejudice against tattoos, if that's worth anything. I find visable tattoos disconcerting. To my twisted point of view, they make me think that the tattooed person might have been under the influence of drugs or alcohol at one time, and maybe has loose morals. I try to be non-judgemental, but don't always succeed.

Just as a heads up-reputable shops that have been inspected by the board of health will turn you away if you are drunk or otherwise impaired. I have 4 tats(thinking of a fifth) and have never done drugs and I drink only socially(I think the last cocktail I had was about 2 months ago). My tats are in hideable places though. I think the OP's should be fine as long as it'll fit under her watchband so she can hide it if need be.

I knew a tech once that had them all up his neck-that seemed a little extreme to me!:uhoh21:

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