Policy on Tattoo's & Piercings

Nurses General Nursing


Hey all ...

I'm going to toss a general question out there? What is your work's policy on Piercings & Tattoo's. I'm a male nurse with my ears pierced, I take them out usually, or have very small hoops if I forget, almost nobody notices, and nothing has been said.

However, I have a tribal band around my mid-bicep. my scrubs usually cover it, unless of course I reach for something and and sleeve gets scrunched up, the other night I had co-worker say to me that I better cover it up a little better before one of our attending see it.

I skimmed through our handbook and there is NO mention of tattoos or piercings anywhere. I was just wondering if you do have to cover up your tattoo's on shift???

Specializes in Peds, GI, Home Health, Risk Mgmt.
This was originally posted by Hollyvk {"So why do employers want you to cover up your tats and limit your piecing jewelry? Because your job is not all about you, it's mostly about your patients--many of whom are older and do not share your appreciation of body art or think it is "kool" at all. :cool: At best, they may just think it shows questionable judgment on your part, but at worst, they may think you must have had a scuzzy or criminal past . . .the tattoos and piercings are going to be completely out of fashion in a few more years."}

I personally do not have neither a scuzzy or criminal past. Nor was I ever a gang member. And unless people have been living under a rock, not everyone who has a tattoo is a scuzzy person or a criminal.

Tattoo's are NOT only for people who have been in jail either. I think you should know . . . .

So, I guess my "symbol" is part of being an "educated" person.

Actually BornToCare, I've spent time with Fakir Musafar (http://www.bodyplay.com) who originated the "Primitive Body Art" movement in this country. If you're not familiar with his works, you should check it out. Also, no one said that everyone who has a tattoo is a scuzzy person or a criminal. What I said was that older people tend to associate having tattoos with that sort of behavior. Do many older people routinely interact with younger people who are sporting copious body art? No, because just as you probably tend to hang mostly with folks your own age, so do our seniors spend their time mostly with their own age group and their families.

And for Mskate, in a perfect world all our patients and their families would be completely competent and unbiased, appropriately educated, and have the tolerance and understanding of Buddha, so that body art would never be an issue. But in the real world, it can cause anxiety and distrust in patients and families. And again, your appearance is not always about what you want/like/demand.

I think those of you sporting body art should look upon yourselves as ambassadors for this form of physical expression, you're going to be introducing the reality of it to groups of people with either no experience with it or with preconceived (often negative) ideas about it. It's sort of like the gay movement, "those people" are just wrong/bad/etc until you realized that your favorite nephew or hairdresser (who is a really great guy) is gay. So just do the good nursing you always do and let your actions speak louder than your appearance.

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