Recommendations: Long sleeve shirt to cover tattoos


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643 Posts

Specializes in ER trauma, ICU - trauma, neuro surgical. Has 10 years experience.

A long sleeve won't spread infection to other pts. A forearm would be just as "contaminated" b/c no one washes their forearms unless you are scrubbing in for surgery. You can't tell me people wearing lab coats or a docs wearing ties (that hang all over the bed) are cleaner than long sleeves. Our hands are the worst carriers of infection..even with washing. It's crap to tell someone they should remove their tattoos b/c long sleeves are dripping with bacteria. In that case, no one should be allowed to wear to ties, or give pt care without always wearing a mask, or allow family members to touch anything in the hospital. There are a hundred other things that are worse at carrying infection then my long sleeves. The OR is only place where long sleeves could be argued. And in the OR, there are no ties, everyone wears masks, and there are no family members.


129 Posts

Champion brand from Target is good and they sell them online too. Cherokee, Dickies, White Swan, and lots of others scrub companies also make long sleeved shirts. I buy mine (Cherokee Workwear brand) from allheart usually.. hard to find lower prices.


7 Posts

OK, so I am a little obsessed with tattoos because I have them. I also have to cover them up while on duty. I wear two Ink Armor sleeves and they work great: Cover a Tattoo | Tattoo Cover Up Sleeve | Ink Armor Full Sleeve Tat2X I have several colors and actually don't mind because it seems to make my patients more comfortable. I will say that the policy has varied greatly between the different facilities I've worked at. I like these sleeves because the don't slip down my arm and I don't have to wear a long sleeve shirt under my scrubs.


7 Posts

I purchased underarmor, cut the sleeves and sewed them to my scrub top so I wasent so hot, looks and works great!


23 Posts

I purchased underarmor, cut the sleeves and sewed them to my scrub top so I wasent so hot, looks and works great!

OMG; that's genius! Thanks!


3 Posts

Hey everyone, I know this subject has been talked to death in other forums, but nobody seems to be getting to the point, and I have too much med-surg homework to read to be messing around for hours on these forums!

My tattoos were awesome when I was in the Army... now I'm a nursing student and I have tattoos on both of my arms. They are NOT offensive, and can be covered by a long sleeve shirt under my scrub top, or by wearing a lab coat, which I have cleared with my clincal instructor.

I find it to be very uncomfortable to wear a lab coat all the time, and wearing a white cotton undershirt seems kind of gross.... wiping pts and whatnot, it seems bulky and I feel like I'm getting stuff on it that's staying there (in contact with my skin) all day.

I'm thinking about getting something skin-tight, like underarmour (or a cheaper, knockoff). What's everyone else doing???

Honestly i wouldnt buy underarmour cause they just cost way too much, i just wore champion long sleeve shirts for clinicals. Now that im a nurse and i have my half sleeve (world of warcraft themed, kinda obscene) I dont ever cover it up. I havent had one complaint and most of my patient want to see what the whole thing looks like.


3 Posts

I haven't had any problems. I just wear scrubs and nothing under. I have done clinical's in pretty reputable hospitals in Boston without any comments. My school does not require them to be covered.


308 Posts

Specializes in LTC, Education, Management, QAPI. Has 6 years experience.

Honestly- do not listen to the "get rid of your ink" comments- For me, ink has become just as natural as my skin. It's not worth it to get rid of them, to me. Times are a-changing! I'm a RN, DON with tats all over, so dont let it hold you back.

I overheat REALLY badly, so no lab coat. I'm big on infection control, so no long sleeves. What I settled on may seem stupid to some, but I just left them visible. If the instructor/ facility had a concern, I ended up wearing 3/4 sleeves (hard to find but not impossible) and didnt have any problem. When it was bad, I used a anti-microbial moisture wick undershirt that i would roll up when going in to direct patient care involving anything other than a simple touch and then rolled back down when leaving.

At first in my facility they had an issue with tattoos, but they're over it now. I'd guess a majority of patients have tattoos themselves. At any rate, if it's an offensive tat, you have to cover it.

Music in My Heart

2 Articles; 4,102 Posts

Specializes in being a Credible Source. Has 13 years experience.
Some nurses may even have incontinent patients who are needing to be cleaned constantly (like a patient with Clostridium dificile).
Any patient with C. diff and most patients with watery stool or other nasty stuff, nurses just gown up anyway. Long sleeves aren't a problem...
youll just soak up and ferment microbes in those long sleeves and infect your patients. just get the tats removed please

Lol. Helpful🙄