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Tattoos

Nurses   (2,321 Views 19 Comments)
by Fancy Face Fancy Face (Member)

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As a health care professional, do you think it is safe to get one? Do you have any? What about the risk of HIV/Hepatitis? :monkeydance:

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happybunny1970 has 6 years experience and specializes in Acute Hemodialysis, Cardiac, ICU, OR.

154 Posts; 3,580 Profile Views

Absolutely! I have 2, my husband has 2, and we have a few piercings between us... The only trick is finding a reputable artist to go to, one who understands and utilizes sterile procedures. This may take a few trips out and talking to several people.

The place we have gone in the past is cleaner than many ORs I have been in. The staff is just more colorful!

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65 Posts; 2,395 Profile Views

Fancy Face...

Having gotten several tattoos I will second the idea that it can be an entirely safe and sterile experience -- again you just have to do your homework!! Make sure you figure out exactly what you're getting yourself into both in terms of a studio's artistic talents & health standards... sterile needles & work environment are critical, as is the artist's knowlege of the risks associated with their work.

Best of luck... and be sure to see samples (preferably in person!) of someone's work before agreeing to anything!!

Kangaroo

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crissrn27 has 8 years experience as a RN and specializes in nursery, L and D.

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I always go to a place that properly utilizes autoclave and take their art seriously.......proper cleaning techniques, etc. That didn't stop me from getting a massive cellulitis in the last tat I got.......bedrest for 3 weeks, bunches of ABT, so not fun. I still swear something crawled in my bandage at work and started all this, lol. Didn't help that the tat was on a dependent area (ankle). Haven't gotten the guts up to try another one yet, and this was 4 years ago.

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675 Posts; 7,083 Profile Views

I have one tattoo that I got in college. It's on my lower back and I don't see it often so I forget it's there... I wish I hadn't gotten it now (10 years later)... just because it IS permanent and it will be there forever... I just wish I would have thought it out more...

Anyway... I think it is fairly safe... I just wonder... I realize the needles are new and sterile, but what about the ink they are dipping the needle into? Don't they use the same ink for everyone??

Just curious if anyone knows anything about that???

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luvmy2angels has 22 years experience and specializes in Geriatrics.

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I have one tattoo that I got in college. It's on my lower back and I don't see it often so I forget it's there... I wish I hadn't gotten it now (10 years later)... just because it IS permanent and it will be there forever... I just wish I would have thought it out more...

Anyway... I think it is fairly safe... I just wonder... I realize the needles are new and sterile, but what about the ink they are dipping the needle into? Don't they use the same ink for everyone??

Just curious if anyone knows anything about that???

I just got another one about 2 weeks ago and NO they do not use the same ink for everyone. The ink comes in large bottles, somewhat like a ketchup bottle and then they pour from that what they need for your tattoo. Anything left over is thrown away.

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OneChattyNurse has 13 years experience and specializes in LTC, MDS/careplans, Unit Manager.

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i tend to lean more towards disposable needles rather than autoclaved. the state inspector only checks the autoclave once or twice a year. if the shop does not do their checks properly they have no way to know when/if their machine malfunctions.

 

my husband is a tattoo artist and is extremely conscientious when it comes to infection control. i would suggest looking at the studio to see how clean the area is. also note the ink bottles. are they covered with ink or nice and clean? my husband never touches a bottle without clean gloves as you don't want to contaminate the ink bottles with someone's blood or body fluids. also ask if they use disposable tubes and needles or if they autoclave. if they use disposable, as to watch them open the packages. if they autoclave, ask what their schedule is for verifying the proper function (i would even ask to see the book they record the information in).

 

aftercare is also really important. ask your artist what kind of aftercare they offer/recommend. there are things you can put on them that will draw the ink. it is really important to follow the instructions your artist give you.

 

i love my tattoos (have only been tattooed by hubby) and do plan to get some more. have fun, just be safe.

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crissrn27 has 8 years experience as a RN and specializes in nursery, L and D.

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A reputable place will pour ink into separate containers for each person. I have seen some that don't do this. Don't think thats safe, or within regs for tattoo artist, but some use the large container for everyone. Lots of the "home" artist do this. I would never be tated by someone like that. Could definitely get Hep or HIV, or gosh knows, from someone doing that.

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nursingisworkRN specializes in Emergency.

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As stated above, I would think it could be very safe or very scary depending on who/where it was done. I got my first tattoo a few months ago, and the first day back at work I had a contact isolation for VRE with weeping skin and fistulas....boy was I worried, even though the open area was covered and on my back. That day I skipped the lotion applications, and put on sterile gloves before washing it at home (I was more worried about what might be on my hands).

Funny how many people do not know how a shop cleans their equipment. I would insist on sterile disposable needles. Again, they should be opened in front of you. Also, look for signs of cleanliness. Sanitizing surfaces with CaviCide, no food or drink in the back, knowledge of sterilization techniques. Go see the shop, talk to the artist, and see what he has to say. Even better to watch the artist in work (are they spreading potential pathogens around, or using proper precautions?)

That being said, there is always a risk (even other than Hep/HIV). I have had pts that got pacemaker infections following tattoos and had to go down to UCLA to have the leads and pacemaker reviewed (how scary). Some folks even react to the dye (I hear that red ink has the highest rate of allergic response).

At the end of the day, though, people take risks (even nurses). It always surprises me how many nurses have tattoos. Best to educate yourself and then decide.

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Ms Kylee has 4 years experience and specializes in Med Surg, Hospice.

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Place I called and was considering going for mine was very nice and helpful on the phone. I never made it to the shop to observe despite an invitation from the owner. They got shut down twice for Hepatitis. Decided right then and there I'll never have ink on my skin.

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danissa has 12 years experience as a LPN, LVN and specializes in midwifery, NICU.

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I have one in the small of my back, so its not seen when I'm at work. I dont think its ok to have tattoos that are seen on arms etc when you are nursing..but thats my opinion! Am considering another in another hidden area!:lol2: Also have hidden piercing, again considering another as I have had no problems with either!

Always go to a reputable place, where you can see them unwrap the sterile needles, ink etc. I dont think I will regret having them, but remember, the tattoo is there forever, the piercing can be removed. Anyway..I LOVE mine!

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