Tattoos are taboo at work. Yes? No?


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    Specializes in Programming / Strategist for allnurses. Has 27 years experience.


68 Posts

I have 2 smaller tattoos but in inconspicuous places. I was at the lake last week and I kid you not, 90% of the young women (OK, I'm 40, you caught me) had large tattoos somewhere on their body, a lot on upper thighs and trunk so they can be covered. I think in 10 years so much of the population will have them that the public perception will change and showing them at work will be a non-issue.

Specializes in orthopedic; Informatics, diabetes. Has 11 years experience.

We have people that are more self conscious about their tattoos than others. It isn't that big of a deal at my work. I haven't seen anyone come to work with an uncovered sleeve yet :D


8 Posts

They used to make a big deal about tattoos at our facility. But in the last year or so they have loosened up. We have a girl on our floor with sleeves that are beautiful. Patients ask her all the time about them!

CapeCodMermaid, RN

6,089 Posts

Specializes in Gerontology, Med surg, Home Health. Has 30 years experience.

I have a tattoo on my ankle. I am the director of nursing at my facility. My patients love my tat and ask me about it all the time. We do not have a written policy on it.

Chisca, RN

745 Posts

Specializes in Dialysis. Has 39 years experience.

My hospital is adopting a policy that we have to have the corporate logo embroidered our uniforms. Maybe their next bright idea will be for us to all have the logo tattooed on our forehead.

Specializes in Critical Care.
Chisca said:
My hospital is adopting a policy that we have to have the corporate logo embroidered our uniforms. Maybe their next bright idea will be for us to all have the logo tattooed on our forehead.

I hope they are paying for your uniforms then!

Specializes in HH, Peds, Rehab, Clinical. Has 4 years experience.

Tattoos have to be covered where I work. Makes it a little hard for one of the CNA's who has little stars tattooed in the web of each thumb


4 Posts

Our facility used to insist tattoos be covered but it was not specified how. People showed up wearing the stretchy sleeves made to look like tattoos (their tattoos were covered and much smaller than what was printed on the sleeves) and others were wearing large gauze bandaging to cover them. It looked hideous and I had to laugh, where there's a will there's a way.....Management has become less insistent since then.


258 Posts

I think if nurses (also teachers) want respect from the public and want to be viewed as a professional, tattoos should not be seen. How would the majority of people feel with a doctor coming in their room with tattoo sleeves and mouth piercings? We train people how to treat us and perceive us (appearance, behavior, etc). How do you want people to perceive you? Do you want people to look to you as a professional nurse or just a nurse. I don't care if you have one, but I think it should be somewhere hidden.


2 Posts

So strange, it is 2013 and the topic is still on. I think, tattoos or not is irrelevant. As long as you are caring, polite and knowledgeable - you are professional. A drawing on your body shouldn't be a big deal, because it is not - it's what you do is important.

I myself don't have tattoos, but I really feel for people, who has to remove theirs because of the policies. What if this tattoo was something meaningful and precious for them, like a memory.

Cruel judgmental world


111 Posts

I say to each his own , but it is okay for a facility to have policy regarding the coverings of tattoos. If you pay the paycheck, you have the right. I just find it ironic that people spend billions of dollars on acne and scars every year, yet want tattoos......go figure. I for one dislike them, but my own son has one and I just look past it....I like the look of the skin God gave us. But, if you like 'em , have at it!