Wow! Recently I heard negative comments by members of the general public about two Nurses who had visible Tattoo’s. I posed a question about Nurses having Tattoo’s on the Nurses for Nurses Network public facebook page and have received some great thought provoking posts!
The comments heard by the members of the public implied that these Nurses were not ‘trustworthy and looked ‘tough’. I can only assume, and it may not be accurate, that their personal judgements are based on past societal perceptions regarding anyone with a Tattoo. A peer shared that it was probably related to ‘ those in the older age groups’ – however did not articulate what those age groups were.
In healthcare we work with individuals across a wide generation gap including our clients / patients and colleagues. Do you think patients of any age would be bothered by being cared for by Nurses with visible Tattoo’s? Surely the patients we care for are focused on the Nurse being professional and caring for them in a competent and empathetic manner. Many of us over the years have worked with Nurses who have perhaps been less than professional based on their personal presentation and behaviours in the workplace which have not been linked to visible Tattoo’s.
Have you ever experienced any negative feedback relating to same? Personally I have only heard a peer on one occasion in more than 30 years of Nursing comment about a Nurse who had visible tattoo’s on their neck and the side of their head and the comment was ‘ bl..dy hell, they must have a high pain threshold that would have hurt’.
Most workplaces have professional work and dress code standards and some workplaces insist that staff ‘cover up’ visible Tattoo’s. What are your views on this and are these policies reinforced?
Professionalism encompasses far more than mere appearance and do you think that Tattoo’s are, like a hair style or vibrant hair colour merely an individual choice that should not be negatively viewed in the workplace or do you think that Tattoo’s detract from the public’s perception of Nurses as a professional body? We would love to hear your views and comments!