Michelle R.

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Does having a tattoo really make it difficult for someone to practice medicine?Or is that just a bias opinion due to the bad reputation of tattoos in general?

I personally love tattoos. I do not have one, however thinking of getting a meaningful one soon. YET I always hear from teachers and adults how having "ink" ruin or hinder my chance of having a good career. Even with these warnings I have seen many nurses and doctors with a tattoo. #doctor #nurse #paramedic

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Tattoos can transmit serious diseases like hepatitis C ( a serious infection of the liver), although the risk is not huge it is not zero. While you can occasionally see doctors and nurses who have gotten tattoos when they were young and foolish, it is a fairly silly thing to do. It is all about "self expression" and that sort of thing, and highly successful people do not write on themselves to self express, they do stuff that makes an impact on the world and do not waste time having people write on them. You will not see a lot of 55 year old CEOs or 50 year old brain surgeons stroll into the tattoo parlor for their first or even second ink job. It is the kind of thing associated with youth, foolishness and immaturity, and not immediately associated with high achievement and professional leadership. So while it does not make it impossible to get a job, those of us who are older know smart young people can do really stupid things, it does not help, and multiple tattoos in visible places suggests less than great judgement. It is also sort of self absorbed. In a world were poor people in foreign countries sometimes do not have clean water to drink because they are so poor, does it really make sense to take excess money and use it to have a permanent drawing placed on your arm or whatever, that you may hate in 5 years, or would it make more sense to donate the money to a poor person or homeless person or other good cause. Really to use 250 dollars to permanently draw on yourself? Does that sound like an intelligent use of time or money?

Last updated May 20 '16 at 00:06

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The general public seems to link having a tattoo with certain undesirable traits, which is why most medical institutions have a policy of covering them while you are at work. I would not recommend getting any tattoos on visible areas. If you are determined to do so, stick to the torso only, so you can easily cover it up. As mentioned by a previous poster, it might get hot if you get a sleeve, then have to cover it up all summer long. My neice stuck to the torso rule, but had a chain printed across her upper chest. It has caused her to be the focus of a lot of negative attention. So stick to something you can cover with a scoop-neck, short-sleeved t-shirt.
Last updated Nov 19 at 14:44

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Dear Michelle, Our hospital had rules against tattoos for many years. People had to cover them to be able to work. Now, the rules have lifted somewhat and people can have a "tasteful" tattoo that is visible. If your tattoo is visible, then you are more vulnerable to the bias of the person who is interviewing you- If they don't mind the tattoo, you are in good shape! If they have a bias, then you could fall victim to their prejudice.

My niece is a patrolman for the local sheriff's department. She has a tattoo on her arm and has to wear long sleeves to work all of the time- even in 90+ degree weather because of the rules to cover them.

My son is in the U.S. Navy and he wanted a tattoo because all of his friends were getting one- I kept advising him not to, but he kept asking for my approval. I told him that he was an adult and needed to make his own decision, but that I would advise him to place the tattoo so that it would not show if he were at a job interview. He got an anchor with a scripture on it placed on the side of his chest. He said it really hurt and he didn't plan on getting more!

I think it is wise of you to ask about this- and if you are determined to get one, you should listen to the advice of your parents or guardians who want the best for you.

Best of luck to you in your future!

Last updated May 23 '16 at 09:19

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