|This is not my tattoo - I found it on Google images. It's pretty, though, right?|
Many (many, many) years ago I interviewed for and got offered a job at a hospital that had a policy about earrings. When I was offered the job, the person who called me offered the job and then told me that the hospital had a policy that women could wear only one small earring in each ear lobe. At the time, I think I had two or three earrings in each ear lobe and probably a couple higher in the cartilage of one ear.
I don’t think that the earring policy was the deciding factor in my not taking the job. I think that if all other conditions were right, I’d have considered taking the earrings out for the job. However, I remember being just a little bit bothered by the policy. I do not think that my many earrings influence my ability to do my job.
However, I understand the issue.
We shouldn’t make judgements based on appearance, but appearance does influence what people think.
I think we do need policies for personal appearance at work. I didn't used to feel this way, but, unfortunately, I’ve seen the effects of no strictly enforced dress code policies for nurses and it’s not pretty.
Many of the hospitals in my area have gone to a strict dress code of only one or two colors that nurses are allowed to wear. At first, I thought that was really weird, but now I get it.
Dress is incredibly subjective. I’m sure most parents can relate to that – how many times have our kids dressed in something that we found horribly inappropriate that they thought was great?
Art is incredibly subjective, too. Tattoos are body art. What on person considers a beautiful and thoughtful expression through body art, another may consider disfiguring and repulsive.
The idea of nurses and body art and body adornment is very interesting to me. When I meet nurses with visible tattoos, I always ask them what their employer’s policy on body art and body adornment is. Some are required to keep them covered and some are not.
I don’t have an opinion or an answer, I’m just curious and nosey.
I can see the thinking on both “sides” of the issue. On one hand, nurses may choose body art as a way to expressing themselves and even celebrating the fact that they’ve accomplished the goal of becoming a nurse, with a nurse-themed tattoo. On the other hand, it’s easier for an employer to mandate that all tattoos be covered instead of having to decide which are acceptable and which are not.
I’m not sure what is right, I just know that tattoos and body adornments are no longer fringe; they are mainstream and are the norm rather than the exception. Will covering tattoos go the way of caps and white dresses for nurses?
What do you think?