I was a straight A student during my training at Allen School and I have excellent skills. I also have a lot of tattoos and piercing. During a workshop at school, we were told to hide tattoos and remove piercing when going on interviews. This makes me feel like a fraud. Isn’t it my right to express myself that way and shouldn’t my qualifications speak for themselves?
Printed, Pierced and Puzzled
Yes, PPP, you are correct, “the times they are a changin’,” as far as tattoos, piercing, etc. go, and you should be able to express yourself. Whether we like them or not, in today’s society, tattoos and piercing have become commonplace and, as such, many barely raise an eyebrow anymore.
That being said, based on the school’s experiences, many medical facilities will not look kindly on visible tattoos and piercing. It’s not worth the chance of screwing up job possibilities to have them visible. That is why we suggest covering them up. Even if they do not prevent you from getting the job, they might hurt your chances in progressing or being promoted.
You must remember that the health care field has a particularly conservative culture as evidenced by the uniforms, white coats and so on. Patients may not think you fit the mold of a medical professional when they see you wearing body jewelry or visible tattoos. I know it sounds antiquated, but you made the decision to enter this conservative profession. If you try to go against the grain, you’ll find that standing out this way is not a quality that will be admired.
You do, however, have the right to do as you please and it would be stupid to judge your professional abilities because of your body art. But, an employer might have to wonder about your maturity in making the decision to stand out in this particular fashion.
However, PPP, If your tattoos and piercing prevent you from landing a job in the health care area, take comfort in knowing that there may be a place for you in a tattoo parlor somewhere [smile!].