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4paws

10+ Year Member
Dec 20, 2008
54
0
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Veterinary Student
I am new to the site so I don't know if this has already been addressed. I wanted to know if any vet students have visible piercings or tattoos and how the students and faculty in their program respond to this. Are you forced to remove and cover them? Are students like this even admitted?
 

Nexx

2 weeks and counting
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Oct 10, 2006
449
2
Western Australia
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Veterinary Student
I have a tattoo on my wrist, roughly 3x3... hasn't drawn any complaints, criticism, or any comments from staff at all really. Granted Australia is a bit laid back in general... although tattoos/Body mods in general aren't as popular over here.

Anyhow, I perception is going to be based on your overall attitude, how much modification is done and well... what generation the person you are interacting with is from. But yeah, I'd expect to encounter some problems at some point if you have blatant modifications outside of social norms.

I've worked with doctors with several visible tattoos and plenty of ear piercings (nothing too crazy on the piercing side)
 

Kat0303

UTCVM co 2012 WOOOOOOO!
10+ Year Member
Feb 28, 2008
152
0
TN
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Veterinary Student
I have large, visible tattoos on my feet, and it's not a problem. There are several students at my school (and I'm sure more than I know) that have visable tattoos on the wrists, arms, and back of the neck and it is fine. Also, there are several people in my class with nose rings, and one of my good friends didn't even take hers out for her interview and she got in. I think it's probably a good idea to keep them out of sight at the interview just to be safe, but I at least at my school, it was never mentioned that we were required or recommended to hide piercings or tattoos.
 
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RockStarKDub

UF CVM Class of 2012!
10+ Year Member
Apr 13, 2007
305
0
Gainesville, FL / formerly PA
Status
Veterinary Student
Wore my nose ring to all of my interviews and was still accepted to 3 schools ;) I've never heard a word about it from any of my professors etc. Same with my 3 tattoos (on my shoulders/back)
 

wi girl

Wisconsin SVM c/o 2012
10+ Year Member
Jan 27, 2008
447
0
Status
Veterinary Student
No visible tattoos and facial piercings beyond ears and one nose while in the clinic. In class, they don't care. A lot of my class actually had or have gotten tattoos since we've started (I got paws on my foot -- I know, so original).

Feet are good, shoes over them!
 

laurafinn

10+ Year Member
Dec 30, 2004
406
6
Oakland-ish
Status
Veterinarian
I don't have any tattoos or piercings, but some of my classmates do -- along with hair colors not found in nature :) -- and it isn't a big deal. I don't think the administration here would say anything about any tattoo, because tattoos have cultural significance among Maori.

But, like Australia, New Zealand is pretty laid back about stuff like this. Also, piercings are not as common as they are in some parts of the US.
 

Pointer1330

10+ Year Member
May 5, 2008
72
0
Status
Pre-Veterinary
I don't think it's too big of a deal for Vet school, but I think facial piercings are extremely unprofessional for anyone doing clinicals or practicing as a Veterinarian. Things may be a little different on the coasts though than they are here in the small town Midwest.
 

twelvetigers

stabby cat
10+ Year Member
Mar 12, 2008
18,815
10,774
TTown
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Also, it does well to note the critical difference between a nose piercing and, say, a septum piercing. There's probably a line that would be best not to cross...
 

Bill59

Member
10+ Year Member
Jan 4, 2006
990
7
Very few instructors will care in the classroom. Some clinicians will ask you to remove excess jewelry such as nose rings, multiple earrings, and so on while on hospital duty.
 

soxbox

CSU PVM Class of '11
10+ Year Member
Jan 12, 2007
212
1
Colorado
Status
Veterinary Student
There are a bunch of my classmates who have tattoos, most are in easily covered places and most are relatively small, though there are a few pretty large ones (but all coverable). I myself have 3, all on my legs (and one is pretty big). I have definitely limited my professional attire to only pants, but I suppose vet medicine is one that pants are pretty much the standard :) I have to say besides ear piercings, nose rings amongst the girls in my class is probably the 2nd most common piercing. I think a small, simple stud is rather innocuous, but I am not sure if our hospital has rules about taking them out. Also not sure if there is a rule about visible tattoos... guess I will find out soon enough and save the capri pants for non hospital activities :)
 

168135

Guest
10+ Year Member
Sep 20, 2007
1,415
4
31
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Pre-Veterinary
I'm just curious... anyone out there have unusual ear piercings? Did you take them out, wear retainers, cover them up, or keep them in for their interview and still get in?

I have my lobes pierced twice, helix, forward helix, and a vertical lobe piercing now. They're all very modest. I had my forward helix pierced for four monthes and my vertical lobe for six monthes before my mom noticed. The dental hygenist saw my vertical lobe during a cleaning once but she was right next to my ear, and I've had one hairdresser ask me about it. Piercings aren't cheap... if it was a matter of me getting into vet school if I took them out, I'd have no choice but to do it, but has anyone gotten away with retainers?
 
Jan 18, 2006
16,901
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Are students like this even admitted?

:rolleyes: Er, I'll hope that the above was a slight foot-in-mouth because it came off a bit supercilious. People should be admitted based on their qualifications, not their physical attributes. Not admitting someone because of a tattoo is like not admitting someone because they are overweight. I have triple ear studs, a cartilage piercing, a back tattoo and a quite visible wrist tattoo. If people don't like it, they can deal with it. The only judgement that is important is people's judgement of my knowledge and skill.

I go to school in a pretty "conservative" area (rural VA) and haven't had a problem either in school or during my whole time here. If my school suddenly decided I had to wear a watch or overly long sleeves to hide my wrist tattoo, I'd leave. If a clinic refused to hire me because I had a tattoo, I wouldn't want to work with people like that anyway.

There is a large difference between appearing sloppy and unprofessional and having tattoos/piercings (ie the guy who walks in with shirt untucked, dirty shoes, unwashed hair, etc versus a girl with an eyebrow ring) Sloppy, dirty dress indicates sloppy, dirty medicine and a lackadaisical attitude. Tattoos and piercings mean basically nada, except when people attach stereotypes to them. My 2 cents.
 
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Jan 18, 2006
16,901
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Also, in terms of faculty/clinician response, they either have said nothing at all, or "Oh how pretty/neat/what does it mean/etc" None of the other people I know who have visible tattoos or piercings have ever had a problem, either.

I think people's attitudes becoming more mature about body modification (thank God).

The one exception I can think of is going TOTALLY overboard - tattoos and piercinhs EVERYwHERE. Again, it has NOTHING do to with your qualifications as a doctor and student, but you need to take into account that it might make people uncomfortable. Then again, you may make people uncomfortable just because you're black, or Muslim, or anything like that - schools shouldn't discriminate against students just because they think the student's appearance may make some clients feel weird.

Bottom Line: That is for clients and private employers to decide, NOT educators.
 
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4paws

10+ Year Member
Dec 20, 2008
54
0
Status
Veterinary Student
Thanks for the input.

I have a small but visible wrist tattoo and a nose ring. I didn't know how much effort i should put into covering/removing them for my upcoming interview.
 

soxbox

CSU PVM Class of '11
10+ Year Member
Jan 12, 2007
212
1
Colorado
Status
Veterinary Student
Thanks for the input.

I have a small but visible wrist tattoo and a nose ring. I didn't know how much effort i should put into covering/removing them for my upcoming interview.
I had 2 interviews for vet school and my tattoos were covered, but I did leave in my tongue ring (though it is clear but it is a 4g) and all my earrings (not sure the names of them, but there are a few "normal" ones, both traguses (tragi?), and some "others" as I am clueless to their names) and I was accepted to one school and rejected from the other. Though I can assure you the piercings were not the reason I was rejected, I managed to do that all on my own (horrible and traumatic interview)!! I now also have my nose pierced and have had no problems with it anywhere. I work in a professional government office and no one has said a word to me about it (and a few of the vets I work with there have a nose ring as well).

Good luck with your interviews :)
 

168135

Guest
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Sep 20, 2007
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I had 2 interviews for vet school and my tattoos were covered, but I did leave in my tongue ring (though it is clear but it is a 4g) and all my earrings (not sure the names of them, but there are a few "normal" ones, both traguses (tragi?), and some "others" as I am clueless to their names) and I was accepted to one school and rejected from the other. Though I can assure you the piercings were not the reason I was rejected, I managed to do that all on my own (horrible and traumatic interview)!! I now also have my nose pierced and have had no problems with it anywhere. I work in a professional government office and no one has said a word to me about it (and a few of the vets I work with there have a nose ring as well).
That makes me feel a lot better.

I paid a lot of money for my piercings, and I'd hate to have to remove them all in the next couple of years :p
 

Bill59

Member
10+ Year Member
Jan 4, 2006
990
7
Then again, you may make people uncomfortable just because you're black, or Muslim, or anything like that - schools shouldn't discriminate against students just because they think the student's appearance may make some clients feel weird.
Big difference between discriminating against someone because of race and requiring professional dress and grooming, not the least of which the first is illegal and the second is not. We can debate what is and is not professional dress but the basic concepts are completely different.

Bottom Line: That is for clients and private employers to decide, NOT educators.
Part of the educators job is to educate the student on behavior that will be helpful for their intended career. This includes interpersonal skills in relating to clients and future employers, which includes dress and grooming.

In the hospital, the attending is ultimately responsible for everything that goes on in that service including how the students and house officers behave. That includes how they dress.
 

Klhughes

Tennessee Class of 2011
10+ Year Member
Nov 4, 2008
88
0
Knoxville, TN
Status
Veterinary Student
I have tattoos on both my wrists and my back. I have not had anybody say anything to me since I got to school about the tattoos other than asking to look at the ones on my wrist. I think the only time I ever had a comment about them was during my undergrad when I was working at a local clinic and one lady told me I would regret getting them but everyone else has been really laid back.
The only thing that I think would bother our dean is outlandish colored hair. I think as long as it is kept tasteful and professional there is no problem with it.
 

pressmom

Third year!
10+ Year Member
Apr 4, 2007
962
1
Status
Veterinary Student
I have tattoos on both my wrists and my back. I have not had anybody say anything to me since I got to school about the tattoos other than asking to look at the ones on my wrist. I think the only time I ever had a comment about them was during my undergrad when I was working at a local clinic and one lady told me I would regret getting them but everyone else has been really laid back.
The only thing that I think would bother our dean is outlandish colored hair. I think as long as it is kept tasteful and professional there is no problem with it.
I think we've already had outlandish colored hair! ;)
 

VetMed555

VMRCVM Class of 2012
10+ Year Member
Dec 19, 2007
215
0
Bburg
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One of our very much beloved faculty members has a celtic tattoo on her wrist. It's very tasteful and I would never doubt her teaching credentials based on her tattoo. :) I think the same goes for students.

I can see how some offensive sayings/images might not be the best choice for public display, but a tasteful tattoo and/or piercings should not be a problem. I never heard of anybody saying that the reason they didn't get in was their tattoo :D
 
Jan 18, 2006
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Part of the educators job is to educate the student on behavior that will be helpful for their intended career. This includes interpersonal skills in relating to clients and future employers, which includes dress and grooming.

Teaching us things that are helpful, yes, I totally agree. But not denying us admission because we may not choose to follow advice on physical appearance that is simply "helpful" and not "mandatory" to be a successful doctor.
 

Bill59

Member
10+ Year Member
Jan 4, 2006
990
7
Yeah, I was speaking more to the first question regarding veterinary students' dress than the second question of admissions.
 

rouxeny

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Jan 14, 2009
73
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.
 
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pinkpuppy9

Tired DVM
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Crystalight33

UTK c/o 2017!!
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Dec 22, 2012
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I will say at two practices I used to work at, no visible tattoos were allowed. There was a vet there with a wrist tattoo that had to cover it with sleeves, a watch, or vet wrap. A few of the technicians had either wrist tattoos or sleeves that had to be covered with long sleeved shirts under their scrubs (even in summer). No facial piercings either.

Of course, this is in Tennessee where it seems like the majority of the population believes that if you have tattoos, you must worship the devil..... Sad, but the south is still pretty backwards like that.
 

DVMDream

DVMNightmare
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Jul 15, 2009
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We had two techs with visible tattoos on their arms... one was a rose with stars and she was not made to cover it up. The other girl had a pin-up girl on her arm and she had to keep that covered for obvious reasons. All the vets that I worked with that had tattoos had ones that were easily covered so there were no issues there. I would say tattoos probably aren't going to be a big deal as long as you can cover them up easily should the place you work at require them to be covered. Opinions on tattoos are going to vary widely from clinic to clinic so that is just something to keep in mind.
 

that redhead

10+ Year Member
Feb 26, 2010
11,186
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It really depends on the area. We have students with nose piercings and ear piercings but that's about it. Most (all?) people that have tattoos have them in a place that's covered most of the time.

Bottom line, I would wait to get any facial piercings or visible tattoos until after the interview season. Even then it's a risk you run with future clientel, and that's up to you to decide.
 
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