Yes to the tattoo or not?

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Aug 28, 2015
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image.jpg Hey, I'm either going to do paediatric medicine or nursing. I have severe allergies and I'm at risk for anaphylaxis so I wanted to get a medic alert for anaphylaxis tattoo on my wrist since it seems a lot more practical than wearing a bracelet forever. Now I know having visible tattoos isn't acceptable in medicine and one would generally have to cover them, but obviously in my circumstances it's important not to cover it. Do you think I would lose out on jobs because of having such a tattoo on my wrist? (Something like this:)
 

mikepremed1987

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I think the tattoo looks unprofessional. Before everyone hates on me, it's just my opinion! I would wear the bracelet. If you really want the tattoo get it once you already have a job in medicine secured.
 
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FrkyBgStok

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i have full sleeves and have never had a problem. also applying to peds and haven't had an issue on auditions. any patients who have mentioned it thought it was awesome. i do wear long sleeves a lot and many probably don't say anything.
 
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NoTownPreMed

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Not a doc, but I have full sleeve tattoos as well. I've worked in the hospital setting for over ten years, most of the times I'd cover my tattoos with long sleeves. When I used to work at the cardiovascular care unit, there was this cardiologist fellow who would wear his white coat on weekdays and wear scrubs with his tattoo sleeves showing. He was an awesome and knowledgeable doc, but I'm sure he ran into some scrutiny in the hospital because of that. I will continue to rock the long sleeve whenever I step foot in the hospital.
 
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futuremdforme

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No, because they're not attractive and the bracelet isn't such a big deal at all. Also, assuming you have some control over allergens that you encounter, it just seems unnecessary. (I also have anaphylactic allergies, so I do understand the hassle and difficulties they cause.)
 
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Law2Doc

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The EMS workers I know know to look for a bracelet but I'm not sure they diligently look for a tattoo. Also if you are injured in a process that damages your skin (burns, road rash), or end up injured when covered in dirt, mud, paint, grease, soot, a tattoo is less durable and conspicuous.
 
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Aug 28, 2015
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No, because they're not attractive and the bracelet isn't such a big deal at all. Also, assuming you have some control over allergens that you encounter, it just seems unnecessary. (I also have anaphylactic allergies, so I do understand the hassle and difficulties they cause.)
Yeah but doesn't even come down to it being attractive. My concern with a necklace or bracelet is just that it could get in the way, or into something and be unhygienic, which is why doctors no longer wear ties, and also it could rip off or I could forget to put it on. I'm just not sure if the jewellery is practical.
 
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The EMS workers I know know to look for a bracelet but I'm not sure they diligently look for a tattoo. Also if you are injured in a process that damages your skin (burns, road rash), or end up injured when covered in dirt, mud, paint, grease, soot, a tattoo is less durable and conspicuous.
That is a very good point actually, although I do know of lots of people with diabetes who get tattoos instead of jewellery
 

futuremdforme

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Yeah but doesn't even come down to it being attractive. My concern with a necklace or bracelet is just that it could get in the way, or into something and be unhygienic, which is why doctors no longer wear ties, and also it could rip off or I could forget to put it on. I'm just not sure if the jewellery is practical.
Medic alert bracelets can't really be ripped off. In the situations where you cannot wear bracelets, you should not be eating, so I don't think that the risk is very high. I would particularly not do it before you are actually in a clinical setting because a) a tattoo stands out for the wrong reasons, and b) you can actually see if you are legitimately at risk.
 
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familyaerospace

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Medic alert bracelets can't really be ripped off. In the situations where you cannot wear bracelets, you should not be eating, so I don't think that the risk is very high. I would particularly not do it before you are actually in a clinical setting because a) a tattoo stands out for the wrong reasons, and b) you can actually see if you are legitimately at risk.
I'm not so sure about that being difficult to rip off. I've caught my medical alert bracelet and broke it before on a number of occasions, I finally gave up on it. I even had one that was designed for athletes. Apparently, workout proof is not familyaerospace just working on the computer every day proof. I've also lost at least one medic alert necklace because the clasp broke and I didn't notice.

I tend to be forgetful with my jewelry anyway, so I think the tattoo is not the worst idea ever.

There are nurses that have medically related tattoos like things that say DNR and such or allergies. Allergies were near where their bracelet would otherwise be. The DNR was on their chest very big. I don't think anyone said anything about the words on their wrist. Not like most people noticed them though and if you wear long sleeves at work it should not be a problem.
 
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Life is short. Do what makes you happy. If your passionate about it and want to have it for the rest of your life then go for it. At the end of the day, you are the one that is going to look in the mirror.
 

Law2Doc

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I'm not so sure about that being difficult to rip off. I've caught my medical alert bracelet and broke it before on a number of occasions, I finally gave up on it. I even had one that was designed for athletes. Apparently, workout proof is not familyaerospace just working on the computer every day proof. I've also lost at least one medic alert necklace because the clasp broke and I didn't notice.

I tend to be forgetful with my jewelry anyway, so I think the tattoo is not the worst idea ever.

There are nurses that have medically related tattoos like things that say DNR and such or allergies. Allergies were near where their bracelet would otherwise be. The DNR was on their chest very big. I don't think anyone said anything about the words on their wrist. Not like most people noticed them though and if you wear long sleeves at work it should not be a problem.
I get the allergies one but what's even the point of the "DNR" tattoo though? In the absence of actual documentation a doctor or paramedic won't and shouldn't consider it valid. Anymore than I can assume the guy with "psycho" tattooed on his chest is actually a psychopath, or "outlaw" has a criminal record. It's pointless -- even more so making it big.
 
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Eccesignum

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I get the allergies one but what's even the point of the "DNR" tattoo though? In the absence of actual documentation a doctor or paramedic won't and shouldn't consider it valid. Anymore than I can assume the guy with "psycho" tattooed on his chest is actually a psychopath, or "outlaw" has a criminal record. It's pointless -- even more so making it big.
This. I don't know about in other states (though I can't imagine it's different) but here a tattoo is not a legal DNR statement. That was covered explicitly in our training (work both on an ambulance and in a hospital).
 

familyaerospace

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I get the allergies one but what's even the point of the "DNR" tattoo though? In the absence of actual documentation a doctor or paramedic won't and shouldn't consider it valid. Anymore than I can assume the guy with "psycho" tattooed on his chest is actually a psychopath, or "outlaw" has a criminal record. It's pointless -- even more so making it big.
I am not sure what state she was in when she got the tattoo. Different states have different requirements, most do require the paperwork. I think the assumption was she would likely be brought to her own hospital and her colleagues would honour it or run a slow code if needed.
 

Law2Doc

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I am not sure what state she was in when she got the tattoo. Different states have different requirements, most do require the paperwork. I think the assumption was she would likely be brought to her own hospital and her colleagues would honour it or run a slow code if needed.
NO states are going to allow a doctor to take for granted that a tattoo saying "DNR" is the patients legal wish. Heck that could even be someone's initials. Plus legally you can change your mind about your DNR status -- how do they know if you just didn't get around to getting it covered up. It's not legal and no doctor anywhere in the US will or can treat it as such. And assuming what hospital you'll get brought to is naive.
 
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familyaerospace

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NO states are going to allow a doctor to take for granted that a tattoo saying "DNR" is the patients legal wish. Heck that could even be someone's initials. Plus legally you can change your mind about your DNR status -- how do they know if you just didn't get around to getting it covered up. It's not legal and no doctor anywhere in the US will or can treat it as such. And assuming what hospital you'll get brought to is naive.
This very well might be true. However, I can only state what she did and a little bit about her thought process. If I recall, she was pretty vocal about her wishes. I attempted to ignore it because it was not part of what I was going to likely be called on to do in that location. That doesn't mean I didn't get to hear about it from time to time.
 

oralcare123

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Consider me paranoid, but I would tattoo it on the chest and on the arm, not as large though, and put a bracelet on. Tattoos are not as taboo as they used to be, especially this kind and it is not on the face. It may be an issue of life and death
 

QofQuimica

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Hey, I'm either going to do paediatric medicine or nursing. I have severe allergies and I'm at risk for anaphylaxis so I wanted to get a medic alert for anaphylaxis tattoo on my wrist since it seems a lot more practical than wearing a bracelet forever. Now I know having visible tattoos isn't acceptable in medicine and one would generally have to cover them, but obviously in my circumstances it's important not to cover it. Do you think I would lose out on jobs because of having such a tattoo on my wrist? (Something like this:)
No, I don't think the tattoo would affect your job prospects; I just think people would ignore it. As L2D pointed out, tattoos are not considered evidence of a patient's wishes over proper legal documents. And analogously, EMS and ED staff are not trained to look for and take into account an allergy tattoo when evaluating an unresponsive patient. Whereas, health care providers do expect someone with severe allergies to be wearing a bracelet, and will definitely read it if they see you wearing one.
 
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View attachment 195639 Hey, I'm either going to do paediatric medicine or nursing. I have severe allergies and I'm at risk for anaphylaxis so I wanted to get a medic alert for anaphylaxis tattoo on my wrist since it seems a lot more practical than wearing a bracelet forever. Now I know having visible tattoos isn't acceptable in medicine and one would generally have to cover them, but obviously in my circumstances it's important not to cover it. Do you think I would lose out on jobs because of having such a tattoo on my wrist? (Something like this:)

Doesn't matter, particularly since its for medical purposes.