KNW
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I've applied to medicine for 2021 entry and I'm thinking about getting a tattoo on my forearm (nothing obscene or offensive, basically an anatomical heart in a hand) but just wanted to check if it could affect anything in future from medical school interview to every day practice. I know if i need to cover it i can wear full length sleeves but I'd rather not be forced to wear long sleeves every working day.
Thanks
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Turning_A_Corner
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I've seen medical professionals with tattoos, but just because it's allowed by a lot of trusts doesn't mean that they don't have an impact. You never know how an image might affect people. Where I was working a couple of months ago a patient became very agitated around one of the support workers. After working with her for their communication we established that the support worker wasn't doing anything wrong but the patient really didn't like her body art. The support worker had a tattoo behind her ear of a bird and one on her forearm of an abstract image that upset the patient, although she couldn't articulate why. I also had a colleague who was covered in tattoos and he found that parents would often become uncomfortable when he was around their kids. One mum requested a different therapist because her child would get distracted by them and wasn't able to focus on the therapy.
Now, yes, there's an argument that the patients need to learn to accept help from anyone and the tattoos don't prevent a person from providing care, but at the same time there is an advantage to being able to present a neutral front to the people you work with so that they can focus on making improvements and gains to their health and rehabilitation without becoming distracted. No one can ever be offended or distracted by a bare arm. You cannot claim the same about a tattoo. Not everyone has the ability to control their reactions and doctors have to work with all kinds of people and establish immediate therapeutic relationships with people. I would suggest that if you could find a way to express yourself but to be discrete with it, do that instead.
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KNW
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(Original post by Turning_A_Corner)
I've seen medical professionals with tattoos, but just because it's allowed by a lot of trusts doesn't mean that they don't have an impact. You never know how an image might affect people. Where I was working a couple of months ago a patient became very agitated around one of the support workers. After working with her for their communication we established that the support worker wasn't doing anything wrong but the patient really didn't like her body art. The support worker had a tattoo behind her ear of a bird and one on her forearm of an abstract image that upset the patient, although she couldn't articulate why. I also had a colleague who was covered in tattoos and he found that parents would often become uncomfortable when he was around their kids. One mum requested a different therapist because her child would get distracted by them and wasn't able to focus on the therapy.
Now, yes, there's an argument that the patients need to learn to accept help from anyone and the tattoos don't prevent a person from providing care, but at the same time there is an advantage to being able to present a neutral front to the people you work with so that they can focus on making improvements and gains to their health and rehabilitation without becoming distracted. No one can ever be offended or distracted by a bare arm. You cannot claim the same about a tattoo. Not everyone has the ability to control their reactions and doctors have to work with all kinds of people and establish immediate therapeutic relationships with people. I would suggest that if you could find a way to express yourself but to be discrete with it, do that instead.
Thanks so much for your reply. I think I had a hunch that would be the case but couldn't quite articulate it and I wanted confirmation that it is a real possibility not just over thinking it. I think I will get it but just elsewhere, in a less/not visible spot. Thanks again
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