tattoos in EMS

MA-EMT76

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I know alot of EMT's that have tattoos in my area....including myself. Working for the hospital's ambulance service requires me to follow the same dress code policies as other non-EMS hospital staff.....which requires tattoos to be covered. Then I see AMR employees with arms full of tattoos and wearing short sleeves. I am curious about other states and services. Anyone have opinions or comments on this?
 

ResTech

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I think as a EMS professional we all need to show some good professional judegement when it comes to our appearance. Now with that said, I must say that I am definitely not one to judge another by their outward appearance and quite honestly I can't stand people who look down on others because of tattoo's, piercings, hair length, etc. That is all superficial to me and does not define the true being.

The unfortunate is that society automatically lables you if you have a tattoo and the stigma carried with having a tattoo can be detrimental to a EMS career. I think if you are an EMS provider considering a tattoo you should get it in a location that can be easily covered. I have been contemplating on getting a tattoo but have'nt made that leap yet. I think when I do it is going on my upper arm. http://www.strikethebox.com/ has some awesome looking fire/EMS tattoo's submitted by personnel across the country.

I think EMS managers and administration's need to realize that times have changed and the generation-x of today that is entering the EMS workforce has been brought up in a world unlike older generations and they are going to present differently then the older generation. The media, Internet, music of today, and all other influential media have made tattoo's and piercing's appealing and acceptable so it's only to be expected that young people considering a career in EMS are going to have these accent's.

Just my opinion....
 

SafetyPro2

Forum Safety Officer
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We have several FFs (male and female) with tats, but they're all generally covered when in uniform. I don't believe we have a formal policy on it though.

One of the female FFs (who has several tats on her back) also has a tongue stud, which she wears when on duty. I know a few members of the department aren't too happy about that, but she cleared with with the Chief before she came on and was told it wasn't a problem.
 

TKO

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I have a few tats that are covered by my uniform. I used to have a nose and and tounge peircing which I did wear but for the tounge it was a flesh colored ball and you couldnt see it. the nose peircing was also very small.

Some of the companies I worked for allowed me to wear the jewlerly and some did not. I think if they look tasteful no problem but when they get to big or noticable no.
 

Jon

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with the recent posts... thought I'd "bump" this
 

rescuejew

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I have 8 tattoos total, and 2 are visible while I am in uniform, though I got these tats before I started working in EMS. Our policy is no visible tats below the shirtline IF they are considered offensive, which then changed to ALL visible tats must be covered and now I think its back to the original policy of being offensive. Being that I am the only one who works for my dept full time, they cant just single me out...hell they've done that laready and look where it got 'em... :p
 

Ridryder911

EMS Guru
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We have several EMT's with tattoos. Our policy is you can have them, if you want them covered. Sorry, I do don't care what you do off duty.. but, representing the company & profession on duty is another thing... facial jewelry & tattoos is still considered to be unprofessional. As long as >80 % of our customers are over the age of 75, it will probably always be.

Be safe,
Ridryder 911
 

rescuejew

Forum Lieutenant
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Oddly enough, I think facial piercings are bad news, I think it makes people look unprofessional and for lack of a better word, "tainted". BUT, I am not offended by tats, no matter how crazy they are, excluding of course, religiously offensive ones...weird huh?
 

Jon

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yeah on facial peircings... I don't like them either. Also, lots of "older folk" (40's+ :lol: ) are VERY offended by tounge studs and nose rings....

As for tattoos... I just realized the other day WHY one of our senior guys wears long sleeves almost ALL the time.... he has a HUGE wizard on his arm, starting just below the elbow..... he usually wears long sleeves when running to look professional.

Jon
 

MMiz

I put the M in EMTLife
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Our company requires tattoos to be covered. They allow studs in the ears, no nose and a clear tongue ring.

Some members fought, at which point the HR brought out several issues of "EMS HR Magazine" or something, made copies, which showed links to companies winning in court. Some didn't believe it so she paid for copies of the cases.

That was the end of that.
 

Wingnut

EMS Junkie
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I'm not suprised. We can't wear our wedding rings if they aren't flat, just so they don't get caught on anything or snag. Being as I have tattoos I also understand companies wanting them covered up. It's just not professional. I'm real picky about them to begin with, but when i got them I made sure they were in places easily covered by clothing.
 

Eiremhaith

Forum Ride Along
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Tattoos

I just wanted to say that I am not a EMT or part of an EMS station, but plan on taking classes soon. Working on that as we speak. As for tattoo's I have a lot of them and even in the business I work for it is required to keep them covered. Which I thought was odd because I work for a gas station, but then I started to think that is it professional to keep them covered. So I have had most of my tattoos for over 6 years and I am used to covering them, and don't think it will be a problem keeping them covered as a paramedic. Thought I would say that even in the gas station business they still have to be covered.
 

Stevo

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people that are stupid enough to judge a book by it's cover risk passing up the best sellers....

~S~
 

ReebTop

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I know many EMTs who have ink, myself included (getting more tomorrow, actually) and the consensus so far has been that it's no big deal, so long as all of them can be covered when wearing uniform pants and a short-sleeve shirt. Hence why all of my work is gonna be back/shoulders.
 

Airwaygoddess

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I think that tattoos should be covered while on duty and as far as face piercings, I feel that should be off while on duty, for safety reasons and when we are on the clock we need to dress and present ourselves in a professional manner. I am not being disrespectful to any one, :blush: just old fashioned. :)
 

fm_emt

Useless without caffeine
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We don't have any employees with visible tattoos so this hasn't been a problem.

But I'm the only long haired white guy in the company. And it's actually not even that long anymore. I just keep it tied back all the time and it's never been a problem.
 

Ridryder911

EMS Guru
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We have a policy of covered tatts as well. In my area, you want a job better not have exposed tatt'a. It appears unprofessional in appearance. Sorry, grandma and grandpa don't care to see your choice of dermagraphic of "flaming eyeballs"" or "barbed wire" of personal expressions.

R/r 911
 

medic5740

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Fads and other things

I'm sure I will not endear myself to some people on this forum, but I'm from the old school and a much older generation. It seems to me that what you do in your personal life and how you decorate your appearance should be your business. However, how you reflect on the profession is everyone's business. It may be possible in another 15 years that everyone, including our patients, will have piercings and tatoos. At that point, it probably won't matter so much. In today's world, our patients are mostly from the baby-boomer generation, and they feel uncomfortable with these types of decorations. Since this is a patient caring type business, we need to care what makes our patients comfortable besides providing the clinical care they need.

EMS professionals (or volunteers) should not purposely make their patients uncomfortable, so cover up the tatoos.

My opinion given,
old timer, but new to the forum,
Medic 5740
 

Recycled Words

Forum Crew Member
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I myself don't have any tattoos but a few of the medics do and I don't know that they've had to cover them up because they're usually exposed. I don't think I've ever seen a pt complain about on either and IMHO if they're well enough to complain about who's treating them, they're well enough to get there on their own.

A pt can and will be offended by anything. I had a guy once that wouldn't let me treat him because he didn't like women. Pfft.
 

Stevo

Forum Asst. Chief
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so, let's ask the 64 dollar Q then...

do the anti-tat people's moral high ground extend itself into their own['i] lifestyle?

do you refuse service from other profesionals because they have body ink?

and better yet, do you have the balls to tell them so?

~S~
 
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