Most tattoos last longer than marriage, which has a three day waiting period.  There is a waiting period to buy a gun, and that experience could be over in a few minutes–albeit the consequences are often long lasting.  Therefore, I propose a law requiring that people getting a tattoo wait three days between ordering the tattoo and executing it.  Further, the person should view photographs of naked old people with tattoos.  Google that and see what I mean.

Two words come to mind when I see a young nursing student with visible ink.  PERMANENT.  And, UNPROMOTABLE.

Hospital managers have legitimate concerns about public image.  Many require that all tattoos be covered and that employees confine visible piercings to one per ear.  Visible is the key word here.   What is hidden under the clothing doesn’t count.  Truthfully, I don’t want to know.  No way.

Would hospital management promote someone to a highly visible leadership position if the candidate had ink that couldn’t be covered with clinical or business attire?  I doubt it, but time will tell.

I’m a bit square, especially in matters of dress and grooming.  Hey, I’m sixty-one and from North Dakota.  However, if I were younger, maybe twenty, I wouldn’t be able to resist a belly button piercing and perhaps a head full of little braids.  Both of which are temporary adornments by the way.

I don’t understand most of the body art I see.  Okay, a sailor gets drunk and gets ink.  I suppose I understand a tasteful tattoo on a man’s arm or chest or a small image on a woman’s ankle or breast.  On occasion someone gets a remembrance of a lost loved one or other very meaningful image.

(I keep wanting to use the word engraving.  Why is that?  Oh… PERMANENT!)

Nursing educators are concerned with dress codes, natural fingernails, safe white shoes, and suitable hairstyles.  Multiple piercings, hair colors that don’t grow out of human heads, and tattoos are on the do not use list, right up there with cow-like gum chewing and strong body odor. Professional appearance is not the primary concern, but a concern.

In fact, student appearance is a factor for the hospitals, too.  They hold the students and faculty to the same standards as their employees, perhaps higher in that they ask us to leave if we or our students do not comply.

Young adults have the right to express themselves in matters of dress and adornments–in everything actually. I defend their right to self-expression and their obligation to suffer the consequences.  Employers and schools have the prerogative to determine what is permissible within their boundaries.  This could leave the permanently adorned individual with difficult and perhaps limiting career choices.

Do you want fries with that?