Nurses and body art: What's your perception?
Ruth A. Wittmann-Price PhD, RN, CNS, CNE
Karen K. Gittings DNP, RN, CCRN
Kerrith McDowell Collins RN

Nursing Management
October 2012 
Volume 43  Number 10
Pages 44 - 47
  PDF Version Available!

Because body art is increasingly common in the United States, understanding perceptions from a professional perspective is important for nurses. What was once considered by many as undesirable body alteration is now becoming a part of mainstream America as more adolescents and young adults choose to be tattooed and pierced.1 How tattoos and piercings are interpreted by patients, hospital administrators, directors of nursing units, and other healthcare employees is a virtually unstudied topic. Policies in hospitals and schools of nursing sanctioning their visibility need supportive evidence regarding their effect on patients, peers, and the work environment.Current policies governing exposure or concealment of body art are predicated on tradition. The concern in the clinical area about body art is that it will negatively affect patient satisfaction, which is a reportable outcome indicator for hospitals. We examine the evidence that's available about patient perceptions of nurses with body

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