I am a tattoed nurse

Do you know the difference between a tattooed and non-tattooed person? The tattooed person doesn’t care that you don’t have tattoos.

Nurses who have tattoos. Are they any less professional? Do they provide a lower quality of care? 

Does professionalism have anything to do with art on your skin??

Before you answer… let’s throw a couple more logs onto the fire.

The public’s perception is their reality. Do tattoos change the nurse-patient relationship?

Oh, and what about employers requiring nurses (and other Health Care professionals) to cover up tattoos? (We’ll come back to this shortly)


I’m a professional. I’m a nurse practitioner. I’m a health care provider. And I have tattoos (yes more than one).  I have an admittedly biased, but honest belief that tattoos do not make the person. The person makes the tattoos.

Up until recently, all of my tattoos were hidden from plain sight under my work uniform. I would chuckle at the reactions from people who knew me through my professional life and then discovered that I have tattoos.

“*GASP* YOU have a tattoo??!!”

I’m sure I read into their reaction a bit, but it gives the impression that they’re shocked that ‘I’ have a tattoo. The ‘professional’. The health care provider. (I mean… Sean… you just don’t LOOK like a tattoo person)

Weird. What DOES a “tattoo person” look like then? Hmm.


Yes. I have tattoos. I’ve had them most of my adult life and each one of them told a story in my book.

I’ve blogged about this topic a number of times over the past decade. I don’t feel it makes me any less of a professional. It doesn’t diminish the quality, nor nullify the work I do. It’s simply an expression of me. Each tattoo represents something in my life (no matter how poor or how faded the tattoo may be).

With all that being said, the culture and profession that we currently live in continue to change and adapt. Less than ten years ago, visible tattoos in the workplace were viewed negatively and dare-I-say not accepted.

Tattoo = bad person (untrustworthy, unsafe, uneducated)

Not to mention the workplace just wasn’t having it, at least not in the world of health care. If you had a visible tattoo while in uniform, you had to cover it up.

Until now.

These days visible tattoos are almost the norm and seeing tattoos in the workplace barely bats an eye. While some employers still require employees to cover visible tattoos, others are at the forefront of embracing change:

Nurses with pink hair and tattoos? Why this hospital system is changing the rules

Here’s where things get interesting (with me). Remember I said I’ve blogged about this topic previously? These are the words I wrote back in 2009:

Now, I must also admit that there should be a certain balance when it comes to tattoos in the professional world. Part of being a professional is maintaining a certain level of professionalism, more specifically your appearance. I feel that tattoo sleeves, neck and hand tattoos can be a bit much for my patients. In that same respect, I also think dangly earrings, over-the-top body piercings (non-traditional I guess), unkempt facial and head hair, tattered clothing and lack of personal hygiene are also not ideal appearance qualities for the professional. So take my opinion with a grain of salt.

As times have changed, so have I. Not only is the public embracing tattoos in the workplace, but I have changed my mind about them. I don’t have a specific incident that changed my mind, I can only tell you I’ve gone from not fully embracing visible tattoos on other professionals, to having my own tattoo sleeve.

Oh My God Wtf GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Yep. Change is the only constant thing.


Oh, you KNOW I had to do a video. I did this video a while back:

A tattoo artist discussing his art…


What to you think? Do tattoos matter in the world of healthcare? And is one’s opinion swayed by having tattoos?

Reach out to me on any of my platforms. I visit Instagram daily.


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You know how much I love coffee.


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The views and opinions expressed on this website, videos or posts on this channel are that of myself and not of any educational institution. In compliance with HIPAA and to ensure patient privacy, all patient identifiers in all content have been deleted and/or altered. The views expressed on this website and/or in the videos on this channel are personal opinions only, not intended as medical advice. The information I present is for general knowledge purposes only.

** may contain affiliate links

Find all of my recommended products and the gear I used in my videos at http://www.amazon.com/shop/seanpdent

Chemically paralyzed in the ICU? What a nurse needs to know.

#heysean… my patient is chemically paralyzed on the ventilator. What do I need to know?

In the ICU we often care for some really sick patients that require chemically induced paralysis. We will purposely paralyze them with medication in order to stabilize or improve their condition. For example, research has shown that in severe ARDS chemical paralysis may improve outcomes (limited info).

The term paralyze or paralysis can be taken out of context, so keep in mind this is a response to a medication not that the medical team is intentionally causing harm (or nervous system damage).

I answer another #heysean question from the tribe.

I give you a couple of things to think about:

  • Monitoring
  • Sedation
  • GI tract
  • Skin breakdown

Monitoring:

How do you monitor a patient who is on a continuous chemical paralytic medication? You have 2 options. The TOF peripheral nerve stimulator and/or the BIS monitor.

Sedation:

The 1st rule of chemical paralysis is sedation. Sedate first, then induce paralysis. Period. No exceptions.

GI tract:

Contrary to popular belief, just because we have used a chemical paralytic medication, does not mean the GI tract is not working.

Skin Breakdown:

Be mindful of breakdown. Remember, your patient will not be able to ‘wiggle’ around when their backside or elbow have been fixed in one position for hours at a time. They can’t move voluntarily.

 

Chemical paralysis is an advanced medical therapy that requires additional education and training from ALL members of the medical team who will help manage the patient. It’s a high-risk intervention that is often used because of the severity of illness. Stay up to date so that you can continue to advocate for you patient and provide optimum care.


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Check out all my other videos on my YouTube channel. Almost 500 free videos http://bit.ly/seanpdenttv


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The views and opinions expressed on this website, videos or posts on this channel are that of myself and not of any educational institution. In compliance with HIPAA and to ensure patient privacy, all patient identifiers in all content have been deleted and/or altered. The views expressed on this website and/or in the videos on this channel are personal opinions only, not intended as medical advice. The information I present is for general knowledge purposes only. 

*may contain affiliate links*   

Find all of my recommended products and the gear I used in my videos at www.amazon.com/shop/seanpdent

Taking care of the frequent flyer patient

We’ve all taken care of the ‘frequent flyer’ patient. Oh, you know who I’m talking about. The non-compliant repeat-offender patient that just can’t seem to get a grasp on self-care. They seem to have a permanent residence in your facility. It becomes a self-defeating act of caring for them and we sometimes grow weary of the repeat cycle. Admitted for the same chronic diagnosis and medical condition because they failed to care for themselves (for one reason or another). Fail could mean many things, the least of which is purposeful refusal to adhere to their medical therapy that has been reviewed with them a dozen times before. But, this could also be the patient that is not understanding of their condition and treatment. We try to ignore our thoughts. We sometimes think don’t care about their own health, because they know if (and when) they fail to care for themselves appropriately… all they have to do is show up in the hospital (again). It’s not a positive or supportive thought… but it’s not something I’m going to deny. Yep, I’ve thought it. Wash – Rinse – Repeat **sigh** I’m here to suggest an alternative way of thinking when caring for that returning repeat re-admission:
Practice makes perfect
Every time something seems ordinary, repetitive or mundane, it’s just more practice to sharpen your skills for that next patient. Do not take this job lightly. Ever. This is supposed to be hard. Lives are at stake. Because the day you let your guard down is when the grim reaper taps on your patient’s window. You will need to coordinate. You will need to calculate. You will need to be aware. You will need your sixth sense. You will need to hustle. You will need to have laser focus on the details without losing sight of the bigger picture. Every time something seems ordinary, repetitive or mundane, it’s just more practice to sharpen your weapons. Learn something every day. Get better at every task you perform. Master the medicine. Manage the mess better than anyone else. Practice makes you better. And perfect practice gets you close to perfect performance. Become efficient. Become resistant. Become resilient.

Someday that next patient will need your A-game. They’ll need your instinct. They’ll need your reflexes. They’ll need your sharp weapon. They’ll need your steadfast spirit. They’ll need you to chew through nails, because the grim reaper will push you to perfect. Be as close to perfect as you can get by grinding it out every single day you are in charge of that next patient’s care… that next patient’s life. Sooner or later that chronic diabetic is going to be in DKA. Sooner or later that chronic kidney disease patient will be in full renal failure. Sooner or later that heart failure patient with be in shock. Sooner or later that next patient is going to need your ‘A’ game. Sooner or later you will be the only thing standing between your patient and the grave. — Keep practicing.
DON’T FORGET TO SIGN UP FOR EMAIL UPDATES –> HERE! If you found this valuable, maybe you’ll buy me a cup of coffee? http://bit.ly/seanscoffee You know how much I love coffee.
Check out all my videos on my YouTube channel. Almost 500 free videos http://bit.ly/seanpdenttv
**Follow me on Instagram: @seanpdent **Let’s continue the conversation: http://bitly.com/thenursetribe **Have a question? http://bit.ly/askheysean
The views and opinions expressed on this website, videos or posts on this channel are that of myself and not of any educational institution. In compliance with HIPAA and to ensure patient privacy, all patient identifiers in all content have been deleted and/or altered. The views expressed on this website and/or in the videos on this channel are personal opinions only, not intended as medical advice. The information I present is for general knowledge purposes only. may contain affiliate links Find all of my recommended products and the gear I used in my videos at http://www.amazon.com/shop/seanpdent