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I am starting PA school in June. 

 

I would like to get an outline of the world map tattooed on my feet, been wanting this for a while. 

 

 

See link:               http://media.askideas.com/26/Black-Outline-World-Map-Tattoo-On-Girl-Feet.jpg

 

 

Explanation: Travel is my greatest passion in life. I've visited 5 continents (all but Australia and Antarctica) and 21 countries. Once I start PA school, and while working as a PA, I'll basically have to give up traveling the way I'm accustomed to doing it. So I wanted to commemorate it somehow.

 

This tattoo would be visible when wearing flats or heels. Obviously I wouldn't be wearing open shoes in a hospital, but I plan to work in a clinic setting. 

 

 

 

In your opinion, will having this tattoo cause patients to lose respect for me as a provider? 

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Some patients will always be anti-ink.  That's less and less every year, but if you want to not alienate any patients and instead manifest consummate professionalism, any new visible ink is a bad idea.  If you've already got some visible tats, I wouldn't get them removed unless it was inappropriate, but you're asking about NEW ink, and you already indicate you know it might be viewed as unprofessional.  So don't do it: skip the map, or get it placed somewhere you're not normally going to be displaying during work hours.

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Older patients may see you in a less professional light with visible tats. Tattoos are so trendy and commonplace now I think it is becoming more acceptable (probably more so for men), but if you are really concerned about professional appearance I would just keep them where they aren't readily visible in office attire. 

 

Personally I think they only have meaning to the bearer. No one else cares what they mean, how you got them, where you got them---unless it's something outrageous or something that makes you look unprofessional. I think they used to be more intriguing when every other person didn't have them, but now it doesn't even register when you see someone with sleeves or colorful ink all over the place.

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I think you know the answer - it'll vary by patient.  But keep in mind that some employers, even clinics, have policies regrading visible tattoos and may require you to cover it.  This could mean no pumps/flats for you or tattoo cover makeup or a lot of bandaids every day.  I've worked several places with tattoo/piercing rules and the level of enforcement varies.  (This could be an issue during rotations.  Even in a hospital you may be dressing professionally, not in scrubs and sneakers).

 

I also think that because it would be such large tattoo (I assume) that doesn't work in your favor.  Someone with a tiny star or something on their foot probably would get less pushback than something that covers your whole foot.  The idea is cool, maybe change the location.

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I have a tattoo on the side of my foot that peeks out when I'm wearing flats (so every single day in the summer). The only times people have said anything were because they were curious about what it was a tattoo of. It basically says "Love you, dad" in his handwriting that I got after he passed, so nothing crazy at all. Typically I get compliments and the visit continues. I've never had anyone mention anything negative to me (at least not to my face :) ) We have plenty of support staff who have visible tattoos on their hands or wrists. 

 

For flats and heels, you could just wear dress socks with them. I do that a lot in the winter. 

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I got a new tattoo and am still in school.  Like you I have wanted one for a long time, and decided that the consequences of possibly having to cover it if I work somewhere strict are worth getting it.  IMO, society is getting more accepting of tattoos, I have seen many providers with tattoos, with a variance in policies/ how strictly those policies are enforced. If a patient loses respect of me because of a (tasteful) tattoo, they are probably the type that would find any reason to not respect me, tattoo or not.    

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I only have one, but it's a wedding band, and therefore very visible. I get a lot of comments, and they range from mildly curious to totally positive.

 

The world map on your feet is a little different, I think, partly because of our culture's weird attitude about feet. Be ready for perceptions to skew toward "icky" despite whatever your own individual narrative is. Also, be ready for the perception -- accurate or not -- that somehow you would be "imposing" or "forcing" your tattoo on others, since you have the choice to wear shoes that don't show it.

 

As a practical concern, and specific to the photo you posted, I would worry about pain, I would worry about friction, and I would worry about fading. That would be a pretty high-maintenance tat. Why not just get it on your shoulder or something? Seems like it would solve a lot of problems. I am by no means an expert, with my one tiny design, but did a lot of research and talked to a lot of artists and recipients. Foot tattoos are just slightly less trendy-2010s than having four-line poems on your rib cage...

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 Personally I think they only have meaning to the bearer. No one else cares what they mean, how you got them, where you got them---unless it's something outrageous or something that makes you look unprofessional. I think they used to be more intriguing when every other person didn't have them, but now it doesn't even register when you see someone with sleeves or colorful ink all over the place.

Pretty much this, yes! The only thing more obnoxious than someone going on, unprompted, about the deep symbolism of their ink is the person who puts it out there where it's easily visible and then refuses to talk about it whatsoever. Let the other person ask, and then keep it brief. "Oh, thanks, glad you like it. I really love to travel." or "Yep, thanks, it is indeed my wedding band. It's also a surgeon's knot, see? Anyway, back to business..."

 

The only person who cares about your tattoo as much as you do should be your artist, and they can stop caring when the work is done.

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^Lol, glad someone else feels the same way. I've had so many ideas for tattoos over the years that I'm glad I never got. I'd just be another tatted-up millenial who thinks they're a beautiful unique snowflake. 

 

I think when we are younger it's natural to feel we need to outwardly express our individuality in some way. Then when you get into your 30's and beyond you realize no one truly gives a sh!t, and you aren't somehow validating who you are by these visible statements. 

 

Again, nothing wrong with tattoos. But they may as well be invisible as far as I'm concerned. I pay more attention to someone's T-shirt.

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I love beautiful tattoos that show meaning and thought and often are pieces of art. Some of the best I have seen are on cops. Some departments finally let them show because it gives the cops street cred with some folks.

 

My biggest struggle comes with racially motivated tattoos and seriously make me question my ability to care for a patient and stay objective when they are so offensive as a person.

 

Walking in to a pre-employment physical on a 20 yr old who has 4 inch letters across his chest claiming WHITE PRIDE and a Nazi SS insignia tattooed on his penis was offensive on a deep level. I had to keep looking away and just finish the physical from a purely removed perspective. I wouldn't have hired this kid to scoop horse poop much less anything else.

 

Another guy had a tattoo of a young black child being lynched on his lower leg where he got a laceration. He made no bones about how he felt about the subject matter and used all sorts of inappropriate words and comments. Very hard to sew his leg up (and use anesthetic).

 

So, as a provider who has never had the nerve to get a tattoo - I would be very choosy and I probably couldn't pick one thing. I would be better off with temporaries that reflect my moods - Winnie The Pooh one day, Star Wars the next.

 

I comment on my patient's tattoos regarding safety and Hep C and have learned to recognize the Bic Pen jailhouse tattoo readily. 

 

I try not to comment on the subject matter if at all questionable or subject to loose interpretation......

 

If I ever get one - it will not be readily visible under clothes I wear to work.

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I'm sure this will come across as offensive, but I have to be honest. I'm hardly a "straight-laced" individual by any means, but I work with an NP who has a tattoo on her wrist - always with a watch over it, but at least 1.5-2" exposed on either side of the band - and I know that personality/demeanor/other appearance factors are almost certainly coming into play here - but all I can think when I look at her is how trashy it always seems. I'm not sure if it would strike me this way if it were a different provider with a different demeanor and an otherwise polished image. If she didn't wear scrubs, as it sounds like you won't be, then maybe it would be different too. I'm on the fence about this.

 

I know you didn't ask about the opinions of colleagues, but rather the potential impact as it relates to your patients, but just thought I'd throw it out there lol

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One of mine is visible on my forearm if my sleeves are rolled up too far or if I'm wearing a short sleeved shirt or scrub top.  Most people either don't worry about it or it becomes a coversation piece as the time goes on.  It's not tasteless or rude, so no biggy there.

 

SK

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I got a visible tat on my wrist my first year, heck my first couple months in practice.  Never have I covered it up or had a complaint about having it.  I also have ear piercings and don't remove them either.  I agree a tattoo on your neck or face is probably not the best idea, but nobody will care about a foot tattoo.....unless they have a foot fetish of course. 

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I have five tattoos, two of which are huge, but only one of which is normally visible on my upper arm. I'm looking specifically for shirts/blazers/blouses that will cover that upper arm, more for when I'm in school than when I'm employed, but still. I love my ink, and I know that opinions are changing, but I also know that some people will never be comfortable with it in a clinical/professional setting. That said, I've observed surgeries where the surgeon has taken off his scrubs and had full sleeves up either arm. I think as long as you *can* cover it when you need to, then you're ok.

 

Side note, my PCP doc loves my tattoos. She said she wished that she could take a picture of all the cool tattoos she's seen and make a mural in her office.

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