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Body mod/healthcare careers
Topic Rating: +2 (2 votes) 
September 10, 2012
6:08 pm
hbockhold
Texas
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I am new to the church and could use some advice. I have a career in healthcare so it’s difficult to express my spirituality with piercings/tattoos with my profession. It specifically lists in the dress code that facial piercings are not allowed. I’m considering taking legal action but I’m debating whether I should or not being that I’ve had no issues otherwise with my job or healthcare system. It’s been frustrating to me that hiring processes don’t discriminate against religion but somehow we can’t express ours. I’m planning to all my regional corporate office and talk to a legal advisor. Does anyone have any suggestions on what course of action I should take?

September 10, 2012
9:15 pm
DutchessOfNill
Wenatchee, WA
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I've worked in various fields of health care (CNA up to LPN and adult family home owner/operator) for 8 years and had long had piercings and tattoos prior to mine entering the field.  It was highly frowned upon in college and once I entered the nursing program I was required to remove my facial piercings and cover all of my tattoos during clinicals. 

I was warned very early on that it was very hard to obtain a job in any level of the medical field with exposed modifications for multiple reasons. In fact, if I remember correctly, I had to sit through an entire lecture about it. Obviously it comes down to the 'why's'.  There is a health risk with piercings in that they can be pulled out in the event a patient is combative, or can be snagged or pulled during patient care (also why necklaces and bracelets are frowned upon in many facilities) and thus becoming a health risk (snagging IV's PIC lines, skin prone to tears as well as to you thus requiring an L&I claim they most likely would not want to deal with) and making it a possible liability issue.  Tattoos because it is not considered 'professional' attire, in the case that a more conservative client were to come along it can sometimes be deemed offensive and thus look poorly on the facility. These are only a few reasons.  The list goes on and on. 

It is because of so many reasons, many that are very plausible, that I feel it would be difficult to overturn any preset rules.  However, you should do what you feel is right. There is no harm in making a phone call to talk about it.

Best of luck!!!  Smile

September 11, 2012
3:53 am
Oakbear
UK
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I'm a mental health nurse with many visible modifications, and my wife is a renal nurse with some.

I absolutely agree that the 'why' they are banned is key.

Sometimes there is a blanket ban through ignorance or fear, but realistically certain modifications present certain levels of risk in some settings. How could you compromise to reduce or eliminate that risk?

Is this something that is enforced or do some people have some modifications (nose studs for example)? What policies do other areas have in place, as in the UK there are no blanket policies for a profession, more for each hospital, or each ward.

What equality and diversity policies are there? The people who wrote each separate policy may not be the same, and they may contradict each other.

What is it about how you wish to explore modification that means you'd have to have visible piercings at work? Why? How could you express yourself without breaking policies or making an employer remain comfortable?

With all that in mind, my advice is talk.

A legal challenge directly is unlikely to be seen a friendly and will create conflict, and in my mind is a last resort. A willingness to compromise and engage in intelligent discussion with an employer can often be met with compromise and intelligent discussion.

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself." - Nietzsche
September 11, 2012
12:36 pm
hbockhold
Texas
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Oakbear said
I'm a mental health nurse with many visible modifications, and my wife is a renal nurse with some.

I absolutely agree that the 'why' they are banned is key.

Sometimes there is a blanket ban through ignorance or fear, but realistically certain modifications present certain levels of risk in some settings. How could you compromise to reduce or eliminate that risk?

Is this something that is enforced or do some people have some modifications (nose studs for example)? What policies do other areas have in place, as in the UK there are no blanket policies for a profession, more for each hospital, or each ward.

What equality and diversity policies are there? The people who wrote each separate policy may not be the same, and they may contradict each other.

What is it about how you wish to explore modification that means you'd have to have visible piercings at work? Why? How could you express yourself without breaking policies or making an employer remain comfortable?

With all that in mind, my advice is talk.

A legal challenge directly is unlikely to be seen a friendly and will create conflict, and in my mind is a last resort. A willingness to compromise and engage in intelligent discussion with an employer can often be met with compromise and intelligent discussion.

 

I mainly wanted to get an eyebrow piercing and an industrial bar…I at least wanted to be able to have one or two and keep it conservative at the same time for my job. My next tattoo is planned to go on my right outer calf so that one would be able to be easily covered. That's why I was reluctant to take legal action because I figured that if I discussed it with my employer, we could reach a compromise. I am a CNA in an ICU unit, so there is still a risk of piercings being grabbed and yanked out, so I don't want to have to cause that risk. I work nights, so it's hard to catch my supervisors during the day. If I got other piercings such as lip rings, they should have spacers that I can wear, so those I'm not too worried about. I appreciate the feedback…it really helps! Smile

September 11, 2012
2:17 pm
KendrahLi
Los Angeles, CA -818
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I ave worked in a few places that did not allow jewelry of any sort, including religious, and I echo the use of spacers. I was able to use spacers to hide the piercings while on the job. I have most of my tattoos in hideable locations and my current office job does not care about it even if I keep them visible while healing.

I fought the most recent one and threatened a law suit, it did not create a positive work environment. If any thing it made things worse for me until that manager left.

-= www.khaotyk-artwerx.com =- Ex Ignorantia Ad Sapientiam; E Luce Ad Tenebras
September 12, 2012
7:05 pm
matt h
Cinquapin, NC
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I'm not familiar with all the legal stuff about fighting for our rights but I can at least offer my experience. I learned that once you get your foot in the door and prove to them that you are a highly skilled and hard worker the employer may turn a blind eye to your mods. 6 years ago I almost didnt get hired where I still work over my half inch lobes and other piercings because I accidentally walked in for the application with them in. They did however give me a shot. Now they pretty much ignore my mods and actually have my back when a customer has something to say bringing up my work ethic and perfectionism. Now I've got 1 5/8" lobes 0 guage septum double bridge and 6 other ear piercings and I'm at the top of my professional ladder within the company. Maybe just be passive at first, prove to them that you are a valuable asset to the company, then start testing the waters. Who knows you may change their opinion on "us" all together. Either way I wish you all the best and hope everything works out for you.

September 13, 2012
9:01 pm
hbockhold
Texas
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Thank you all for your feedback! I called a legal advisor at my corporate office and am still waiting to hear from her, so hopefully I can discuss it…I will keep you all updated. I hope that the discussion is a positive one in that I can see what the actual specifics regarding corporate policies. Hopefully it'll go well…I'm just ready for not just my company but everyone to see that just because you have tattoos, piercings, etc. doesn't mean you're not a good worker with high standards and good work ethics. It may take awhile for companies to realize it, but I hope they eventually will.

September 16, 2012
5:00 pm
Roeroe92
Oregon
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September 16, 2012
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I'm in nursing school and have to take out my nose ring (which is hard to see unless you know it is there) and every Friday I have to take it out and when I try to put the stud back in, it has closed up a little and my nose gets inflamed, red, and very "tight."

I absolutely hate it! Hopefully when I get a job as a nurse someday (2 years from graduation now) I will be able to keep my small, silver nose stud. 

I actually talked to three guys at my local tattoo shop, seeing about a retainer, and they said that the stud I have in now is less noticeable than a clear one. 

Does anyone know of anywhere to find a flat, clear retainer for my nose?

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