When patients are seeking medical treatment, they do not expect to see a tattoo on their doctor, nurse or any other medical professional. Even though tattoos are gaining popularity, there is still a stigma that is associated with tattoos that may impact the perception of a medical professional.
Making a First Impression
The way that humans are perceived in any profession or role often starts with the first impression. A doctor who appears confident, competent and very professional will gain the respect of his or her peers and patients. A medical professional who has obvious tattoos or other body modifications can make a powerful impression, but it might not be the impression that a medical professional intended to make.
The Examiner explains that a visible tattoo suggests that an individual is not credible. For a medical professional, that can present a problem because patients are relying on a doctor or nurse to provide an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan.
Level of Professionalism
Doctors with a tattoo may be perceived as less professional when compared to a medical professional who does not have a tattoo. It suggests a lower level of professionalism and credibility, which can reduce the amount of trust that a patient gives a medical professional.
Location of the Tattoo
While a tattoo can leave a bad impression, the location of the tattoo is also an essential part of determining the impact. A tattoo that is clearly visible, such as a tattoo on the hands, neck or face, will have a strong impact on the way that a doctor is perceived on the job and outside of work.
Tattoos that are not visible may not harm a doctor’s reputation because the patients will not know about the tattoo. Location can be an important part of determining if a tattoo will have a negative impact or a doctor will be able to build up a reputation based on skills and abilities.
The New York Times suggests that tattoos do not have the same level of stigma because they are gaining popularity in many different areas. More doctors and professionals are obtaining tattoos and roughly 40 percent of men and women between 26 and 40 years old have at least one tattoo, says the New York Times.
As the popularity of tattoos increase, the stigma and the negative connotations associated with the body art is decreasing.
Caution in the Workplace
Physicians and medical professionals can find work for their skills via locum tenens, but it is still important to use caution when it comes to obtaining a tattoo. Despite the growing popularity of body art, the perception of a professional with tattoos can be negative. If a tattoo was obtained in the past, then it may be best to keep the body art hidden during normal work hours.
Making an impression on patients and other medical professionals is an important part of developing trust. A tattoo can undermine that trust and causes problems when it is clearly visible, so it is important for doctors and medical professionals to use caution before obtaining a tattoo.