For many, the image of a tattoo, or anyone with one, conjures up stereotypes and images of gang members, outlandish celebrities, or hard rockers. A nurse in Texas is working to abolish these stereotypes by having those who hold the stereotypes change their mental imagery to people in the professional world that get tattoos. People like nurses, lawyers, and even doctors. Today, more and more professionals are getting tattoos than ever before.
Myrna Amrstrong, professor and dean at Texas Tech School of Nursing says

There are a lot of professional women, including nurses, who have tattoos, but most put them in places where they can control who sees them. Many dress codes prohibit them, and lots of people in healthcare facilities are not happy to see tattoos and piercings.”

But Myrna has been researching tattoo trends and watching them come and go over the last 20 years, and wants to help health care professionals approach tattoos in a non-judgemental pattern. And particularly, Myrna wants the stereotype to be removed from women specifically.

She says, nurses are not allowed to judge patients by their covers, and thinks that it is hypocritical to impose the same standards on nurses themselves. That having a tattoo says something about you as a person. She thinks that by allowing more nurses to have tattoos, it may even remove some patient barriers, allowing for more respect, and more communication.
Myrna’s husband is a tattoo artist, and has been covering her arms for years with the art. And she says it has made for many fun conversations with her patients of ten years or more.

Myrna is amazed that employers still judge people on their skin, and not on their skills. She says

A nurse should always have good judgment in all areas including tattoos. Some are a very tasteful form of art. There’s an appropriate time and place for some tattoos, but very few circumstances that would warrant a lab coat.

Her research continues, as does social consideration. Perhaps one day there WILL be a time when tattoos and their associated stereotypes are abolished for good.