Are Face Piercings at Work Acceptable?


Personally, I do not like them AT ALL - if it is a cultural tradition than that is a different matter. However, I have a really hard time taking some serious who has a ring hanging off their lip or eye brow - or now the studs just placed randomly on the face - it’s just too much and does not inspire confidence. Healthcare professionals NEED to inspire confidence in those they serve.


When I became a nurse 24 years ago, we were taught to treat our profession as just that…a profession. And, as a professional, I do not want to see other professionals with earings in any body part other than the ears while that professional is working. Tatoos should be covered up as well. I know I’m old fashioned, but I also think that, if nursing is truly to be a profession, our uniforms should fit appropriately (not rediculously tight as I have seen countless times) and look neat and clean. This is really not about how one conducts their life outside of work … it’s about how we as a profession present ourselves. This is just my opinion. Not meaning in any way to offend.


I personally couldn’t care less. I think it’s more of the person’s manner and behavior than how they look. This is very common. Most places still require tattoos be covered and peircings to be taken out. I don’t have any myself like that but they don’t bother me either. I think how we look has very little to do with what we know and can do. Too many people are judged on their appearance and not their skills and behavior. Look past the jewelry and talk to the person.


That’s a good point about the possible dangers of facial tattoos with confused or hostile patients. I think we have to be careful in todays society about limiting tattoos and piercing since culturally, they are more accepted and more and more people are sporting facial peircings and even tatoos. Anyone wearing any kind of jewlery in any workplace needs to make sure it will not potentially cause them harm or anyone else. They also need to understand that some patients may not be comfortable with facial peircings on their nurse, just has some patients would rather have a female nurse as opposed to male nurse.


Back in the day when I worked at Wegmans, tatoos were to be covered and only a single pair of earings was allowed to be worn. I’m not sure but possibly men were not allowed to wear earings at all. Now many of the Wegmans employees are sporting full sleeve tatoos, and facial piercings or ear plugs. I can’t say that I have seen any heavily pierced people there, but definetly a change in the overall acceptable dresscode with reguards to piercings and tattoos. Hospitals are going to have to accept more varied appearances among their employees as well. However, I don’t think it is unacceptable for hospitals to set guidelines and rules for piercings of employees, such as number and size.


I have numerous tattoos, I usually cover them at work. I would love to get my nose pierced-small stud only. I do feel that excess is a bit much. But honestly I work with geriatrics and have for a long time-most of them don’t care one bit about my tattoos if they see them(I have some on upper arms-when its too hot for under shirt my sleeve comes up and shows tattoos). Actually they usually want to further inspect, and then tell me how pretty they are-then the conversation goes on to how much they cost,etc. Lol, I usually have to redirect them. The geriatric patients I usually have are much more understanding apparently than some of the ones mentioned above. My patients have always seemed to care more about thier care and how I treated them than my tattoos. I’ve always conducted myself in a professional manner and my patients see that-in the end-the care and treatment of the patients is what matters-not my artwork.


I have a dermal piercing near my left eye… Most people think it’s a sticker, and I get a lot of compliments. I have a tiny stud in my nose, and my tongue is pierced. I wear a shorter post with a smaller than normal clear ball on my tongue which does not interfere with my speech. I am a person nurse, and we are not required to cover or remove piercings, but I have worked places where I had to. The band-aid over my dermal was more distracting to elderly patients than the piercing was. I had to carry extra spot bandaid so I could uncover it to show them and cover it up again. I am sure if I had offensive tattoos, my managers would ask that they were covered. I do cover my Hebrew name which is tattooed on the inside of my Lt wrist if I have an Orthodox Jewish family. I wear clean, neat scrubs with underwear that doesn’t show through. I treat my patients and their families with love and respect.


I agree with you, it is frightening or unprofessional to most geriatric patients, who still feel nurses should wear white and starched caps. That said, I have a problem with facial piercings, likely due to my years as an infection control nurse. I am afraid that it could potentially be a source for infection; I can’t help but think about MRSA and it’s favored environment, in the nares. Also, having worked acute rehabilitation for years, I am leery about any type of facial jewelry, as combative patients often swing or strike at healthcare providers when they are confused or frightened. It would be horrible to have piercings torn out.


I work at a place where its not allowed and tattoos aren’t either. To me i feel like it should be up to the person but also at the same time it can be a safety issue. I work with brain injuries so you could only imagine what an agitated patient could do to gauged ear. I feel maybe people should just wear small or flat jewelry to work and express howu really want it to look outside your palace of work


I personally find them to be extremely unattractive and definitely not professional but I have felt that way about multiple tattoos as well. Why not remove the rings while at work? I find it difficult to take someone serious when they have stuff hanging from their eyebrows, lips, nose etc. :slight_smile:


I have several tattoos that show in scrubs, my longterm residents and my skilled like them. My D.O.N and A.D.O.N both have a bunch that show. Our facility does not mind as long as they are not distasteful.


I don’t mind studs in the side of the nostril - they are sometimes elegant and hale from India where beauty is celebrated. However I can’t stand nose rings that look as if someone forgot to wipe off his booger with a Kleenex and tongue rings which interfere with speech. Lip rings and nose rings look masochistic anyway, what if a belligerent patient decided to give it a tug? I say keep your personal statements undercover or at home.


I think small, unobtrusive piercings are ok. Same with tattoos - as long as they are not offensive. On the other hand, if I can shoot an arrow through a gauge, it might be too big.


As a nurse, I do not think that face piercings are appropriate for the work setting at all. They look totally unprofessional. However, I think that tongue piercings are acceptable so long as they are not seen or that could interfere with your communication to other disciplines, patients, and or outside customers.


I guess I’m just a traditionalist. I work in long term care and, though times are changing, sometimes you have to take into account who your audience is. Some of the older people we care for are not used to all the things we see these days. This can be frightening and confusing for some. For me, numerous piercings and tattoos that are visible that should be covered by professionally fitting clothing are a “no, no”. You might be able to slip by me with a tiny nose piercing on the side. :smile:


I’m old and I don’t like facial piercing in a health care setting. It bothers patients, most of whom are older.


No they aren’t, Facial piercings such as nose rings often make the person look like they have a tenacious booger that just won’t wipe off. Nose, lip and eyebrow rings suggest to me masochism - go ahead and tug, belligerent patient. I think studs on the side of a nostril are pretty on some people with strong features, but other than that take them off and leave them home.


I live in an area where piercings and tattoos are very common. They do not bother me. As I have said both hospitals in this area do not allow facial piercings. Where I used to work tattoos were fine and you could where 1 small stud in 1 piercing on your face which a lot of older people could not see (of course that was changed as I said before.)
Older clients do not like the facial piercings. The old rule worked well. People had to wear a very small stud. I have never had a pt say anything about tattoos. So many military men have them and many people under 40 and especially under 30 have them here. Since the hosp. where I used to work has made new rules I know of 2 top notch nurse who had to leave because they could not cover their tattoos. That is a shame.


Lots of staff where I work have tattoos and piercings. Residents do not seem to mind the tattoos and staff usually don’t wear many of their um earrings or whatever you call them…? Posts?.. To work. More concerned for safety really because sometimes the patients will grab or swing causing the piercing to be ripped out. If the staff member is neat and well groomed and does their job, I don’t honestly care what they wear. Two of my pet peeves are long hair hanging down and long nails with lots of jewelry because these are safety and infection hazards.


There is a great difference between tasteful piercings and tattoos just as there is a difference between someone who looks like a clown in their multi-colored scrubs or trashy in their too small pants with underwear showing. Makeup is another big one for looking unprofessional. I see tattoos and facial piercings as no different–if piercings are tasteful and conservative in jewelry choice or well done in the case of tattoos, if your makeup is tasteful, your uniform is sharp and your hair is tidy and pulled away from your face, you have a smile on your face and treat your patients with respect they shouldn’t matter.

  1. As for facial jewelry, don’t wear something unsafe. No down to the shoulder hoops or multiple big pieces of jewelry or otherwise.

  2. Tattoos are here to stay. Literally. Make sure they are not offensive and if they are poorly done, go get them fixed. To gain legitimacy, tattoos should be artwork, not crap.

  3. Keep it clean. For the person who was concerned about infection control related to piercings? I would be more concerned about the continued lack of hand washing in the healthcare world.

For the record, I am a nurse practitioner who is fully sleeved, have my ears gauged (that means my lobes are stretched to a zero gauge—same as IV sizes) and have a very small nose stud. In my experience my patients of all ages ask about my art work and it creates an almost immediate personal conversation piece to break the ice. I ensure that when at work, my ears have tasteful jewelry, I do NOT wear rings on my hands for infection control reasons.

I have never been accused of being disrespectful because it isn’t my appearance that determines how I treat my patients—my actions and caring attitude to that.

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