Docs Or Nurses With Tattoos Or Piercings (or “commitment Check”)

     Wow, I just “have” to weigh in on this one.  There was a question about this on EP, and I felt compelled to make a response.  The problem was, as I wrote my response, I realized I had more to say than just a simple retort.  So it looks like this turned into another one of my, “stories”, and I’ll put ‘er out there, and see if she floats.

     I mean, the original question was, “Would you feel less comfortable with a doctor or nurse with visible tattoos and or piercings?  Now, I appreciate the person who generated that question kept it in the vein of, would you feel “less comfortable” if you observed those things, and not “would you question their fitness as a doctor or nurse”.  To me, the latter option would have been ludicrous, but even on the level of comfort, it makes me wonder.  If it makes you “uncomfortable”, all I have to ask is, “why”? 

     It’s your right, of course, to have preferences, but shouldn’t even preferences be logic-based?  I mean, we have some people saying they’d walk out the door, and others saying, they’d prefer a doctor who conforms with society.  I maintain their “preference” is far more likely dictated by how “immediate the need” rather than a true conviction.

     I’ve had to endure some rather unpleasant moments in my life, which I won’t go into detail; however, I would like to pose a question to anyone who could even “remotely” think of making a comment like those two mentioned above.

     If you’re on a battlefield, (with something a little more serious than a broken nail, you got climbing down out of your Escalade) are you going to request a different medic to attend to you based on your “concern” that the medic has a (heaven forbid) tattoo, or a (collective gasp) piercing?  Would you say, “I would prefer you go look for another medic who better ‘conforms’ to society”?  Or would you more than likely be screaming out in pain, begging for care from whatever corner. 

     If whether or not you are “comfortable” is situational, then you don’t have very strong convictions, do you sport?  If you’re not concerned with the tattoo when you’re bleeding to death, how is it that it seems to be of so much concern to you on a slightly-overcast day in middle-class America, when you are going in to have your boil on your flabby backside lanced?

     The biggest racist in the world never seems to question where the blood comes from, when he’s bleeding and staring death in the face.  The biggest homophobe never seems ready to turn down aid from the one who wasn’t asked, and he didn’t tell.  The biggest religious zealot never seems to ask the doctor her position on abortion, and whether or not she has ever had one, prior to the doctor providing the care that saved the zealot’s daughter’s right leg. 

     It seems that all those highly-regarded positions go out the door, when it’s convenient.  If an individual, or someone’s loved one is in “immediate” need of care… anyone who would suggest their “principles” outweigh the need for the patient’s timely care; is in sore need of reevaluating their priorities.

     So, here’s a little suggestion… for what it’s worth.  Ain’t nobody forcin’ nobody, so don’t get your panty-hose in a knot if you don’t want to do it.  How about we focus a little bit more on what’s “important” and what has even a “remote” chance of impacting the situation, rather than spar with one another, using our prejudices and biases as our weapons?

     I’ve served on an Honor Guard, and been part of the teams which paid tribute to vets of several different wars.  That’s why this “tattoo” nonsense really gets to me.  A lot of the older warriors had a variety of tattoos… and they wore them proudly alongside their scars and battle wounds.  I had an elderly widow tell me she never did “like” that “god-awful” tattoo her husband (the deceased) had; but he used it to cover up some scars he got in the Pacific.  She continued, that he used to tell her, “baby… that thar tattoo is a thing of beauty!” 

     She related that story to me, because she heard some people talking about how the military was not wanting to allow people in who had tattoos.  She said they were talking about what kind of low-life had such anti-social values, as they would “deface” their bodies… that the military was “right” to deny them entrance.  She said she knew they were talking about the young folks, but why was it any different for them than her Stanley? 

     No, as she stood there relating her story to me (and yes, it was as much “her” story as his), with his tightly-folded flag clutched in her hands, she said anyone who would question a person’s character… or patriotism… or capability, just from looking at their tattoo; that’s the person who showed lack of character, compassion, and most-assuredly a lack of Christian kindness.  She finished her story with a simple, “I’m gonna miss that ol’ tattoo.”

     I got to read ol’ Stanley’s Citation for Bravery, there in the funeral home (it was out for display).  It told of him displaying great bravery, and how under intense enemy fire he provided care to the wounded.  It’s been a while, and I don’t remember “which” specific medal he had received… but it was presented at the same time as his Purple Heart.  I do “not” have a Purple Heart (can’t say I ever “wanted” one, but I doubt ol’ Stanley did either).  I thought about the words his widow had said to me, and it made me think about when I had judged people based on things that wouldn’t matter, if the stuff was ever hitting the fan.
     I had never got to meet ol’ Stanley… but I was one of six, who carried him to his final resting place; I was the one who got to fold his flag, and give it to his widow.  I had seen his tattoo before we closed the casket, but I didn’t give it any thought at the time… I mean, why should I?  What difference did it make whether or not he had one, or two, or even twenty?  No sir… not one lick of difference.  I wonder if in some touch of perverted irony, that one of those fat cows who were talking about walking out of a doctor’s office, or anyone with a tattoo has no place in a civilized society; wonder if they could have been descendants of any of those boys he saved?

     Even if they were direct descendants, and even if ol’ Stanly would’ve known there would be some self-righteous, self-appointed, critic of all who fall outside the “norms” that (of course) they themselves establish, that they would be degrading anyone with a tattoo… no sir, I don’t believe it would have made him a never-mind.  He would have still been out in the direct line of enemy fire… taking care of any and all who needed him.

     I think there’s some eye-opening that comes from being close to death.  It has a tendency to make one think about what is important in life.  Of all the people I have spoken to personally, or read their stories, I don’t ever remember whether someone had a tattoo or a piercing making the list.

     I would love to have a world where we were forced to have total commitment to our positions.  Think about it.  If you want to be petty and fuss about tattoos… then next time your house catches on fire, before they can respond, they have to run a tattoo check.  Any fireman who has a tattoo or a piercing can’t go to put out the blaze.  If the driver had both piercing “and” tattoo… wow, you are screwed!  Now nobody can drive the truck.  Oh well, better you lose your house than have one of those social outcasts, who have defiled their bodies, be allowed to help you out.

    You call 911… your husband just had a heart attack, he’s gasping for breath!  Sorry dear, we just found out the EMT is a Mormon, and we know you and your husband “detest” those “cult members” who want to twist the very words of our “white” Jesus.  No maam, it’s “much better” to just let your husband die, because if he were to regain consciousness, and find out he had been treated by a Mormon; why he would just “die” (figuratively of course).

     You call 911… three men are breaking into your house, coming through the back door.  Sorry sir, the policeman who is on duty tonight is a, “man of color”.  Why if he were to come down there now, and your neighbors see him walking around, you know they are going to follow him, and if he questions why they are following him, they will start to fight him, and the moment he gains the upper hand… you just “know” they are going to take their licensed concealed carry firearm out and shoot him dead on the spot.  Can you imagine how embarrassed they will be when they find out that you, one of their own, had lost your sense of propriety, and “asked” him to come down. 

     How were they to ever know he was a “real American good guy”?  I mean, even though he wasn’t “wearing” a hoodie, he looked like “the type” who would wear one, and those people can not “possibly” be up to any good!  Not to mention, you will be “expected” to set up a fund for their defense, and I can guaran-dang-tee you, they are gonna be hitting you up for the first donation.  No… you’re faaaaaar better off to just let the three men come on inside; I mean, get real, how much can three men carry?  You know they can’t haul off your refrigerator, and that’s where you stashed all your beer.

     You realize, in this scenario, if the 911 operator is a Muslim or Arab, you stuff is soooooo hangin’ out there!  Sorry maam… I would really like to help you, but we Muslims are suspicious.  You could be calling for the Fire Department, and maybe me hook you up with the city planning office.  No, you would be “much” better off just looking up the numbers in your phone book… I said, phone book.  You know, when they installed your phone in your house, they gave you this big book… your neighbor Steve was running up and down the street, yelling… “the new phone book is here!”

      Oh, you only have a cellphone… I could tell you how to look it up on the internet, but hey… you really can’t trust me, right?  Well, you always have a back up, your neighbor George Goldstein is a computer engineer… but, darn it all to heck!  He’s Jewish, so you don’t want to trust him.  I know, and forgive me for being all out-of-character here, and actually “trying” to help, but sometimes we just get caught up in the moment.  You’ve got a gun, right?  Well, go down the stairs, firing that thing as fast as you can.  Odds are, you could maybe at least wound one of the three intruders prior to him killing you, raping your husband, and setting fire to your dog.  Have a nice day, and stand firm on your convictions!
51-55, M
8 Responses Jun 10, 2012

Every word true . I'm from UK and to be honest have never thought about whether a tattoo made people less trustworthy. Great post.

Here Here!!!! Very well said!

And since Memorial Day is just around the corner, I cannot thank you enough for your service. you have helped keep this country safe and me safe which I greatly appreciate.

Very well written I could not agree more and I am part of medical field and have tattoos although not visible I do work with some people whos are and do their job just as well.

Yeah, I admit I get a little carried away in my stories, but there are times I just wish that Sanity was issued to folks at least as often as permits to carry concealed firearms!

Not carried away at all very well written and I could not agree more about the sanity. We had a pt few weeks ago that went and complained that the front office girls should not be wearing lipstick cuz it was very unprofessional, REALLY do we not have anything better to worry about.

You know... I can Really relate to that comment. We used to have a General officer, that whenever we were having a mobility exercise, and came in dressed in our Camouflage and battle gear... he would tell me and the boys the Same darn thing! I mean, we're going out into simulated Battle... you wouldn't think it would be a Crime that we wanted to Look Good!!!! :oP

I guess thats what we get for thinking maybe it is time we join the rest of the world and stop doing such a terrible thing LOL

1 More Response

Is it possible to move it to another category after it has been posted?

I don't see nothing wrong with that. For the simple fact there is teachers out there who has tattoos and or piercings that teaches our children.

Thank you.

TRUE. it's the substance of the person that matters. :)

Thank you.


Thank you.

I applaud you! As a person who's considering scar-covering tattoos, this story resonated with me. I have to wonder, would people think less of me with beautiful art decorating my arm, or if they saw the cutting scars that march from wrist to elbow?<br />
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Thank you for posting this, it made me think.

Glad you liked it... with the way folks seem to want to judge one another now-a-days, I'm about ready to give up and go live on an island somewhere...

(oops... I already Did that!!! )