Did You See It? –Son’s Emotional Defence of His Nurse Mom’s Tattoos Goes Viral

Woman on bike with lots of tattoos

A devoted son has taken to social media to vent his frustrations at people's perceptions of his mother's tattoos – and sparked a fierce debate about professionalism.

Jordan Miller's mother, Misti, is a nurse in their home state of Ohio. She's performed her role diligently and saved many lives, says Jordan.

But after a conversation about some hospitals conservative attitudes toward her body art, Jordan was left baffled.

'My mom has more tattoos than I can count and it has never, ever affected her work ethic,' he explains in an emotional Facebook post, which has since gone viral with more than 115k shares.

'I've seen my mom pull a lady out of a car before it fills with smoke and she suffocates. I've seen her do stitches on an injured person on the side of the road following a car accident.'

He continues: 'I've seen her come home after a 12-hour shift, dead tired after dealing with an abusive patient all day, and get back up and do it again the next day. She's come home after holding a baby in her hands and watching it take their last breath. She's saved a drug addicts life after overdosing in the hospital bed.'

'Tattoos don't define the person. She will wake up at the same time everyday and save a life.'

Conflicting work schedules mean Jordan and Misti don't get to spend that much time together – another reason he is so admiring of her dedication.

Not all of the comments on Jordan's post have been positive, with one saying: 'I respect her doing her job so well, but have reservations about why she wants to defile her own body. Does that fill a void in her mind about her self worth? Sad.'

However, the majority of messages were ones of solidarity and support, particularly from fellow healthcare professionals.

'Well spoken!' said one commenter. 'I myself have no tattoos but actually enjoying seeing them as well as a lot of patients that I have taken care of, on some patients they are a focal point for calming and distracting of behaviors.'

Another added: 'One of our nurses had her hair dyed different shades of blue & purple. She always looked nice. Recently, they changed our dress code and said that hair can only be natural colors. The patients all loved her hair and were upset when they found out why she had to change it!'

The family have been overwhelmed by the response, with Misti writing on her own page: 'I am absolutely blown away by the support for tattoos on nurses that my son wrote.'

'If I save one life by a conversation, my artwork is well worth wearing. Thanks son for the love and support for your momma and her ink work!'

What do you think? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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Kasia , MSN,RN-BC
7 months ago

Are we seriously having this conversation in 2020? So we cannot (and should not) discriminate based on skin color but somehow tattoos are different? In what way would tattoos make someone less competent? I have a sleeve and I also have a Master’s degree in Nursing Education, Im board certified in psychiatric nursing and Im currently in a Post-MSN PMHNP program. We need to get over this ridiculous issue already.

Marika O'Baire Kark RN, MSHS, MFA BC - psy
3 years ago

The spirit of the person is a million times more important than tats. Why are we so focused on individual external appearances? We need to get a meaningful, purposeful, caring for others life!

JOANIE
7 months ago

I don’t even know what my natural hair color is. Probably brown turning grey?! I have brown hair with a strip of purple underneath. For awhile was a problem at work. Does anyone have their natural hair color anymore? Had to keep covered which was easy since I work in the OR. Also have tattoos, couple on wrists, no one has said anything yet.

jstockerRN
3 years ago

I work as a nurse and have a tat on my wrist it is a simple work of art with my hubs name and a heart to represent my nursing and laughingly enough a vine that points to a vein to start my IV. I am supposed to keep it covered now but most of the residents comment on it in a positive way. I am still a nurse Tat or not

Marla Packer Perdunn
7 months ago

I have been a nurse for 33 years. I have tattoos and have had to put them in places where they are not visible. I feel it is unfair to make people cover up or conceal body art that defines their personality, likes or remembrance of a loved one. This is a different age. Discrimination comes in all forms. Making people change their hair color or cover tattoos is just that, it stifles creativity. Patients love to get to know the people who have cared for them when they could not care for themselves or a loved one. I think… Read more »

Jennifer Santos, CNM, WHNP-BC, MSN
7 months ago

With every crisis going on in healthcare, why do we still care about people’s expressions of identity on their own sovereign bodies?

Cathie L
7 months ago

I have several tats that you can’t really see, they don’t have any bearing on how I do anything, they are for me. As some have pointed out, they can be a conversation starter with a patient or a way make a situation better. Many times as I place an IV I will ask a patient about their tat/s to help them through the IV placement. It usually works.

Steve Hansen RN-BC
3 years ago

She’s a nurse, she should be wearing a helmet!!!

Rosemary MSN RN PMHNP-BC CARN
7 months ago

When caring for patients the focus shouldn’t be the nurse or the nurse’s body. Tattoos are permanent statements, not much different than T-shirts and buttons. Some can be inflammatory to others. Careful consideration for the population served is a priority. Competency is not the issue, philosophy of the organization matters.
My thoughts.

Janelle
7 months ago

I have a few tattoos and mostly my patients ask about why I got them in a positive way. A lot of my patients have them as well. It becomes a conversation starter that sometimes is a needed distraction from what is going on in that patient’s life. The hospital that I work for recently changed their policy so that tattoos can be seen at work. I think its time that people realize that the outside doesn’t make a person.

Diane Duran
7 months ago

I understand the “in” thing to do is having tattoos, But having been a nurse for 47 years and having seen the respect for all of the medical profession decline, until recently, I think it is very unprofessional. Nurses must have the respect of professionals as well as patients and families. When I first saw a nurse in the ER with arm tattoos I thought, this could only further deteriorate patient-nurse relations. I don’t care how good of a job someone is doing, I believe what you do in your off time has no place showing up in a professional… Read more »