As a professional tattooist, you are going to have to handle certain unpleasant situations that some customers may find t hemselves in. One of these areas is the weak stomached client. Every once in a while a customer gets sick and you should be prepared to deal with it. Make it a habit to have alt your wastebaskets lined with plastic garbage bags just in case someone gets a stomach reaction. A quick grab for the nearest basket sure beats a disgusting mess on the floor. Besides, it could even end up on you and your equipment, so this little preparation can pay off
Another thing to keep an eye out for is the fainters. Don't worry, this is not very common, but does happen once in a while. The warning signs are a change of skin color in the face (from flesh to white with a gray or green overcast), sweating and an uptight, rigid and tense body.
During the first five or ten minutes of the outline, don't get completely lost in your work and totally ignore the customer. Make frequent glances up at the client's face and talk with the person to see how they are doing. With this system, any problems will show up ahead of time. It's good public relations, and t he tattoo business needs more of it.
If any signs show that the person is having problems, stop the tattooing and announce a little breathing break. Give them a little assurance and confidence that this reaction is quite common and will soon pass. Give them an alcohol sprayed tissue to wipe their head with. It also helps if the client puts their head between their knees for a few minutes. When people get really uptight, they stop breathing and then begin to lose consciousness which is called a fainting spelt. If a client looks faint, don't let them walk around the shop without supervision. They may fall and hurt themselves. A short period just before people actually lose consciousness, they appear to be in a trance Talk loudly to them and tell them not to fall asleep but to breath. If they really-pass out, a slight slap on the cheek may bring them around. Don't get too carried away. It may be necessary to open a bottle or smelling salts or break an ammonia inhalant (aromatic carbonate of ammonia) under their nostrils to revive them If possible, ask one of their friends to help you out. A glass of ice water is sometimes helpful. Stay with them and try to keep them talking. Explain that it will soon pass and then they will be just fine.
It fainting occurs, you should wait at least fifteen to twenty minutes before beginning again, when their skin coior has returned to normal, there is no more profuse sweating, they are relaxed and are breathing regularly and normally.
When you begin again, do so slowly at first and keep up a good conversation, As a rule, fainters are usually getting their first tattoo. Why do they faint? Maybe they didn't eat anything all day or it may be a reaction to the sight of blood. In alt likelihood though, they probably have really psyched themselves out to expect super intense pain and who knows what else, and when they had begun to actually feel the needles at work and realized it wasn't that bad after all, they begin to relax, causing the blood to go from a tight hose to a loose one and they collapse from a blood rush. They also may have had some sort of conflict about getting a tattoo and are reacting to having crossed over the final line with no turning back. They will survive and make it through. You have to help them and they also need to hear your support and confidence.
Unless you are into self-punishment and frustration, please don't tattoo drunk customers. It is all right if someone has had one or two beers, but if they can hardly stand up and are endlessly babbling on, you will have to firmly and politely inform them that you will do their tattoo at another time and they have to quietly leave. End of discussion. Don't stand there arguing with them as to whether they are sober or not. The truth of the matter is that you just cannot do a decent tattoo on a drunk person. This holds true also for people that are on drugs and pill abusers. If people won't respect you and your work, come in horn bed or drugged out expecting you to put up with obnoxious behavior, just guide them to the door and walk them out. Even better is to stop them at the door before they even enter, if their situation is that plain to you.
You should also absolutely refuse to tattoo people with obvious signs of sickness or disease such as hepatitis or yellow jaundice. The tell tale signs of people with this is that the white of their eyes are yellowed and their skin has an unnatural yellow-like suntan look to it. Tell them that their money would be more wisely spent seeing a doctor. You cannot afford to expose yourself, your family, other reliable customers, your shop and equipment to diseases. Their blood is contaminated and their bodies are in no condition to have the extra burden of healing a tattoo. Quite often you will have to work on people who bleed profusely. This is really difficult because the ink is being washed out almost as fast as it is going in and can be really frustrating. -lust get through it the best you can, they may have to return after healing for a touch-up. Advise them to avoid drinking alcohol and eat large quantities of Jello for several days before returning, Jello is a source of Vitamin K, which isan excellent blood coagulant.
It is wise to have handy the local ambulance phone number, just in case of the rare occasions that may be beyond your help, such as epileptic seizures, etc.
As a professional tattooist, part of your role is to help people make it through the ordeal. For some, it is their personal Independence Day, and tor some, it could be a great celebration for some reason or other. If a person is having a rough time dealing with it, you should help them through it without putting them down or getting them nervous because you think they are wasting your precious time. If you are going to do a tattoo on someone, make sure you are going to give it your full attention and give it and the person whatever time they require.
Drunks and Other Considerations
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