If you're embarking on a new career as a tattoo artist, putting your creative mind on display has likely been a lifelong dream of yours. Now that you've found a location to showcase your expertise, you'll have to make sure that the environment is safe, comfortable, and sterile. Before you start building your new clientele and open your doors to the public, here are a few ways to keep your tattoo station comfortable and sterile for clients.
Keep Yourself Clean
Handwashing should be the number one priority when working directly with clients. Germs and bacteria thrive everywhere in our environment. Specific bacteria strains, germs, diseases, and infections including Hepatitis, MRSA, HIV, and other blood borne pathogens can be passed on from contaminated blood from a dirty needle or used supply. Because you'll be dealing with several clients each day, it's important to keep your skin clean. Consider the following:
- Proper handwashing techniques using antibacterial soaps or hand sanitizer
- Wearing a mask if you feel you have a contagious disease, cold, or flu
- Black latex gloves to protect yourself from contact with dirty needles and blood
- Clean jacket or apron to cover up clothes or exposed skin areas
Presenting a clean environment will reduce the risk of cross-contamination from client to client.
Practice Sterile Contact
In addition to medical-grade quality black latex gloves, which you can purchase at places like Your Glove Source, there are other ways to prevent infection and blood contamination. Making sure that you use disposable tattoo tubes and needles is very important. You should have an employment safety plan in place and in writing before opening and operating your shop or booth. The plan should explain your procedure for storing, applying, and disposing of all sterile equipment—especially the needles. You may wish to have your client sign an agreement that he or she is healthy enough for a tattoo and has no underlying medical condition that could compromise his or her health during the application of new ink.
Deep Clean Your Station Daily
Germs are everywhere. The station where you perform your tattoo applications should be as sterile as possible. Bacteria can only be destroyed by bleach or an antibacterial cleaning solution that states it kills germs on the instructions. Cleaning or bleaching floors, walls, equipment and countertops is important for germ control. Make sure that you use an autoclave to disinfect your equipment and other items that come in direct contact with you and the client. Don't forget to add a specific disposable unit just for items such as gauze, gloves, cohesive wrap, and sleeves.
Make Your Client Comfortable
Create a sterile environment that is also comfortable and inviting. Massage tables and comfortable tattoo chairs allow your client to get situated easily and help them relax while you focus on design. Always use exam table paper to create an added layer of sterilization between sessions.
Being a tattoo artist should be rewarding in every aspect. Be sure to keep things on track with a safe and thriving environment that will set you above your competition.