A tattoo hurts about like a bad sunburn.
I don't bandage mine because they don't heal well that way.
I take the bandage off as soon as I get home from getting the work done. I use antibacterial soap and wash off the blood (and ink)before it clots into a scab and then I leave it open to the air. If you wash all the potential scab material off while it's soft you heal faster, don't itch, and don't have to worry about the scabs peeling and taking ink with them. The only real treatment besides careful washing is for the first 5 days or so I only wear white cotton over the area. My tattoos healed nicely and have vivid detail.
Dirty needles are something to worry about if you get your tattoo in prison, the back of a van, or in someone's house. If you go to a studio they use sterile needles that are thrown away afterward. The ink is dispensed into disposable cups and tossed if there is any left so cross contamination isn't an issue there. The major threat of disease is from the guy doing the tattoo and what he does and doesn't touch with his gloved hand. If he's going through a lot of gloves, isn't answering the phone every ten minutes, etc. then you're good to go.