What Does a Mortuary Job Entail?

A mortuary is a place where bodies are stored temporarily until autopsies can be performed. They can be found either attached to funeral homes or in a department of forensic medicine.

Mortuary workers use their communication, organization and empathy skills to help grieving families. They also must have technical and problem solving skills to complete their duties.

Working Conditions

Mortuary workers must be able to remain professional even in the face of unpleasant or upsetting situations. They must also be able to use surgical instruments, perform autopsies on bodies and work with embalmers. A mortician’s job can be somber and challenging, but it can also be fulfilling for those who are suited to this unique career.

Hospital morgues are responsible for the reception, transportation and temporary storage of corpses. Pathologists staff these facilities and may conduct postmortem examinations to determine the cause of death. They may also prepare a body for burial, cremation or memorial services.

A recent study found that most hospital mortuary attendants do not receive formal education and lack the knowledge needed to observe safety protocols and precautions. This can lead to injuries and illness for these employees.

Job Duties

Mortuaries and funeral homes provide similar services, although funeral homes are more adept at planning a memorial service. Both facilities prepare a deceased person’s remains for burial or cremation, offer grief counseling and handle any paperwork associated with the death, such as the death certificate, obituary and funeral arrangements.

If you’re interested in a career in the mortuary business, you need to be empathetic and have good communication skills. Family service counselors and funeral home associates work directly with families to explain the products and services they offer, arrange product pricing and answer any questions clients may have.

Morgue attendants, also known as pathologists’ assistants, perform a variety of tasks in and around morgues. They prepare bodies and organ specimens for examination, clean and set up instruments, pick tissue samples and ensure all cadavers are tagged properly. They often work on 24-hour shifts, so they must be able to focus for long periods of time.

Education Requirements

Morgue employees need to be trained and licensed, with education requirements varying by state. Many states require funeral workers to have an associate degree from a mortuary science program and pass a licensing exam. Others have separate education and licensing requirements for embalmers and funeral directors.

In addition to coursework in mortuary science and funeral service, an associate degree program usually requires courses in restorative arts and ethics and law and grief counseling. Students can complete these courses at an on-campus or online school.

To get the most out of their college experience, aspiring morgue employees should seek out internship opportunities and part-time jobs at local funeral homes or coroner’s offices to gain relevant experience in the industry before graduation. This will also help them feel more comfortable dealing with the sensitive work environment and working around dead bodies. It is important for these workers to have computer skills because they may need to enter data or keep records of cadavers.

Working Hours

Although it may seem like a morbid job to do, many mortuary workers are highly satisfied with their careers. This is due to the variety of responsibilities they have in their role and the fact that they focus on looking after families and making the grieving process as easy as possible for them.

Generally, morticians work out of a funeral home and are responsible for the end-to-end funerary process. This includes meeting with the bereaved family and guiding them through the different funeral options available. They also handle the logistics of preparing the body and arranging transport to the funeral venue.

Some of the duties that they undertake include loading and unloading bodies from City, EMS and funeral director hearses, taking identification head shot photos and assisting Medical Examiners in all autopsy procedures as directed. Additionally, they maintain the premise, equipment and mortuary autopsy rooms in a clean and sanitary condition. They may also help to prepare bodies for cremation and burial.

Related Posts