A mortuary is a room of refrigerated cabinets where bodies are stored until interment or cremation. The rooms may be part of hospitals or stand-alone facilities. Mortuary cosmetologists are trained to make a body look natural for viewing and funeral services.
If burial is chosen, the body is embalmed and prepared for a casket or crypt. If cremation is chosen, the body enters a cremation chamber that is heated with natural gas.
What is a mortuary?
Mortuaries are refrigerated rooms where bodies are kept until burials or cremations occur. Some mortuaries are affiliated with funeral homes, while others are independent. In general, mortuaries focus on the embalming and preparation of the body for a memorial service or funeral.
Many people are surprised to learn that morticians do much more than embalm the body. They also offer grief counseling, help coordinate paperwork, death registration, and memorial services. If you’re planning an end-of-life event, it’s important to explore your options to find the best fit for your family’s needs.
Mortuaries may offer a variety of memorialization services, including casket or cremation burials and entombment in a mausoleum. They may also provide a funeral procession. A mortuary may or may not be able to offer cremation services on site, but they can connect you with a crematorium that does. As with hospitals and doctors’ offices, mortuaries generate biohazardous waste that must be properly disposed of. Sharps (scissors, lancets, etc) and other medical equipment are considered a hazard and should be placed in a dedicated sharps container.
What is a morgue?
A morgue is a place where dead bodies are kept, usually in refrigerated rooms, until they can be identified or claimed by family members. It is also a room where autopsies are performed. A mortuary is often located in a hospital, although it may be attached to a funeral home or medical examiner’s office.
Pathologists staff hospital morgues and perform postmortems, which are detailed examinations of the body to determine the cause of death. They also identify any injuries the deceased suffered before their death.
In the United States, most morgues are owned by funeral homes or private businesses. Those that do not own their own mortuaries are sometimes contracted with funeral homes to provide services like embalming and casket lining. Working in a mortuary requires a certain level of technical skills and emotional strength. However, it can be an extremely rewarding career for those who are able to deal with the sights and smells of the dead.
What is the difference between a morgue and a mortuary?
Mortuaries are more focused on the mortuary sciences of caring for the body, preparing it for burial or cremation and transporting it. They may offer a more limited range of services, such as a quick viewing for immediate family members or onsite cremation without full memorialization. Some mortuaries also employ a mortician, although in most cases they will require the involvement of a funeral director for the preparation and burial process.
Both facilities use refrigeration units to preserve the body, but morgues tend to have larger refrigerators because they may be required to store bodies that have not yet been identified or claimed. They may also be used for autopsies and forensic examinations.
Both morgues and funeral homes follow strict rules to ensure that cadavers are treated with dignity and respect, but funeral homes often have more staff and specialized equipment for preparing bodies for burial or cremation. They also provide grief counseling and other support to families.
What is the difference between a funeral home and a mortuary?
Mortuaries and funeral homes share similar services, such as embalming the body and preparing it for burial or cremation. Funeral homes also set up public viewings, work with clergy and cemeteries, and coordinate other funeral activities.
Some funeral home employees have training in grief counseling, but that is less common in mortuaries. The funeral director and staff at a funeral home are trained in both the business aspects of this industry and how to support families.
Both a funeral home and mortuary offer memorialization services, but funeral homes have larger areas where services can be held and may allow public viewings of the body. In addition, funeral homes usually have a full-service funeral and can provide a casket for burial or an urn for cremation.
Some funeral homes charge an extra fee for items that they buy on your behalf, such as obituary notices, flowers, and officiating clergy. The Funeral Rule requires that these additional fees be disclosed to you in advance.