Embalmers prepare deceased humans for burial.
The process begins with disinfecting the body to help prevent the spread of disease. Most people connect the embalming process with preserving the body long enough for funeral services.
Embalmers usually work in a funeral home or morgue. Embalmers can also be found in hospitals and medical schools.
When a human body is delivered, the body is:
- Washed with germicidal soap and then dried.
- Shaved when necessary
- Other cosmetic duties as required such as fingernail clipping, hair cutting, and makeup.
- Inserting tubes into the deceased body to remove the blood.
- Replace blood with embalming fluid
- Fix or repair certain visible parts of the body that has been damaged due to violent death such as a car accident, gunshot or fall. Materials used can be cotton, was, or plastic.
- Dressing the body
- Placing body in casket. There are times when the body must be transported to another location. In these cases, the body
must be placed in a special transportation case or casket that meets various standards.
Other Duties (funeral homes):
- Many embalmers also serve as funeral directors.
- Help with funeral services
Other Duties (hospital, morgue or medical school):
- Assist with autopsies
- Prepare body for examination. Cause of death.
Other Duties (legal):
- File police reports
- Testify to explain or help to explain probably or certain cause of death
Embalmers must know and follow the laws that deal with the handling and treatment of the deceased.
Recommended courses of study
- Begin by taking science courses in high school.
- Business (Important when working for a small funeral home)
- Legal (Important if you wish to work with deceased where cause of death needs to be determined
- Psychology, sociology courses
- Speech (Being able to properly articulate is very important)
Another recommendation is to work as an apprentice for a funeral home. Here you can receive practical experience.
You will be required to receive training in mortuary science or funeral services. Upon completion of studies, you will be required to pass your state's examination tests as an embalmer.
Where can you receive training and education?
Mortuary Science programs and are usually offered by private vocational schools. Many colleges also offer a 4-year program
in funeral services. Official apprenticeships will last anywhere from 1-3 years.
Most states require a year or more of college before individuals can start their specialized training. Most embalmers get a license as a funeral director as well.
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