How to Become a Morgue Assistant
Taking care of people takes a very special type of person. Someone who enjoys putting other first and upholding their dignity and respect, even in death, is a person that should consider to become a morgue assistant. If this sounds like something that may interest you as a career, then take a look at the morgue assistant as a possible future career.
A morgue assistant is a person that assists other end of life professionals carry out their job duties. Some possible places to find employment include a hospital, mortuary and the county coroner. One of the most valuable traits a person can have in order to do well in this profession is a strong mind while you witness sights that many will never see. Once you have this skill, you are more than halfway there to enter this interesting field.
Education Requirements to Become a Morgue Assistant
While there are not any educational requirements to become a morgue assistant, it is a wise idea to obtain a high school diploma or GED. During high school classes should focus on biology math, computers and communications. A part-time job during high school in an office or health care setting will also prove to be very valuable to future potential employers.
Some may choose to earn an Associate's degree to further advance their career. A degree in any of the sciences or health science will be enough to help further your understanding in the job duties. Common classes for an Associate's degree are anatomy, medical terminology, psychology, sociology, communication and English. As the health care industry enters a digital age, a working knowledge of computers becomes more important every year. The higher degree can allow an individual take on more complex tasks and gain more autonomy. Having a higher degree with ample experience will make you a more qualified candidate in comparison to those who do not posses these credentials.
Morgue Assistant Job Description
The job duties of a morgue assistant are similar to those of an orderly or a CAN in a hospital. Most times it is a cross between patient care and equipment technician. The specific duties will differ depending on volume of bodies and how many people are employed in the department. Places that have a smaller staff will have job duties that are more all-encompassing than those that work in very populated departments.
Here are some of the common job duties of a morgue assistant:
- Storing and retrieving bodies from storage
- General upkeep of facilities
- Get bodies ready for autopsy
- Sterilizing equipment
- Communicate with hospital and families
Some other duties that are given to those with higher degrees include performing x-rays, assisting medical examiners in an autopsy and writing a report of the findings. You also must be very understanding of people's beliefs as you may be the person to bring the news of death to a loved one. In some instances the morgue assistant will ride in an ambulance to retrieve a body that did not die at a hospital.
Morgue Assistant Salary and Career Path
The one thing to remember as you decide to become a morgue assistant, in terms of pay, is that there are not a large amount of people willing to take on such a job. Due to this factor, pay is greater than average for those with only a high school education. The average wage can be anywhere between $16,000 to $33,000 a year. Higher amounts are given to those with advanced degrees and those with many years of experience. To gain the experience needed in order to command a higher pay, consider shadowing a mortician and volunteering to do some of the work. They will notice that you are more than capable of performing the work and may offer you a job after the volunteer term is over.
If you are looking for other possible jobs, consider:
- Certified Nurse Assistant
- Laboratory Assistant
- Forensic Assistant
Taking a job as an entry level and working your way up is a viable option in this profession. The most valuable skills in this job are communication, a strong mind, knowing yourself and respect for the fellow man. After you have these essential skills, try applying at your local county coroner's office, mortuary or hospital. There will always be room for anyone willing to give the same attention to the living as to the deceased. Welcome to the next step in your future career.
*Salary Information provided by the Bureau Of Labor Statistics