What does an Embalmer do?
Prepare bodies for interment in conformity with legal requirements.
- Conform to laws of health and sanitation and ensure that legal requirements concerning embalming are met.
- Apply cosmetics to impart lifelike appearance to the deceased.
- Incise stomach and abdominal walls and probe internal organs, using trocar, to withdraw blood and waste matter from organs.
- Close incisions, using needles and sutures.
- Reshape or reconstruct disfigured or maimed bodies when necessary, using dermasurgery techniques and materials such as clay, cotton, plaster of Paris, and wax.
- Make incisions in arms or thighs and drain blood from circulatory system and replace it with embalming fluid, using pump.
- Dress bodies and place them in caskets.
- Perform the duties of funeral directors, including coordinating funeral activities.
- Join lips, using needles and thread or wire.
- Conduct interviews to arrange for the preparation of obituary notices, to assist with the selection of caskets or urns, and to determine the location and time of burials or cremations.
- Attach trocar to pump-tube, start pump, and repeat probing to force embalming fluid into organs.
- Perform special procedures necessary for remains that are to be transported to other states or overseas, or where death was caused by infectious disease.
- Maintain records such as itemized lists of clothing or valuables delivered with body and names of persons embalmed.
- Insert convex celluloid or cotton between eyeballs and eyelids to prevent slipping and sinking of eyelids.
- Wash and dry bodies, using germicidal soap and towels or hot air dryers.
- Arrange for transporting the deceased to another state for interment.
- Supervise funeral attendants and other funeral home staff.
- Pack body orifices with cotton saturated with embalming fluid to prevent escape of gases or waste matter.
- Assist with placing caskets in hearses and organize cemetery processions.
- Serve as pallbearers, attend visiting rooms, and provide other assistance to the bereaved.
- Direct casket and floral display placement and arrange guest seating.
- Arrange funeral home equipment and perform general maintenance.
- Assist coroners at death scenes or at autopsies, file police reports, and testify at inquests or in court, if employed by a coroner.
- Press diaphragm to evacuate air from lungs.
- Remove the deceased from place of death and transport to funeral home.