Mortuary science is the study of deceased bodies through work typically done at a mortuary. The term most often applies to a college curriculum in the United States which prepares students for careers as morticians or funeral directors. Many who take the coursework also study the related field of embalming. Some states require funeral directors apply as embalmers as well. The law does not apply to California, home to Foothill Funeral & Cremation.
What is Mortuary Science?
Commonly referred to as funeral directors or undertakers, morticians help families of the deceased by managing the remains of the deceased, presenting options to survivors, and planning a funeral, memorial or life celebration. Duties include (but are not limited to):
- Arranging transport of the body to a mortuary
- Obtaining documents and permits for embalming and burial
- Meeting with clients to explain product and service options relative to funeral, cremation and interment arrangements.
- Referring clients to grief counselors, when needed
- Providing wake, graveside, funeral and interment services
- Cleaning and maintaining a well-equipped preparation room and showroom
- Embalming, dressing, cosmetically enhancing and “casketing” deceased bodies
- Arranging flowers, religious officials and pallbearers for funerals
- Preparing the remains for a ceremony
- Performing rites in accordance with the spiritual requirements of the family
- Driving hearse, when applicable.
- Arranging for final disposition of the body
- Filing death certificates and other legal documents with appropriate authorities.
Pros & Cons of Funeral Director Work
Often stressful and emotionally taxing, the job requires that funeral service workers like the team at Foothill Funeral & Cremation be on call 24 hours a day, including evenings, weekends and holidays. Morticians who work in crematories wear protective clothing to guard their eyes against high temperatures. Despite the drawbacks, funeral work is rewarding. It connects caring people to families and friends of deceased people who need a kind word and assistance at a difficult and sometimes confusing time in their lives. Also, anatomical reconstruction is an art.
What is Mortuary Science?
Mortuary science training includes either a 2-year (Associate’s) degree program or (rare) 4-year (Bachelor’s). Cypress College offers both. Students take courses in embalming techniques, accounting, business management, business law, funeral services, anatomy, grief psychology, microbiology, funeral merchandising, chemistry, restorative art, pathology and physiology. Apprenticeship programs are also required. Foothill Funeral & Cremation currently has the honor of hosting three mortuary science students who are starting their Funeral Director Clinical internships.
The students work under very close supervision with licensed FFC staff, fulfilling duties such as: helping with “first calls,” assisting embalmers, attending services and sitting in on arrangement meetings.
One such student, Britani Loster, is in her first year at Cypress College. She says her favorite part of the job is working closely with families to meet them at their time of need. “My mom was into horror movies. So, she got me interested in that side of it. But my friend who worked in a funeral home showed me the cosmetic side of reconstruction. And I loved that right away.”
About Foothill Funeral & Cremation in Glendora, California
When the time comes, if you so desire, we would value the opportunity to help you select the perfect urn or casket for yourself or a family member or friend or to help arrange a memorable life celebration. Feel free to contact us now to pre-plan your own memorial or at your time of need (626) 335-0615. Our relationship with United Methodist Church and Sacred Heart provide great places for mourners to host funerals and memorials. You’ll love the grandiose yet intimate settings in both locations.