Question 1. Are You Able To Empathize With Grieving People?
Yes, very much so. I feel I would be able to help them take some of the heaviness off their heart and soul and carry them forward with their memories.
Question 2. Why Did You Choose To Become A Funeral Attendant?
I feel I have been chosen to do this work. To give back, to help others and to share and be supportive to others during their struggles with loss and honouring the life of their loved ones.
Question 3. Have You Ever Dealt With Grieving People?
Yes i have dealt with my own family greiving and i have dealt with customers from the bank who have lose a loved one.
Question 4. Do You Know What Alternatives Are Available For Disposing Of The Body?
A reputable funeral director will mention not only the most common types of final arrangements, such as embalming and a traditional earth burial, but will also be willing to discuss other possible options, such as cremation, above-ground burial in a mausoleum, or donating the body to a medical school or clinic as an anatomical gift.
Question 5. How Do You Handle Stressful Situations As Funeral Director?
I remain composed, even if i do not feel composed, I deal with the situation in a cool calm and collected manner.
Question 6. What Is Included In A Charge For A Cash Advance?
Some providers also charge to cover amounts paid up front for funeral goods and services purchased from outside vendors and providers. These include charges for incidentals such as flowers, obituary notices, and an honorarium for the officiating clergy. Bear in mind that these costs are optional and may be negotiable. For example, if you or another person is willing to write and place an obituary, you can save on this cost.
Question 7. Suppose I Am Interested In A “green” Burial. No Embalming, No Vault, Burial Within 24-48 Hours, Biodegradable Casket. Can This Sort Of Burial Be Pre-planned So I Wishes Will Be Granted And No Fussing Within The Family?
- There has been more interest in that sort of disposition recently. I have read a couple of articles about the practice of green burial, but I’m not aware of any public cemeteries offering that option in the Triangle region.
- Because no casket will withstand the weight of the soil, most traditional cemeteries require an outer burial container. It is both a matter of surface maintenance and a concern should there be a disinterment requested at some future date. However it does not have to be a protective vault. A two piece concrete grave liner meets the cemetery requirement.
- I believe the Jewish tradition follows the idea of green burial in that it is held that the body should return to the earth in a natural progression; neither retarded by preservation nor sped up by cremation. Embalming is not required in most cases. But without embalming, the funeral director can refuse to offer public viewing.
- Wood is of course biodegradable and there are many choices of wood caskets. Jewish caskets are meant to be of simple design and are made without any metal fasteners. A green cemetery may offer other options.
- You do need to be aware however that there will be someone who will have the ultimate legal authority to determine the disposition of your body upon your death. That person (or people) would normally be your next of kin. So once again, you should talk with your family about your wishes.
Question 8. What Are The Basic Costs Involved?
Some people are uncomfortable bargaining or comparison-shopping when it comes to funeral goods and services. But there may be a lot of money at stake. Ironically, dying is one of life’s most costly expenses — third in line after a house and a car, for most people.
The Funeral Rule, the federal law that regulates funeral services and purchases, allows providers to charge a basic fee for overhead and services common to most arrangements.
The basic services fee commonly includes these items:
- Funeral planning
- Securing the necessary permits and copies of death certificates
- Preparing the death notice
- Storing the body
- Coordinating arrangements with a cemetery, crematory, or other providers
- While you can’t decline to pay the basic fee, you should be aware of exactly what services are included in it.
Question 9. Tell Me What Type Of Personal Protective Equipment Is Worn By Morticians To Prevent Exposure To Unknown Infectious Agents That The Deceased May Have In Their Body Fluids Or Tissues?
If you’ve seen a surgeon ready to do his or her job, you can imagine that an embalmer looks the same. Embalmers practice universal precautions when working in the preparation room. This includes wearing gloves, mask, gown, and eye protection.
Question 10. Explain, When Dealing With An Unexpected Death In The Family, How Can One Feel Confident Choosing The Right Funeral Home? We Used To Shopping Around For The Best Price On The Things We Buy, But We Sure In A Tragic Situation We Would Not Feel Up For That. How Can We Be Sure We Are Not Getting Taken For A Ride? Do People Actually Shop Around For Funeral Services?
- As we have become more of a consumer oriented society, most people seek the best value for the money we spend. Fortunately for the consumer, the funeral profession is highly regulated.
- We must comply with Federal Trade Commission regulations regarding our price information. And regulatory state boards of funeral service provide a secondary measure of protection against anyone who might be tempted to be unethical. Funeral directors as a rule are good people and funeral homes are generally interested in only making a fair return on their investment.
- Death often does come unexpectedly, but the best way to feel comfortable making any funeral arrangement is to do so well in advance. That way you can make important decisions with a clear head and not be influenced by grief. Otherwise, my advice would be to ask friends which providers they have used. You can ask if the funeral home you intend to use has a satisfaction guarantee and whether the staff is required to complete ongoing training and professional development.
- Also you can select a funeral home by its length of service to a community and its reputation. And one final note about shopping around for the best price, Jen. And that is “You get what you pay for. Or the converse, you don’t get what you don’t pay for.” Consider the added value of benefits like bereavement travel services, aftercare support services, and transferability of pre-arranged plans that some funeral homes provide.
Question 11. Are You Locally Or Nationally Owned?
- Many of the neighborhood funeral homes that were once owned and operated by generations of the same family are now owned by a national conglomerate.
- Most notably, Service Corporation International, or SCI, currently operates more than 1,500 funeral homes and 400 cemeteries throughout the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico. In a practice that some cite as confusing or deceiving, the name, appearance, and even the personnel often remain unchanged after a corporate buyout, leaving the lasting impression that the place remains locally owned. But for better or worse, the local business’s policies and procedural controls are usually supplanted by the national corporation’s in the interest of consistency.
- Other corporations include Stewart Enterprises, Carriage Services, and StoneMor. There are also smaller companies that may be family-owned but not family-operated. For example, a family in Virginia may own several homes in that state and neighboring states. Family owned, yes; but it’s still a big company with financial goals that could affect how business is conducted.
Question 12. How Does A Person Become A Funeral Director? Do You Know Someone That Is Thinking Of A Career Change? What Are The Steps To Take? Schooling? Certifications?
- There are both two year Associate Degrees, as well as four year college curriculum to prepare for a career in funeral service.
- Upon successful completion of one of these programs, it is required that you pass a national board examination covering all aspects of the profession from embalming to legal matters, to business operations.
- Additionally, there is a one year apprenticeship requirement. Then in order to obtain a license, one must pass a test on North Carolina laws governing funeral service, undergo a criminal background check, and provide witnesses who will attest to your moral character.
- North Carolina is a dual license state; meaning you can have a license either as an embalmer or a funeral director. There is also a Funeral Service license which certifies both job titles. Some other states offer a single license.
Question 13. What Is The Process Of Cremation? I Signed So Many Papers And Had To Initial Here And There So Many Times To Have My Father Cremated. Why Is That?
Cremation is a high heat process that reduces the body to bone fragments which are then usually processed into a finer particulate. Most people commonly refer to cremated remains as ashes. Because cremation is such a final and irreversible process, there are many safeguards in place to protect both the family and the funeral director. We require positive identification and appropriate authorization forms to be signed before we schedule any cremation. Additionally, there are North Carolina laws that govern cremation.
Question 14. What Other Costs Will There Be?
Beyond the basic service fee, funeral homes charge additional amounts for other goods and services related to the final arrangements.
- The Funeral Rule is both broad and specific in requiring that funeral homes must provide a written list specifying the costs of the basic services of the funeral director, staff, and overhead, along with all of the following items that it offers:
- Forwarding remains to another funeral home
- Receiving remains from another funeral home
- Direct cremation
- Immediate burial
- Transferring remains to the funeral home
- Other preparation of the body
- Use of facilities and staff for viewing
- Use of facilities and staff for funeral ceremony
- Use of facilities and staff for memorial service
- Use of equipment and staff for graveside service
- The range of casket prices appearing on the establishment’s casket price list
- The range of outer burial container prices appearing on the outer burial container price list
- This list of costs that must be itemized is exhaustive, and while it may feel exhausting to review and compare them to price quotes you receive from other providers you’re considering hiring, it’s a wise consumer practice.
Question 15. How To Go About Planning My Own Funeral Arrangements?
- The first thing you should do is talk with your family about the subject.
- We (funeral directors) visit thousands of homes every year and many people tell us they’ve never taken even 10 or 20 minutes to sit down with each other and discuss what they’d want if something happened to one or both of them.
- The next step would be to make an appointment with the funeral director to record your wishes. He or she will gather some important statistical information for a death certificate, and help you select the type of service you want.
- And finally you can, if you wish, pay in advance for services and merchandise to be provided in the (hopefully distant) future. Most funeral homes will offer an inflation proof contract that locks in the price for their services and merchandise at the time the contract is signed.
Question 16. Do You Have Any Experiences Being In A Funeral Home?
No, but im a fast learner and a hard worker. I am committed to do the best of my ability.
Question 17. Do You Have Any Advice For Those Wanting To Get Into The Funeral Business?
My advice is funeral services isn’t a “job”, it’s a calling. If you don’t have it in your heart you’ll never succeed.
Job shadow a funeral director for one week if you’re able and tour/talk to a mortuary school.
Question 18. What Is The Most Difficult Part Of Being A Funeral Attendant?
Because of empathizing, it may be difficult to hold back tears.
Question 19. Do You Really Have To Sew People’s Mouth Shut?
It is a curiosity for many people how the body is prepared. Part of the embalming and preparation process is called “setting features.” We use different means to ensure that the eyes and mouth are closed and to give the deceased a natural appearance as if asleep or in a state of repose. Generally, that does not involve having to use sutures.
Question 20. How To Land A Job At A Funeral Home?
Don’t be desperate to find a funeral home. You will end up quitting and jumping from one frying pan to another. Don’t rush it. You will know when you find the right place.