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For a coroner, how hard is it to get over seeing the dead bodies, or does it never get any easier?

I am looking into the coroner career and this is something I was worried about because it obviously would affect my performance.

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Kim’s Answer

Vincent,

As part of our police training, we were required to attend autopsies at the medical examiner's office. It was not as difficult as I expected it to be! We had burn victims, plane crash victims, etc. But, then, they brought in a baby. That was hard.

There is a technique called "compartmentalization." Google what it is and how to do it. Basically, you focus on one thing at a time (autopsy) but once you are done focusing on that, you move on to something else, like spending the evening helping your kids with homework.

I would say that the stress is still there, below the surface. I'd recommend perhaps having a therapist "in the wings" in case you need to talk to someone. Take up a physically active sport - running, swimming, basketball, etc.

If it is a job you really want to do, you will find a way around the obstacles. But, it's good that you are thinking about them now!
Thank you comment icon Thank you so much for your response this helped me a lot, I will look into compartmentalization. Vincent
Thank you comment icon I will use this advice as I prepare for my career. Isaac
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Renea’s Answer

Yes, I would imagine it would be hard and it's great that you are thinking about a career. Take into consideration and read up on compartmentalization as Kim said. Also maybe you could request an informational interview with a coroner or medical examiner and they could help you answer your question. Maybe pathology could be in your future, you could consider that too. They look at i.e. breast tissue, ureteral stones, gallbladders, spontaneously aborted babies amputated arms, legs, etc. Sorry to be morbid. It can be just a part of life and just thank the Lord for all your limbs, because ultimately they help you take care of yourself. Also Google or go to Amazon to find books on your career choice, compartmentalizaton, etc.

Godspeed,

Sincerely,
Siobhan
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Alexa’s Answer

Hey there,

I think it depends on the person. If you're exposed to something for a great deal of time, and accept it, I think it will get easier. I am not in that field, but I do know from working in healthcare that I got used to things as time went on. Good luck!
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JoNel’s Answer

I can speak on my behalf. I am critical care RT.
When I first started school for Respiratory Therapy, we had clinical which are scheduled class days in the hospital observing and participating with our learned skills. The point of clinical is to get you comfortable in the setting and practice skills. I remember my first semester of clinical, we were in a level 1 trauma hospital and we had a trauma coming in hot to ER, the anticipation of how gruesome it would be and watching staff prepare the room- I almost passed out! That happened few more times. Now, it's 14 years later and I love my job. I can eat a sandwich directly after a code and patient passes. You become accustomed to t
Your environment. Go for it!
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Amber L’s Answer

I have my degree in mortuary science, from my own personal experience it does get easier over time. However I think early on you know whether you can handle it or not. A lot of these carrers are truly a calling. If you are naturally drawn to it, like I was with the mortuary field I believe you are headed in the right direction already. I was also very nervous and was not sure if you I could handle it or not. I truly wanted to help people during one of the hardest times in their lives. Some students in school could not handle the field during embalmings and decided to drop out which is totally fine. In our society we often don't come across bodies ect so its hard to know how you will feel/ what you can handle without personally going through it in a school enviroment. Which is why school is great you get to discover more about what talents or interests you have. :)

Hope this helps and good luck!
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