“What Do You Do?” Week: Anne, Coroner Investigator And Autopsy Tech

This week, we’re spending a little time learning all about you and the awesome and unexpectedly cool jobs you do. Each one of these profiles was culled from you, dear Frisky readers, and we’re amazed by the incredible jobs you have. This is our attempt to learn more about what you do for a living.

After the jump, learn all about Frisky reader Anne’s work as a coroner and autopsy tech. Anne, 44, Coroner Investigator and Autopsy Tech

Location: Reno, NV

Your Average Day: I was a police officer 20 years ago and quit when I started having children to be a stay-at-home mom. When I was divorced, I needed to find work. I barely made it through the police academy when I was 23 and fit — no way was it an option when I was 44 and not anywhere near fit. I saw an advertisement for coroner and in the job description it said that they were looking for former police officers or nurses and I thought I would give it a try.

There is no such thing as an average day. Some days you have absolutely nothing; some have almost all natural deaths; others may have accidents, suicides, or homicides. I go to the death scene, make sure that the body is telling me the same things as the witnesses. Determine if further investigation is necessary. Examine body for injuries and evidence and collect and preserve property to return to family. When I am assigned to Autopsy Tech, we photograph and document bodies, do the gross dissection (Y-incision, remove and weigh organs), collect specimens, and enter information into a computer.

Best Part Of Your Job: Helping families, my fabulous co-workers, and feeling I am “making a difference.”

Worst Part Of Your Job: Death notifications (and odors).

The Most Surprising Thing About Your Job:The compassion families have for me — in their worst moment, many are concerned with my comfort and worried that my job is too stressful.

Any Crazy Work Anecdotes You Can Share? Oh, I don’t know if you want me to go there …

If You Weren’t Doing This Job, What Other Path Might You Pursue? Something in investigations.

Does What You Went To School For Have Any Relationship To What You Now Do? No, I have a degree in Speech Communication.

What Advice Would You Give To Someone Interested In Getting Into Your Field? Go visit a medical examiner’s office, ride along with investigators, observe autopsies — make sure you can handle the sights and smells.

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