The embalming and funeral industry is a very tough business because these professionals must be mentally tough while also having a high level of compassion and sympathy for grieving families. Funeral directors basically work with all different types of people and work with families to make funeral plans and embalmers essentially handle the deceased body, move the body to the mortuary, embalm the body, and get it ready for viewing. Embalmers and funeral directors need to follow certain regulations to ensure that they comply with the State of Connecticut. You can learn more about licenses for these professions here.
Becoming an Embalmer
In order to become an embalmer in Connecticut, one must obtain at least an associate degree in funeral arts and sciences from a school that is accredited by the American Board of Funeral Service Education. An applicant must pass the National Conference Board Examination and then apply to the Department of Public Health. The Department grants applications and the Board of Examiners of Embalmers and Funeral Directors regulates licensed embalmers. To become a funeral director, it requires an associate degree in mortuary science or in a funeral services field, the person must be at least 21, pass the state and national board exam, and complete an internship or apprenticeship. Needless to say, it takes a lot of time, money, and dedication to get a job in one of these two areas.
Funeral Directors and Embalmers’ Regulations
Funeral directors and embalmers have the responsibility of being there for people who are going through the most difficult times in their lives and they put so much time into being able to handle these situations with professionalism and moral support. This is why complaints and allegations can be so difficult to find out about. Funeral directors and embalmers may be at risk for losing their license or receiving disciplinary action for doing certain things, including:
Failure to complete services contracts or file death certificates.
Not handling human remains properly or mishandling a body.
Unprofessional or unethical conduct.
Practicing with an expired or suspended license.
Filing false records.
Mental illness, physical impairment, or substance abuse.
Once a complaint has been filed with the Board, the Board then opens up an investigation into the funeral director or embalmer. At this stage, it is important to comply fully with all requests, demands, or subpoenas for documentation. The investigation may feel obtrusive and unfair, but it is a critical point at which the licensee can also provide material in his or her own defense. Licensees should be aware that they have the right to consult an attorney before making any statements to an investigator regarding their business or the allegations.
The Board will next review all the information gathered in the investigation and determine whether to go forward with administrative action against the licensee. If the Board does not have enough evidence to move forward with the allegations, the charges will be dropped. If the Board has enough evidence to move forward, the licensee will have the opportunity to request a formal hearing before the Board can suspend or revoke the license. At the hearing, there will be evidence presented and witness testimony and this will all be on the record. The licensee has the opportunity to appeal an unfavorable decision.
Funeral directors and embalmers do the job that many people overlook until it is actually needed and many people do not understand the hard work and dedication it takes to work in this profession. If you have a license in one of these fields and you are facing license suspension, revocation, or other disciplinary action, call and speak to one of our attorneys who can help you fight against it.