Coroners are medical detectives. They work with other investigators to find the cause of deaths that are accidental, violent, or unexplained. The coroner is a public official who may be appointed or elected. When a coroner is also a physician, he or she is called a medical examiner.
The coron ...
er may visit the scene of the death and confer with law enforcement and public health officials. Coroners perform or supervise autopsies and highly specialized lab tests. With all available facts in hand, it's up to the coroner to assign a cause of death and issue a death certificate.
The coroner may be called to testify in court. Because their work may be used to convict a person of a crime, coroners need to be methodical and detail oriented. The hours can be irregular, and there's a lot of paperwork. Dealing with relatives of the deceased requires sensitivity and respect, and can be emotionally draining.
Local laws define the coroner's duties. A college degree is a minimum requisite and a medical background is a plus. Some jurisdictions require that coroners have a background in forensic pathology. Many state coroners' associations offer certification programs. The work of coroners is an important service to the living. It can help to solve crimes and prevent future homicides or accidental deaths.
Direct activities such as autopsies, pathological and toxicological analyses, and inquests relating to the investigation of deaths occurring within a legal jurisdiction to determine cause of death or to fix responsibility for accidental, violent, or unexplained deaths.
Critical decision making
Level of responsibilities
Job challenge and pressure to meet deadlines
Dealing and handling conflict
Competition for this position
Communication with others
Work closely with team members, clients etc.
Comfort of the work setting
Exposure to extreme environmental conditions
Exposure to job hazards
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Testify at inquests, hearings, and court trials.
Provide information concerning the circumstances of death to relatives of the deceased.
Interview persons present at death scenes to obtain information useful in determining the manner of death.
Locate and document information regarding the next of kin, including their relationship to the deceased and the status of notification attempts.
Confer with officials of public health and law enforcement agencies to coordinate interdepartmental activities.
Coordinate the release of personal effects to authorized persons and facilitate the disposition of unclaimed corpses and personal effects.
Inventory personal effects recovered from bodies, such as jewelry or wallets.
Remove or supervise removal of bodies from death scenes, using the proper equipment and supplies, and arrange for transportation to morgues.
Observe, record, and preserve any objects or personal property related to deaths, including objects such as medication containers and suicide notes.
Inquire into the cause, manner, and circumstances of human deaths and establish the identities of deceased persons.
Perform medicolegal examinations and autopsies, conducting preliminary examinations of the body to identify victims, locate signs of trauma, and identify factors that would indicate time of death.
Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Communicating with Persons Outside Organization
Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems
Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others
Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
Performing for or Working Directly with the Public
Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
AREAS OF KNOWLEDGE
Medicine and Dentistry
Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.
Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
Law and Government
Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Public Safety and Security
Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
Customer and Personal Service
Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Administration and Management
Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
Judgment and Decision Making
Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
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