Length of Time Body Can Stay in Bed After Death?

  1. I recently had a job interview at a long term care facility and had to complete a written quiz. One of the questions on the quiz was how long can the resident's body stay in bed after they die. In my experience so far, I had a resident pass away on the day shift, late morning if I could recall correctly. family did not see the body (stated they weren't going to be there), funeral home was called. Informed by day shift nurse that funeral home would come at around 1530 to 1600 to pick up the body.

    Another question that I have from the quiz is how much time does the family member have to pick up the resident's belongings after the resident dies?
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    About Newgurl17, CNA, LPN

    Joined: Mar '17; Posts: 122; Likes: 32

    7 Comments

  3. by   BBP42
    At the one facility I worked in, my experience was that we allowed the family members as long as they felt they needed after death, some just wanted a few moments and some families gathered at the bedside together for several hours. And as far as picking up belongings, we always told them no rush, usually they came within a day or two but we didn't want to give them any additional stress at a difficult time. If they took a ridiculous amount of time, we could pack things up for them and put in our storage room until they could come. We had no hard and fast rules.
  4. by   Newgurl17
    Thanks BBP42! For the resident I was talking about, yeah the family didn't come in right away to collect his things. I think his memorial service was on the 23rd and the card that was inour office for the staff to sign was still there. Can't remember exactly when the room was emptied but shortly after we had another admission. I think I amswered on the quiz that the family has to pick up the belongings at their earliest convenience before another resident gets admitted into the deceased resident's room.....
  5. by   fibroblast
    Quote from jenlpn(i)
    I recently had a job interview at a long term care facility and had to complete a written quiz. One of the questions on the quiz was how long can the resident's body stay in bed after they die. In my experience so far, I had a resident pass away on the day shift, late morning if I could recall correctly. family did not see the body (stated they weren't going to be there), funeral home was called. Informed by day shift nurse that funeral home would come at around 1530 to 1600 to pick up the body.

    Another question that I have from the quiz is how much time does the family member have to pick up the resident's belongings after the resident dies?
    Not sure about all states, but in my state it is 4 hours. Interesting that you say the day shift informed the next nurse, wish that was for the CNA as well. Some cases, the CNA doesn't even know and walks in to the room.
  6. by   amoLucia
    I admit, I never ever gave this situation a thought in all my working years. And never would I think that there could be some 'regulation' about, much less it being a quiz question for a CNA job interview (forget about a nurse interview!).

    NHs really don't have the ability to hold on to a body for any length of time - no storage area.

    The only major concerns were to provide the body privacy & dignity and keep the room as cool as poss (if there's no storage area or ability to be moved).

    Also to provide consideration for a roommate as nec.

    The most difficult issue would be inability to contact the family for notification/instructions, esp re the funeral home. This is where the most delay would occur. I did know that at one /NH I was, there was some kind of funeral home on-call service for such situations. It provided some kind of 'courtesy hold' among the area FHs participating.

    And if the FH were from out-of-town, there could be a significant travel time delay. The task at hand was just to have the body picked up ASAP.
  7. by   Newgurl17
    Quote from amoLucia
    I admit, I never ever gave this situation a thought in all my working years. And never would I think that there could be some 'regulation' about, much less it being a quiz question for a CNA job interview (forget about a nurse interview!).

    NHs really don't have the ability to hold on to a body for any length of time - no storage area.

    The only major concerns were to provide the body privacy & dignity and keep the room as cool as poss (if there's no storage area or ability to be moved).

    Also to provide consideration for a roommate as nec.

    The most difficult issue would be inability to contact the family for notification/instructions, esp re the funeral home. This is where the most delay would occur. I did know that at one /NH I was, there was some kind of funeral home on-call service for such situations. It provided some kind of 'courtesy hold' among the area FHs participating.

    And if the FH were from out-of-town, there could be a significant travel time delay. The task at hand was just to have the body picked up ASAP.
    I never gave any thought to this situation either. An instructor told us a story about how a resident had to stay in the room for hours because there was no funeral home in place for the resident. All I know so far is that when a resident dies at my facility, we have to check their pupils, resps, and apical pulse, call the family who then calls the funeral home, clean the body, put the toe tag on, have death certificate filled out, fax doc, and chart. I've only dine the assessment and charted. The RN hekped me with the rest. I'll have to read our protocl when I get a chance.
  8. by   Thanksforthedonuts
    .... what an odd question to ask of a CNA.... I also don't see how knowing the answer would really make you a more competitive applicant than another CNA. Most of us have never even considered the question to begin with!

    I believe most of it has to do with facility policy mixed in a little with state regulation.
  9. by   Valcorie34
    I think the correct answer about belongings is as much time as the family needs (within reason). CNA staff can bag up items. If they will be a long time more than a half a day then facilities should be able to move items to a safe area.
    As far as a body goes I had some one pass at 2 am, the funeral home couldn't come until 9am that was too long. The family wanted to come at 6am to view body, but the funeral home was a 3-4 hour drive away. yikes. Generally ask the family first if they would like to come it to pay respects before funeral home comes, then move everything as quickly as possible

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