Funeral Home Workers

Posted
by RescueNinja RescueNinja Member Nurse

Specializes in ICU, ER. Has 1 years experience.

I had a death at my LTC home last night and had to call the funeral home to come pick up the body. When the attendants get there, we don't usually go in to get the body with them but for whatever reason I did last night. I wish I hadn't... They were so rough with the body it was unbelievable. I was absolutely horrified.

They grabbed the person by the wrists and lifted them. Their foot got caught in the bars on the stretcher and they just yanked it out. They almost dropped the body and then just shoved it back onto the stretcher!

I spoke with some of my coworkers and with some of my nurse friends that work LTC more often than I do and they all say this is common with the funeral home workers but I just can't accept that.

I am just so sad for my resident. We spent days providing the best palliative care possible and then after they passed away my RPN and I went in and cleaned them up a little bit out of respect and then these two men come in and literally throw them around...completely unnecessary.

Have you seen this? What would you do? :crying2:

Orange Tree

Orange Tree

Specializes in Medical Surgical Orthopedic. 728 Posts

I think that would have upset me, too. It's not the norm from what I've seen...at least when people are watching.

merlee

merlee

Has 36 years experience. 1,246 Posts

You may want to call the funeral parlor to report this.

CVmursenary

CVmursenary

Specializes in Cardiothoracic ICU. Has 1 years experience. 240 Posts

They probably should have been more sensitive because you were there but its something they do all the time so you must also understand how they do their work.

tokmom, BSN, RN

Specializes in Certified Med/Surg tele, and other stuff. Has 30 years experience. 4,568 Posts

I don't find it acceptable at all. I would notify the funeral home. Just because they are deceased doesn't mean they still shouldn't have respect.

MizzERRN

MizzERRN

17 Posts

The funeral home comes to pick up the bodies from my ER, and a couple of us always go in there to help them transfer the body onto thier stretcher. They use the UPMOST respect and are as gentle with the deceased as possible. I certainly would inquire further into thier actions, honestly, I would call the owner and complain.

rngolfer53

rngolfer53

Has 2 years experience. 681 Posts

I had a death at my LTC home last night and had to call the funeral home to come pick up the body. When the attendants get there, we don't usually go in to get the body with them but for whatever reason I did last night. I wish I hadn't... They were so rough with the body it was unbelievable. I was absolutely horrified.

They grabbed the person by the wrists and lifted them. Their foot got caught in the bars on the stretcher and they just yanked it out. They almost dropped the body and then just shoved it back onto the stretcher!

I spoke with some of my coworkers and with some of my nurse friends that work LTC more often than I do and they all say this is common with the funeral home workers but I just can't accept that.

I am just so sad for my resident. We spent days providing the best palliative care possible and then after they passed away my RPN and I went in and cleaned them up a little bit out of respect and then these two men come in and literally throw them around...completely unnecessary.

Have you seen this? What would you do? :crying2:

I work hospice, previously in the field, and now inpatient.

The way to "encourage" more respect from the FH folks is to demand it. Many FH use pick up services and the FH should be made aware of the lack of respect shown by their agents. Obviously some better training and attitude adjustment are needed. You may want to tell your supervisor about the incident, and ask them to call

the FH and complain when the deceased Pt is treated with lack of dignity, and make sure you expect it to stop.

That said, most of the people who do that job are very respectful of the deceased and their families. But, they get tired, busy and sometimes cut corners. There are differences in what some FH demand as well. Some in my town consistently have poorer quality employees.

When there is a death in our facility, a nurse or care partner always is in the room with the FH folks, both to give them a hand if needed, but more importantly to make sure they are respectful of the deceased. Same with deaths in the home (or NF). By taking the time to be with the deceased yourself, you're demonstrating that dignity is important, and that you expect it and won't accept less.

Pepper The Cat

Pepper The Cat, BSN, RN

Specializes in Gerontology. Has 36 years experience. 1,768 Posts

Wow. Any funeral home people I've come in contact with have always shown the upmost respect. They are usually wearing dark suits (skirts for the women) and always handle the body as if the person were still alive.

rngolfer53

rngolfer53

Has 2 years experience. 681 Posts

They probably should have been more sensitive because you were there but its something they do all the time so you must also understand how they do their work.

I disagree.

There is no reason you should do a good, respectful job only when you're being watched. I give pain meds to people all the time, but that's no reason not to follow standards of care if no one is watching.

roser13

roser13, ASN, RN

Specializes in Med/Surg, Ortho, ASC. Has 17 years experience. 6,504 Posts

They probably should have been more sensitive because you were there but its something they do all the time so you must also understand how they do their work.

OP, I am appalled at your story and I am appalled at anyone who feels that this is OK. No one has the right to abuse or degrade the deceased just because that's "how they do it." In fact I wouldn't be surprised if this violates laws regarding the handling of corpses.

Please call the funeral home. I'm willing to bet that the owner or supervisor will be appalled at the report. Do it anonymously if you have to. Whether a witness is present or not, everyone deserves dignity and care at the end of life. Further, funeral homes rely on word of mouth for business and need to keep their noses clean, so to speak. If word of rough handling/abuse of their clients were to leak out, their livelihoods would suffer. I'm just hoping that you're not from a very small town and this funeral home is the only game in town.

Edited by roser13

RescueNinja

RescueNinja

Specializes in ICU, ER. Has 1 years experience. 369 Posts

Thank you all for your replies. I will call the funeral home when I go in tonight and leave a message for my DON. I wanted to report it last night, but didn't know who to speak to first.

After I posted I started thinking about what if a family member forgot something in the room and didn't think to knock before coming in the room? They would have seen their loved one being handled that way... So sad!

juzme

juzme

124 Posts

Yes, so sad! Please keep us updated on what actions, if any, the FH took.