Knox County, TN - Knoxville, TN 37902 (Downtown area)
$20.83 an hourFull-timeWeekend availability +1

Purpose of Job

The purpose of the position is to assist the Medical Examiner / Pathologist in preparing human remains for examination and autopsy. Duties include but not limited to; accepting, processing, and releasing decedents; maintaining facilities and equipment in a sanitized, disinfected manner; maintaining forensic records; and performing other duties as assigned by the Chief Medical Examiner, Autopsy Technician Manager, and Sr. Director Regional Forensic Center.

This is a safety-sensitive position subject to a drug screen.

Essential Functions

  • Prepares station and body for autopsy by ensuring identity and documenting integrity of body bag seal, initial photography, documenting weight, and height of body.
  • Inventories personal effects of the decedent.
  • Assists with handling and moving bodies in the autopsy suite.
  • Performs photography; backs up photographic images into database.
  • Collects and preserves forensic evidence, labels and packages evidence, and documents evidence collected maintaining chain of custody.
  • Admits and releases bodies to and from the forensic center; ensures identity of bodies admitted, prepared for autopsy, and released from the forensic center.
  • Sets up cutting station for extended neuropathologic examination and other extended examinations using established protocol.
  • Ensures a safe and effective working environment by maintaining clean work areas, equipment and instruments and notifying appropriate staff of malfunction of equipment, workstation lighting, etc.
  • Ensures that body diagrams and other forms needed by pathologist in morgue are stocked routinely. Ensures autopsy stations are stocked with proper equipment, supplies and PPE for use during autopsy procedure.
  • Prepares body for release to funeral home.
  • Cleans morgue, body receiving areas, instruments, equipment, floors, autopsy tables/stations, dissecting areas, and refrigerated storage; stocks PPE in locker area; and, disposes of all biohazard waste produced by the morgue facility.
  • Prepares soiled linen for laundry; does laundry; maintains clean linen at autopsy stations for use during autopsy procedure.
  • Properly handles and labels chemicals including alcohol and formaldehyde as per current law and regulations.
  • Maintains a clean and organized tissue stock room and specimen freezer; disposes of wet and frozen tissue using established protocol after tissue retention period and when authorization is obtained by forensic pathologist.
  • Trains new employees/volunteers following established protocol.
  • Maintains temperature logs of all refrigerated and freezer storage.
  • Upholds established standard operating procedures, quality improvement, safety, and environmental and infection control standards.
  • Assists Medico-legal Death Investigators in release of evidence to law enforcement. Assists in maintaining inventory of morgue equipment and supplies.
  • Performs special projects or duties as assigned.
  • Responds to and reports immediately if called upon by Chief Medical Examiner or Regional Forensic Center supervisor, as part of a coordinated emergency response by the Knox County Mayor’s Office.
  • Performs other related duties as required.

Minimum Training & Qualifications

  • High School Diploma or GED required. Ability to work flexible hours, nights, weekends and on-call, as necessary
  • Applicants who are offered this job MUST take a drug test. Passing the drug test is required in order to start the job.


  • Proficient in PCs, tablets, smartphones and other electronic devices
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office suite of products
  • Excellent organizational skills
  • Ability to work with decedents in decomposed state and work in malodorous conditions.
  • Ability to keep detailed records including specimen and evidence control.
  • Ability to pay meticulous attention to detail when completing documentation.
  • Knowledge of the rules and regulations affecting the operation of the Medical Examiner’s office.
  • Knowledge of organization policies and procedures.
  • Knowledge of safety procedures.
  • Ability to follow oral and written instructions.
  • Ability to document in an electronic medical record.

Physical Requirements

Must be able to use body members to work, move or carry objects or materials for extended periods of time. Physical demand requirements are at levels of those for active work to lift, carry or transfer bodies to and from gurneys at weight up to approximately 300 pounds with assistance.

Occupational Hazards

  • Potential hazards of the position include the following:
  • Risk of injury from lifting up to fifteen dead bodies per day weighing anywhere from five to 600 pounds
  • Exposure to disease from working with dead bodies in various stages of decomposition; taking blood from dead bodies; taking tissue, bone, and other samples from dead bodies; taking x-rays of decedent bodies; and daily cleaning of surgical instruments, autopsy suite, and equipment
  • Risk of injury from falling from a ladder while taking photographs of bodies
  • Risk of illness or injury from exposure to chemicals, drugs, animals, contaminated syringes, and other hazardous items and materials

Knox County Government is an Equal Opportunity Employer. In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, Knox County Government may provide reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities and encourages both prospective and current employees to discuss potential accommodations with the employer.

Attention - In the recruitment process, legitimate companies never withdraw fees from candidates. If there are companies that attract interview fees, tests, ticket reservations, etc. it is better to avoid it because there are indications of fraud. If you see something suspicious please contact us: [email protected]
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