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Office of Human Resources

East Tennessee State University

Autopsy Technician 2 (Forensic Pathology)

Title Code: 50170

Occ. Group:  

Autopsy Technician 2 (Forensic Pathology)

Expectations for All Employees

East Tennessee State University pursues its mission based upon core values. An employee's job performance must support and exhibit the university's core values:

PEOPLE come first, are treated with dignity and respect, and are encouraged to achieve their full potential;
RELATIONSHIPS are built on honesty, integrity and trust;
of people and thought is respected;
is achieved through teamwork, leadership, creativity, and a strong work ethic;
is achieved through wise use of human and financial resources; and COMMITMENT to intellectual achievement is embraced.


Employees in this class are under general supervision. Work performed in serving as a lead-worker; assisting the forensic pathologist with autopsies;  providing guidance to junior employees; and, performing other related duties as assigned.

Characteristic Duties and Responsibilities

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 the forensic pathologist with handling and moving bodies in the autopsy suite and in performance of autopsies to include eviscerating organs from body using surgical technique; removal of calvarium using autopsy saw; and, advanced evisceration techniques as required.

Performs autopsy photography; backs up photographic images into database and creates copy of autopsy images on CD.

Performs x-rays of decedents while maintaining x-ray technique log; prepares copies of radiology images on CD for filing in case chart.

Collects and preserves forensic evidence, labels and packages evidence, and documents evidence collected maintaining chain of custody.

Collects specimens for microbiology using sterile technique; orders required tests through software; labels, packages, and delivers specimens to microbiology for analysis while maintaining chain of custody.

Ensures accuracy of cassettes submitted by pathologist; delivers specimens to the histology laboratory and returns prepared slides to pathologist for review while maintaining chain of custody; and, returns slides to histology for filing.

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, work station 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 and closes 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 pick up by laundry service; maintains clean linen at autopsy stations for use during autopsy procedure.   

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.

Assists the pathologist with instructing medical students and residents in evisceration technique; explains steps in the autopsy process to employees, law enforcement, residents, medical students, student workers, and volunteers. 

Provides technical assistance to attending and residents in the performance of hospital autopsies.

Maintains temperature logs of all refrigerated and freezer storage. 

Upholds established standard operating procedures, quality improvement, safety and environmental and infection control standards. 

Assists Medicolegal 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

Required Knowledge and Abilities

Knowledge of human anatomy and physiology.

Knowledge of medical terminology.

Knowledge of advanced evisceration and evidence collection techniques.

Ability to supervise.

Ability to stand for extended periods of time and perform heavy lifting.

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.

Ability to use an air purifying respirator required by ETSU Health and Safety Office. 

Recommended Qualifications

Applicants possessing these qualifications have a good probability for success in this class. However, applicants not possessing these qualifications should apply if they believe their training and experience will enable them to perform the work successfully. Graduation from a standard high school or equivalency required; bachelor’s degree in biology, chemistry, or forensic science with course work in anatomy and physiology preferred; and, three years of experience with at least one year of experience as a forensic technician and two years experience of assisting pathologists in performing autopsies and evidence collection.

  Date       Skill         Evaluation            
7/2014       10         844032313

The intent of this job description is to provide a representative summary of the types of duties and responsibilities that will be required of positions given this title and shall not be construed as a declaration of the specific duties and responsibilities of any particular position.

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