I’ve never seen a dead body before, so I think that I would find it a bit scary and that I would worry about touching their bodies. I think if you are a doctor, or someone who sees dead bodies a lot, then you just get used to it over time and after a while you stop thinking about it all, and just do whatever you need to do.
I haven’t been into the mortuary to work for quite some time, but when I was in there I didn’t worry about hurting anyone because I knew they couldn’t feel anything.
They didn’t look scary either, because they have no facial movement of muscles, so they just looked calm and like they are asleep.
I used to talk to them as I was working – hello, I’m Sandra, don’t you worry, I’ll take good care of you. They are still our patients even though they are dead, and so they are treated with the same respect and care we would give to living patients. And even though they can’t hear you and you are just talking to yourself, it helps you to remain calm I think, and to remember that you are dealing with someone’s Wife or Father or Sister etc. Somewhere that person’s family are very upset and they want to know that their loved one is being treated right. And so even in death we are still providing health care. And always at the end of my task I would thank them, and wish them ‘good night, sweet dreams’.
I’m a medical doctor and I did not find it at all scary. The important thing is not the scary part because the dead are dead but making sure you still treat the body with respect. Ignoring that the dead were loved by someone means we can lose some of our own humanity’