Employment Opportunity

Medical Examiner Investigator

Johnson County Medical Examiner, Iowa City, Iowa

Salary: $64,416.80 - $77,300.17 Annually

Final Filing Date: Continuous

Under direction, conducts death investigations in the field and in institutional settings, issues cremation permits, acts as a liaison between the Johnson County Medical Examiner Department and other agencies and families of decedents, and performs related tasks.

Duties and Requirements Click to read more


The following duties are normal for this position. These are not to be construed as exclusive or all inclusive. Other duties may be required and assigned.
  • Perform forensic death investigations to include such deaths as decomposed and skeletal remains, suicide, homicide, accidental, sudden unexplained infant deaths, fire, drowning, drug or poison related, motor vehicle, environmental exposure and in-custody deaths. Act as a representative of the Department and consult with the medical examiner during the investigation.
  • Perform routine duties associated with investigations and autopsies, particularly external examinations, identification procedures, investigative and clerical duties, as well as transmittal of results of autopsy and investigation to appropriate law enforcement agencies and other involved persons as directed by law.
  • Measure, describe, photograph and record observations and witness statements at death scenes. Promptly respond to telephone inquiries as directed by policy.
  • Prepare cremation permits, initiate investigation if necessary and promptly transmit permit to requesting funeral directors.
  • Serve as a liaison with the medical examiner on-call concerning autopsies, investigations, media relations and cremation permits.
  • Transport bodies in the designated vehicle or arrange for their transportation. Ensure proper identification, receipt, transfer, secure custody and adherence to infection control precautions.
  • Prepare and submit preliminary investigative reports, forms and permits to the Department office prior to the end of work shift.
  • Assist in obtaining clinical specimens that were collected at hospitals and arrange shipment to locations as directed.
  • Obtain and review documents and records which may include medical records, photographs, dental records, x-rays and other items of evidentiary nature for identification and/or investigative purposes.
  • Follow-up on cases as guided by information developed through autopsy, interview, investigation and/or laboratory findings.
  • Assist in investigations outside of the County, including consultation with funeral directors, law enforcement officers, county attorneys, and other persons having legitimate interest in cases under the jurisdiction of the Johnson County Medical Examiner and act as an investigative liaison for the Department.
  • Clean and sanitize soiled and/or contaminated equipment, uniforms and motor vehicles. Restock supplies and equipment; maintain and fuel motor vehicles as required.
  • Notify and coordinate with the Iowa Donor Network as per department policy.
  • Perform compassionate death notifications to next-of-kin as soon as possible. Follow up with families as directed by policy.
  • Assist in training new employees.
  • Collect blood, urine and vitreous specimens from the bodies of decedents.
  • Present clear and accurate court testimony.
  • Attend work-related meetings and professional development activities as directed.
  • Perform all work duties and activities in accordance with County policies, procedures, and safety practices.
  • Attend work regularly at the designated time and place.

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Knowledge of & Ability to
  • Medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, forensic science, forensic pathology, pharmacology, medical technology, and emergency medical services
  • Forensic death investigative techniques and the laws related to investigation, interviewing, evidence collection and preservation, and chain of custody
  • Forensic death investigation for both routine natural deaths and atypical deaths
  • Narrative report writing
  • English language to include grammar, spelling, sentence structure, and vocabulary
  • County roads, use of maps and safe motor vehicle operation
Ability to:
  • Be on call 24 hours a day
  • Represent Johnson County and perform duties in a professional, responsible and trustworthy manner
  • Learn, interpret, apply, and articulate Iowa Office of the State Medical Examiner and Departmental policies and procedures, the Code of Iowa and the Iowa Administrative Code
  • Collect data, keep records, prepare reports and forms
  • Be detail-oriented, quality driven and accurate while performing duties
  • Maintain confidentiality and security of information as appropriate
  • Establish and maintain effective working relationships with co-workers, supervisors, health care professionals, funeral directors, law enforcement officers, emergency medical service personnel, witnesses, organ procurement organization representatives, family members, other public agency representatives and members of the public
  • Provide customer service that is courteous and responsive
  • Interact effectively with persons from widely divergent backgrounds, interests and points of view
  • Handle bodies appropriately to ensure evidence preservation and conduct duties in a manner which shows respect for the deceased and their families
  • Observe standard precautions, safe work practices and utilize appropriate personal protective equipment
  • Handle low to high levels of stress, meet deadlines and solve problems appropriate to the position
  • Have the stamina to handle the physical and mental demands inherent in the work, such as hazardous environments, unpleasant sights and odors; as well as distraught persons
  • Work outdoors in different terrains and in all weather conditions
  • Safely handle potential exposure to harmful blood and body fluids, infectious disease, harmful chemicals and drugs
  • Follow oral and written instructions
  • Handle multiple tasks and competing priorities
  • Organize and present facts, ideas and opinions clearly and concisely, orally and in writing
  • Use a computer for the purposes of word processing, data entry, spreadsheets and presentations
  • Operate common equipment such as calculators, fax machines, photo copiers, printers, multi-line telephones, GPS devices, digital cameras and wireless communication devices
  • Have clarity of speech, hearing and writing which permits effective communication
  • Have sufficient vision which permits light to moderate production and review of materials both in electronic and hard copy forms, and which permits performance of duties at night
  • Have sufficient manual dexterity to make legible handwritten notations and which permits light use of a keyboard and mouse
  • Sit, squat, kneel, climb, crawl, jump, twist, reach, bend, stoop, and stand
  • Push, pull, move, lift and/or carry up to 125 pounds
  • Occasionally perform heavy manual labor for extended periods of time
  • Have sufficient personal mobility to complete field work and attend meetings at various locations
  • Work flexible schedule as required
Minimum Education, Training & Experience & Special Requirements
  • Associate’s degree in criminal justice, nursing or closely related field and three (3) years related experience which includes a minimum of two (2) years of experience as a licensed or certified nurse or medical care provider; or any equivalent combination of education and experience which provides the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to perform the work. Bachelor’s degree preferred. Up-to-date COVID-19 vaccination.
Special requirements:
  • Arrive at scene within one-half (1/2) hour of notification. Within six months of hire, must reside in Johnson County or within a twenty mile radius of the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office. Valid driver’s license, safe driving record and insurable under county liability coverage. May also require use of private vehicle for official business. Attend the Basic Medicolegal Death Investigator Training Course within the probationary period. Attain certification as a Registered Medicolegal Death Investigator with the American Board of Medicolegal Death Investigators, Inc. within one year of employment. Attend the Masters Conference for Advanced Death Investigation within two years of employment. Must pass background check.

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How to apply: Apply online

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Posted: March 23, 2022

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