Jobs Medical Examiner Investigator - On Call

Medical Examiner

$25 - $/hour

Casual - On Call

Courthouse Annex: 223 South 6th Street, Council Bluffs

Apply Online


The Pottawattamie County Medical Examiner's Office is announcing the hiring for three on-call Investigator positions.

Responsible for the investigation of sudden deaths which are unexpected, unnatural, suspicious, or violent in nature.  Acts as a liaison to law enforcement and other investigative agencies, families of the decedents, and the general public.  


This is an on-call investigator position and incumbent works at the discretion of the Chief Medical Examiner Investigator/Coordinator and County Medical Examiner.   Reliable attendance when assigned to on-call status is required of this position. When on-call, incumbent must be able to respond to the scene of a call, anywhere in Pottawattamie County, within 45 minutes, to investigate a death.

Essential Functions

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.


Receives calls reporting deaths from police, medical, or other sources and handles calls according to established policies and procedures.

Investigates the cause and manner of death consistent with state statute; which may include visiting death scene, drawing diagrams, taking photographs, interviewing witnesses, family members, primary care physician, law enforcement or other pertinent individuals to obtain information about circumstances surrounding death.
Performs external examinations and specimen draws.

Examines evidence at scene to establish an initial assessment of the cause and manner of death

Orders autopsies when necessary, under the discretion of the Medical Examiner.

Assists with decedent identification by examining the body and death scene.

Collects and preserves physical evidence in accordance with the established chain of custody procedures.

Notifies next of kin personally or in conjunction with other law enforcement and judicial agencies.

Arranges removal of decedents from death scenes and ensures transportation to funeral home or morgue.

Prepares written investigative reports on investigative findings and observations. Contacts physicians and medical facilities to obtain medical information pertinent to death investigation.

Responsible for entering information into database; prepare and file reports, certificates and other similar documents.

Assists funeral home in obtaining cremation permits and provides information relevant to death certificate.

Serves as liaison with law enforcement agencies, coordinating exchange of information regarding cases.

Consults with Medical Examiners regarding necessary follow-up information required for case investigation.

Respond to inquiries from family members of the deceased, investigative agencies, medical personnel and general public.  

Help facilitate organ donation in applicable cases.

Testify in both civil and criminal courts when subpoenaed.  

Attend work-related meetings/required trainings and professional development opportunities to keep well informed on trends and procedures in death field investigations.

Establish effective working relationships with Medical professionals, City/County governmental officials, law enforcement agencies, fire departments and the general public.

Perform other duties as directed or as the situation dictates.

The physical demands and work environment characteristics described here are representative of those that must be met by an incumbent to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.


Work is performed in indoor and outdoor environments and requires that the incumbent have and maintain the physical and mental stamina to perform death investigations and 

must be willing to accept the physical and mental discomforts inherent in the work.   Must be able to maintain focus and provide an adequate work product during long periods of sleep deprivation.  An incumbent is exposed to crime scenes which may have been of a violent nature and can be exposed to bodily fluids and biohazards on an occasional basis.  The incumbent must be able to work effectively under high emotional stress.


An incumbent must have mobility of both arms and legs with the ability to move around the work area unassisted.  Must have the ability and range of flexibility to climb stairs, ditches, maneuver uneven ground, etc., kneel, crawl, jump, twist, reach overhead, reach below knees, and to bend over or squat down to perform job functions.  Must have the ability to stand or sit for extended periods of time.  


An incumbent must have the manual dexterity in their hands to make handwritten notations and which permits use of a keyboard and to pick up small items, hand instruments and implements.  Must have a sense of feeling in their hands and fingers to take a pulse rate.  Must physically lift, roll, turn or move bodies.  Must be able to lift, push, pull and carry supplies weighing up to 20 pounds on a frequent basis.  Must be able to push, pull, lift and/or carry up to 75 to 100 pounds on an occasional basis.

Reliable attendance when assigned to on-call status is required of this position. Work hours are not consistent and the incumbent will be required to be on call and may perform duties at all hours of the day or night, weekends, and holidays. Noise level can be moderate to intense. Vision abilities, correctable to normal ranges, include close vision, distance vision, depth perception and the ability to adjust focus and perform duties at night. Frequently uses peripheral vision to observe and monitor multiple performs and activity.

Communication abilities include the ability to talk and hear within normal ranges.  The incumbent is required to listen to multiple audible inputs simultaneously. Constantly uses voice to communicate as a result, clear diction and audible volume is required.

Essential Knowledge, Experience, and Ability

Knowledge and ability to apply laws, policies, procedures and protocols of death investigations.

Knowledge of the legal provisions concerning collection and admission of evidence in court.

Knowledge of human anatomy, physiology, medical terminology, forensic pathology, police & forensic science, pharmacology and emergency medical services.

Skill in identification and assessment of wounds to the human body.

Skill in photography, fingerprinting and other identification techniques.

Effective written and oral communication skills; ability to interview relevant parties during stressful conditions.

Computer and related technology skills required; must be proficient in the use of Microsoft office including word, excel and outlook; must be able to upload and send digital photos, reports and related information to appropriate parties.

Adequate typing skills.

Ability to view situations with objectivity and the ability to conduct several investigations simultaneously.

Must be detail oriented and have the ability to accurately compile reports for submission to the PCMEO.

Ability to follow written and verbal directions and to complete assigned tasks on schedule.

Ability to work independently or as part of a team and interact appropriately with others.

Ability to perform routine office/clerical functions and to operate standard office equipment.

Ability to quickly analyze, retain composure, and apply procedures utilizing sound independent judgment and actions in stressful situations, occasionally in dangerous environments.

Ability to maintain confidentiality and security of information as appropriate.

Display high standards of ethical conduct, honesty, and integrity.

Work and communicate with others in a polite, courteous, and cooperative manner and is committed to quality service.

Ability to drive in inclement weather conditions and/or at night.

Essential Education, Certification, and/or Licenses

Preferred: Graduation from a four (4) year college or university with major coursework in nursing, medicine, or other health related field, and two (2) years experience as a licensed or certified nurse or medical care provider, or any equivalent combination of training and experience that will have provided the required knowledge, skills, and abilities.

Required:  Must successfully complete the St. Louis University School of Medicine's Basic Death Investigation course and obtain American Board of Medicolegal Death Investigators (ABMDI) certification  as well as others as deemed necessary to fulfill the requirements of the job in a time frame established by the employer.   Must have a valid driver's license and maintain it during the course of employment.  Must have available transportation during on-call periods. Must be insurable under county liability coverage.

Must have a personal cellular telephone and be able to access the internet from home work location.

Appointment must be approved by the State Medical Examiner.

I was fortunate to become part of the Pottawattamie County family in 2014. I haven't wanted to work any other place since. The personnel I've come to know have truly become like family.

Ryan, Deputy
Sheriff's Office
7 Years with Pottawattamie County