As qualified embalmers, we are often approached by colleagues and the general public with questions regarding furthering education and training within the funeral industry; and even more often than not, most are surprised to hear that annually there hundreds of educational programmes, both distant learning and attended conferences, all around the world.
In addition, there are also many companies and foundations that sponsor scholarship programmes to help alleviate some, if not all, cost factors for attendees. These sponsors realise the importance of what embalmers can give back to families that so tragically lose a loved one and they want to assist in keeping the value of viewing alive.
The following article, as seen in Funeral Times Magazine (2014 Vol. 14 No. 4) is an example of continuing education in regards to embalming and restoration techniques.
Continuing Education and the Value of Viewing
Embalmers and speakers from all over the globe, including the U.S., Ireland, Belgium and Canada, came together for a highly educational seminar to share tips and techniques of the trade and to focus on their dedication to the value of an open casket/coffin.
The 3rd Biennial International Embalming and Reconstructive Surgery Conference, hosted by the Fountain National Academy (FNA), was held in Springfield, Missouri, USA on July 31 through August 3, 2014.
The group of dedicated embalmers saw the importance of further educating themselves in our profession and took this conference as an opportunity not only to continue learning, but to network with fellow colleagues worldwide. Throughout the four days, speakers presented a wide variety of tips, techniques and educational information, particularly touching on advanced embalming and reconstructive techniques, to help teach those in attendance further build their confidence in preserving the value of embalming, restoration and open casket/coffin viewing to the families they serve. Each attendee not only had the opportunity to expand their knowledge, they also had the chance to speak one-on-one and socialise and with each speaker and fellow embalmers during breaks between classes, as well as most evenings when all would come together for dinner, beverages and entertainment. The main event held this year was a live auction of items, graciously donated by colleagues and friends throughout the industry, which brought in nearly €5,400 ($7,200). These funds were placed into an existing scholarship fund by the FNA, open to assist embalmers from around the world to attend any educational program throughout the U.S. focusing on embalming and restorative techniques. This conference is an example of just one of MANY worldwide that allows embalmers, beginners to advanced, to continue to learn, further educate themselves and to build their confidence with new techniques in their embalming and restoration work.
Left: Distinguished guests, guest speakers and attendees of the conference
Right: Glyn Tallon presenting at the conference