What is an MDS nurse?

  1. 0
    HI ..... in a nutshell, what is an MDS nurse? I know it involves LTC, and is an administrative position, but what are the daily tasks like? I saw an add that attracts me, and am open to a non traditional nurse job anyday, but just want to get the scoop from you guys here!!! It is only 16 hours a week, just what I need right now.
    Thanks!!!
  2. Get the Hottest Nursing Topics Straight to Your Inbox!

  3. 14 Comments so far...

  4. 0
    An MDS nurse is the nurse in the long term care facility who schedules and completes the RAI-Resident Assessment Instrument, a detailed assessment done at least quarterly on every nursing home resident. The MDS nurse is also usually responsible to coordinate the completion of the care plans for the resident based on the results of the assessment. There is much more to it, but that's it in a nutshell.
  5. 0
    Quote from old rural nurse
    An MDS nurse is the nurse in the long term care facility who schedules and completes the RAI-Resident Assessment Instrument, a detailed assessment done at least quarterly on every nursing home resident. The MDS nurse is also usually responsible to coordinate the completion of the care plans for the resident based on the results of the assessment. There is much more to it, but that's it in a nutshell.
    Thanks!!! Would I be doing these assessments, or collecting data from other nurses?
  6. 0
    You would be collecting data from a whole bunch of sources; ie: nurses, aides, resident, families, Dr. progress notes, therapy notes, etc, etc. Then you would complete the paper/computer MDS form based on your complete assessment (using the data collected). A RUG score (or resource utilization grouper) score is generated based upon your answers and that is used to determine medicare/medicaide reimbursement rates for the facility. The MDS is used to create the careplan, determines reimbursement rates and determines quality measures/indicators per federal standards. State surveyors pull these reports prior to inspection visits and already knows who is losing weight, who has pressure ulcers, etc.

    Oops - sorry, going on and on. Can be a difficult job to really learn (so many rules and every one expects so much from the results) and from my experience, you either love it or hate it.

    You may want to check out the geriatric forum. There is a sub-forum there just for MDS nurses with lots of info available. Good luck
  7. 1
    I did this for about 5 years. We also had to take "call" where we would have to cover the hall nurses if they called in sick. We also had to do various other, non MDS related, task like scheduling. Other than that nascar nurse explained it really well. It is a very important job in the LTC facilty as you are responsibe for all payment from medicare/medicaid. Although, managment usually doesn't understand this.
    Last edit by crissrn27 on Apr 18, '07
    Jessie71385 likes this.
  8. 0
    Our MDS does nothing other than her job. She never takes the floor.
  9. 0
    Quote from old rural nurse
    An MDS nurse is the nurse in the long term care facility who schedules and completes the RAI-Resident Assessment Instrument, a detailed assessment done at least quarterly on every nursing home resident. The MDS nurse is also usually responsible to coordinate the completion of the care plans for the resident based on the results of the assessment. There is much more to it, but that's it in a nutshell.

    What do the initials "MDS" stand for?
  10. 0
    Quote from not now
    Our MDS does nothing other than her job. She never takes the floor.
    Oh man, lucky MDS nurse. If that had been the case at either of the facilties I worked I would still be an MDS nurse. I was certified in MDS nursing and now I am in OB. Good question to ask in your interview, for the OP!
  11. 0
    Quote from crissrn27
    I did this for about 5 years. We also had to take "call" where we would have to cover the hall nurses if they called in sick. We also had to do various other, non MDS related, task like scheduling. Other than that nascar nurse explained it really well. It is a vary important job in the LTC facilty as you are responsibe for all payment from medicare/medicaid. Although, managment usually doesn't understand this.
    Amen on that!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!
  12. 2
    there is a forum for mds nurses on allnurses here: http://allnurses.com/forums/f281/

    mds stands for "minimum data set" and it is the collection of core health data elements mandated by law by the centers for medicare and medicaid services (cms) of the united states government. if an mds nurse lies or doesn't do these mds reports as truthfully as they should be done, either through ignorance or willfully, he/she can end up being fined or doing federal jail time. this is a serious job. there is some training involved in performing this work because the reimbursement (money) that ltc facilities receive from medicare is very dependent on the mds reports that the mds nurse files being as accurate as possible. the mds nurse has to know the medicare laws and continually be updated on changes in the medicare law applying to ltc. you have to have knowledge of computers because the mds reports can only be submitted by computer. the mds nurse must know about the specific care that must be provided for each resident since this information is required on the mds report. that can be accomplished in a number of ways. the mds nurse can look at charting, they can query the nursing staff or they can go and actually make their own assessment of the patients. in many of the facilities i worked the mds nurse was also responsible for maintaining the written care plan as well. every patient must have a written care plan that becomes a permanent part of their medical record. and, for ltc, these care plans are quite extensive. after doing the mds report for a patient you should be able to write the care plan because you will know the patient's problems and needs extremely well and that is what a care plan is all about. an mds has to be submitted to cms within 15 days of a patient's admission and then every 90 days thereafter. believe me, if administration determines that you could have gotten the facility more money by doing a better job on the mds reports, you will be looking for new opportunities with other employers. this is not a cake job. most facilities are dead serious about the people they put in these positions, expect high performance, and often send them for special training to learn the nuances to this job. the mds nurses are often the resource person for the nursing staff when it comes to medicare and what needs to be charted and documented.

    the data that cms (medicare) collects from the mds reports is collected and analyzed. some of the statistics are reported on the national center for health statistics website here: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/default.htm. the statistics are also used to compute the amount of money that is eventually going to be paid to the nursing home for their medicare and medicaid patients based upon their case mix. if you've heard of drgs, which is the way medicare pays for acute hospital patients, you can sort of think of mds as the way medicare pays for ltc patients. drgs are different from mds, but the way it is all run by medicare is the pretty much the same.

    http://www.cms.hhs.gov/identifiabled...datasetmds.asp
    http://www.ltcsbooks.com/mds_central.html - just one resource available to mds nurses
    skittlebear and +one like this.


Top