Decision time! Stay on the floor or take MDS job?

  1. Advice please!

    I have been offered a position as an MDS Coordinator for 50 bed LTC facility. Perfect size for me since I have no experience. Will receive at least 2 weeks training + opportunity to shadow MDS nurse in another facility. I am a new but older nurse and wonder if this change would be a good idea for me.

    As for my current job, a combo SNF rehab and LTC facility, I do love caring for the elderly. My patient load is ridiculously small in comparison to other places. It is a beautiful place, while the other is very old.

    I know the final decision is mine, but veteran MDSers, what do you think? Am I getting enough time for training? I've been assured that DON and other staff will be available for help. And I will also have ability to phone others for help.

    Yikes! Didn't mean for this to be so long.
  2. Visit croppyRN profile page

    About croppyRN

    Joined: Apr '11; Posts: 45; Likes: 28
    Registered Nurse
    Specialty: Rehab/LTC


  3. by   Ruas61
    How long have you been a nurse?

    Do you have any idea what an MDS nurse does beyond what they may have told you?

    Why did they offer you the job? Did you approach or did they? Where is the prior MDS person?

    You might get some better advice with this information.
  4. by   croppyRN
    Ruas61 - thanks for your reply. My MDS friend told me about this job. She is corporate level now and manages many MDS nurses at their different facilities.
    The MDS nurse that is there now would be the one training me. I have been working in LTC for almost 2 years.
    As far as my job duties, it sounds as if the DON was thorough in her descriptions. She pointed out that some aspects of job would be more difficult than others, and was specific about details.
    So I hope I was given all the info.
    PS I love your profile picture! I'm hooked on that show!
  5. by   Ginger's Mom
    I think I would go for the mds position but occasionally work at the bedside. Sounds like no matter which job you take you will actions will improve patient care.
  6. by   mom2cka
    I'm in acute rehab, not LTC, but agreed to an interim position (PPS, somewhat similar to MDS) and I have to say that if I had made the choice on my own to leave the floor, it would have been easier. I wish I was on the floor each day. I do impact patient care, but it is through compliance and staff education in this role. With that said... some people thrive in another environment. Can you shadow for a day or 2 to find out if it is truly something you could imagine doing day in and day out? Good luck with the decision - there are positives and negatives to both...
  7. by   Daisy_08
    My friend did MDS ft for a few years but had to go back to the floor due to cut backs. She was devastated! There were a bunch of ft MDS'ers at the facility-it's very large. Apparently none of them wanted to go back to the floor. So I guess it works for some.
  8. by   joanna73
    I've been working with MDS for 2 years. Anyone can learn MDS, although I can't see how you would thrive in a co-ordinator position with little to no floor experience. The two roles actually go hand in hand, if you really hope to grasp MDS well. I don't mind working with MDS, although I'm not sure I'd want a full time position as a coordinator. Maybe. IMO, it's best to have at least one year bedside nursing experience first.
  9. by   joanna73
    I re-read your post again. Since you are mature and familiar with LTC for 2 years, yes, you would probably be fine in the role. I was thinking you were a new-ish grad. Good luck!
  10. by   tyvin
    50 residents for 1 RCM (resident care manager) / RNAC (Registered Nurse Assessment Coordinator) which are the names for an MDS nurse; is too many. But they'll tell you that it's not. Facilities go many ways to load as many residents as they can on one coordinator. Having the staff RNs do the MDS, having other nurses do the multidisciniplary meetings with the families, etc.. In the end it's your name at the end of the MDS and you are accountable for everything and anything on there.

    With all the cheaper staff coming I think it would be wise to learn to do the MDS stuff. There are many LTC/ SNF facilities and the only way they can get paid is by submitting the MDS for medicare and medicaid patients. So experienced MDS nurses will be a must.

    Anyone who says this position is easy doesn't hold the respect or knowledge that this position requires.

    PPS is how the medicare skilled MDS gets paid.
    Last edit by tyvin on Dec 1, '12
  11. by   croppyRN
    Thank you everyone for your replies. I really appreciate that you took the time to give me your advice. I did decide to accept the job and start training in two weeks. I've been trying to find info on MDS Coordinator terminology online, as well as getting a "snapshot" of what a typical day looks like as an MDS nurse. I have downloaded the MDS 3.0 and RAI manual to read, but would love to hear what the job really looks like. Thanks in advance for any help. As for now I'm clueless!!
  12. by   joanna73
    At our facility, we have to be certified for MDS, which involved a 3 day course and two exams taken within 3 months of the course, with a result of 85 percent. Each year, we are expected to re-certify MDS yearly. The data users enter is used to determine funding and staffing levels for LTC's, so users are expected to be competent. I would ask your facility what they're plan is for this training because it's crucial that you understand what you're doing with MDS. Also, I would recommend that you spend at least a month on the floor first, so you can start to learn the residents. Regardless of what your superiors may say, you can't code accurately if you don't know the residents and their plan of care. Just my thoughts.
  13. by   joanna73
    They're should read their. Sorry...typo. I'm tired.
  14. by   croppyRN
    Joanna73 - thanks for your input. I start next week so I guess I will find out soon enough how much they expect of me. I agree with you that it is important to know the residents well. It will be interesting to see how this all plays out... But for now, back for some more RAI MDS 3.0 reading!

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