Getting started as MDS nurse - page 2

Hello..new, novice, to this site..old nurse...need advice: Just been offered job to start as MDS nurse ..have never been exposed to even the source for training materials on this...Have had TILE... Read More

  1. by   MCLIS1105
    Hi, I am also new to mds. I graduated yesterday from Excelsior college in ny. So I will be taking state boards soon for my rn license. I just recently(2 weeks ago) started in an mds position. I have worked at this ltc facility for 9 years as an lpn. Our previous mds nurse was a lpn i that position for 9 years. She just moved. But they were actually looking for an rn this time. I really enjoy my new role, but it sure is a lot to learn. I have a don that has the experience and is training me. I will also take the course to try to get certified next month. My facility does not offer any financial help with the courses, and it is very expensive. I do want to get certified, so I will pay for the class myself. Hopefully it will be worth it for me in the long run. I bring the book home to study but I am also studying for state boards?!!! Glad to find this sight. Thanks, Mary
  2. by   Summer69
    Hi, Just wanted to say congratulations on your grad from Excelsior. I am working the program now. Dig in and start reading the RAI manual Look at MDS's already done(if the prior person was good). That will help with the logic part of figuring out why some one is a 3 and some one else is a 2. If you can not figure out the directions. Our state survey agency does training so I was able to go to that.
  3. by   Talino
    Quote from MCLIS1105
    I have a don that has the experience and is training me. I will also take the course to try to get certified next month. My facility does not offer any financial help with the courses, and it is very expensive. I do want to get certified, so I will pay for the class myself. Hopefully it will be worth it for me in the long run. I bring the book home to study but I am also studying for state boards?!!! Glad to find this sight. Thanks, Mary
    Unless "certified" immediately raises your salary, focus on the state boards for now.

    You have the support of a DON who is experienced w/ MDS. Learn the basics through her. An on-the-job hands-on involvement in the MDS process is the best platform for learning, not a 3-day costly MDS seminar or an online certification course. The RAI manual practically contains most of the things you need to know. Read it and refer to it each time you're stuck w/ a scenario. Additional information can be obtained from the CMS website. A free discussion group is available that can provide you w/ answers almost instantly. It will give you the opportunity to learn from others' questions and hones your knowledge to be able to contribute what you know.
  4. by   lpnbecky123
    I have been doing the MDS/RAPS/CAREPLANS since the darn things started. My only advice is to keep it simple. pare your care plans down to 5 or 6, combine i.e.; ADL self performance/ Risk for falls, Continence/Skin integrity, Cognitive Function/Communication, etc... If the care plan is too long or extensive the State will pick it apart. Make sure that whatever you write in the Rap Summary documentation is on the care plan. 5 ding free surveys for me once I figured this out.
  5. by   RNACChicora
    I also just accepted a positon as an MDS Nurse, but at my Facility the title I have is RNAC ( RN Assessment Cooridinator) I have quite a few responsibilities; Careplans, MDS's, all of them the 14 day, Quarterly, Comprehensive and so on. Also recerts Case management and careplan meetings for families. I have an assistant she is a LPN and her title is LPNAC. the Facility we work in is a 115 bed LTC Home. I just went to my administrator last week ad ask for a second LPNAC. The amount of work is unbelievable, I just started the job last week I think I am going to like it, the MDS is similar to the Oasis forms I had to fill out when I was a Hospice Nurse. I have a lot to learn I came to this site looking for any and all tips I can find.
  6. by   RNACChicora
    Great tip, I have been looking over the careplans and they are very long and not easy to read, at this time they are writing them all by hand, I have been given the go ahead to start using our computer program to do them once I take over, the otgoing RNAC is now training me, she is moving into the DON position. I started last week and we had UMR in the facility for inspection this week, I learned a lot from the inspectors they are very eager to teach, after it was all over we ended up with a 6% error rate, which they say is not bad.
  7. by   MDSPPS4U
    I have been an MDS Nuse/Case Manager for 14 years. I am a member of AANAC and AANEC. Taking a position as an MDS Coordinator is like going behind the wheel of a car; the MDS is the driving force for reimbursement and for a successful survey within the long term care facilities, if you don't have the proper training, you will crash. Each corporation usually will have a corporate MDS nurse she/he would be your first trainer, once you have been trained within your corporation, then I would suggest taking the certification courses that are offered through AANAC. These classes would benefit the experienced MDS nurse, but can be a bit confusing for the newbie's. Using the RAI Manual is a baby step...but one that is foundational for your work. Get on forums that write only about MDS for support.
    Hope that helps,
    The Nose
  8. by   MrsK1223
    Hi. I have been a nurse for 7 yrs. I've been out of patient care for the last year and traveling doing education for a pharmaceutical company. The travel is getting old and it's not as glamorous as many think it is, not to mention you have to do 2-4 shifts a day, meaning...morning shifts, evening and night shifts....to catch nurses on all shifts...so it really messes with your body and mind. I'm ready to take on a new challenge and I found an MDS Coordinator position open in my area and I've been researching this specialty. I've found some great advice from reading these threads as well as questions to ask my interviewer. I don't have any experience in this but thought if anyone had any new advice for the interview I would certainly appreciate it! Looking forward to a new challenge!
    Last edit by MrsK1223 on Jan 5, '08
  9. by   Talino
    Current hands-on patient care experience is not a requisite. Being an educator will be very beneficial, that is, after you've mastered the MDS.

    This is not to undermine anyone's ability. We did not learn MDS in the nursing curriculum. This is a whole new process that must be learned from the ground up. When an employer seeks an MDS Coordinator, they likely are expecting one who already has the skill. The state and federally required MDS process is actively ongoing and very time sensitive. It cannot pause to enable someone to learn. If I can put it simpler... put yourself in an actual surgery. You are designated to deliver anesthesia but you know nothing about anesthesiology. Would you be confident to tell the surgeon, "All set, Doc!" If the employer was the surgeon, would he proceed knowing you're not an anesthetist?

    My suggestion, if there is no experienced MDS person to train you when hired, don't take the leap. Don't fall for false assurances of being enrolled in a 3-day MDS seminar or an online training course. Without MDS knowledge and ongoing hands-on involvement in the process, neither of these can make you an MDS coordinator overtime, regardless what certificate you're awarded after completing it.

    With your experience, seek an educator or managerial position in the SNF. The bulk of the MDS responsibility will still be that of the MDS coordinator but you will have all the opportunity to participate and learn the MDS. Depending in your desire to master it, you may be able to relive glamour in just a few months.
  10. by   MrsK1223
    Thanks for your reply. Unfortunately, educator positions are a rarity here as is anything else I've ever been interested in, in and outside of nursing. I have applied for a Health Educator position at a local hospital, but it was asked if I had physical education background...which I don't...and that seems to be the driving force as this position has been posted before and I never got a call back for an interview. But it is one for a community education for nutrition and physical well being and overall healthy lifestyles. I think I would be great with this type of job. I love preventative care and education. I've even thought of going to the health department but they don't have openings and when other counties have a job posted, the pay is a mere $15/hr for RN. What a slap in the face. I just can't live on that, when I've been used to 32-35/hr. I would take a pay cut at any hospital or LTC in my area but not to $15/hr. I just can't get over the poor pay.

    As far as the MDS Coordinator position goes, I'm sure they won't have many knocking down doors with MDS experience and the ad said experience was desired but training would be provided if not. This is supposed to be one of the most reputable LTC facilities in the area. You never see job openings there. It's a 75 bed facility. Some of the facility is assisted living only.

    Thanks for your information!
  11. by   sinclair
    Quote from farmgirl2
    Hello..new, novice, to this site..old nurse...need advice:

    Just been offered job to start as MDS nurse ..have never been exposed to even the source for training materials on this...Have had TILE classes.

    What and where are resources (free) that I could go over in next few days to see what this job would really entail?

    All I can say is I know what MDS means..that's it.

    Talked to an old DON of mine who said she had been trying to get position like this for two years and that I should jump at it .. Told her considering it..a real challenge from knowing nothing to finding out what it means.

    anybody out there can give advice: or refer to sites?
    hi i have been a ed nurse for 16 years , and i need someone to assist me in starting in qi/qa , mds, pri certifation, please help. i am burned out
  12. by   BRemus
    When I got my job as the MDS Coordinator I was quite honest with the DON I knew absolutely nothing and once I got the job I was fortunate enough to have a temporary nurse manager with MDS experience who spent time showing me things. I read the RAI manual cover to cover for the first 4 days and then I started by completing sections and having the nurse manager check it. I did take the 3 day training course but I had been working for 9 months and had some knowledge before I took the course I think that if I would have taken the course first i would have been extremely overwhelmed as it is a lot to learn. If it is something you are interested in I would go for it. I really enjoy my job and I get plenty of time to get to know the residents without doing all the hands on. I only work overtime during survery time and I don't work weekends or holidays I am salaried so I can count on my pay every two weeks. Good luck
    Brenda
  13. by   Tarong50
    Careplans.com helped me
    Learned the rest by the manual and doing

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