Getting started as MDS nurse

  1. 0
    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?
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  4. 49 Comments so far...

  5. 1
    welcome to the site. enjoy your stay and best wishes to you.
    juniemoon99 likes this.
  6. 5
    www.aanac.org

    Is this place willing to train you , or send you to training?
    Will you be working with another MDS nurse with experience?

    Get a copy of the RAI manual rom your employer, or you can read it at this site ( RAI USER'S MANUAL BY CHAPTER).....warning it is a lot of reading
    http://www.cms.hhs.gov/quality/mds20/

    Also, are you detail oriented (OCD is a plus here), organized, and a self -starter?

    I am an MDS co-ordinator. The job requires timely and accurate completion of the MDSs, and care plans. Other duties depend on the facility.
    rnru12, homesteadlite, juniemoon99, and 2 others like this.
  7. 5
    Quote from fluffwad
    www.aanac.org

    Is this place willing to train you , or send you to training?
    Will you be working with another MDS nurse with experience?

    Get a copy of the RAI manual rom your employer, or you can read it at this site ( RAI USER'S MANUAL BY CHAPTER).....warning it is a lot of reading
    http://www.cms.hhs.gov/quality/mds20/

    Also, are you detail oriented (OCD is a plus here), organized, and a self -starter?

    I am an MDS co-ordinator. The job requires timely and accurate completion of the MDSs, and care plans. Other duties depend on the facility.
    The above advice is very good. I used to work at a help desk in a case mix state. I compared the MDS coordinator position to the machine gunner in the French foreign legion movies-they usually did not last that long.

    The most common complaint I heard from MDS coordinators who quit their jobs was that the owner/administrator wanted the MDS coordinator to also work as the DON or ADON or on the floor. For all but the smallest facilities, I don't see how the MDS coordinator can be anything less than full-time.

    Before accepting a position, you may want to find out the MDS schedule in the first month you'll be there. Oftentimes, because of problems in the facility, the owner may want the new coordinator to do comprehensive assessments on every resident in the facility. This is obviously a lot of work and you should ask for help in those kinds of extreme circumstances.
    ValMcCarthy, ramz, juniemoon99, and 2 others like this.
  8. 1
    Look for inservices in your area regarding MDS and PPS. Autumn Enterprises has a good program it's called the ABC's of MDS, I don't know if I would have made it without that course. Does your owner own multiple facilities? If so, see if one can train you. By the way, what state are you in?
    juniemoon99 likes this.
  9. 6
    I have been an MDS/PPS coordinator for two years. I would ask, before you accept the position, what kind of training will you receive? Especially considering you are new to MDS. I would ask, are you responsible for LTC assessments, such as the quarterly and comprehensive assessments, or are you also responsible for the PPS assessments, the 5day, 14-day, 30-day etc? How many beds in the facility? IF it is a large facility and you do both LTC and Medicare/PPS, that is a lot of work. Do the floor nurses and unit managers participate in any sections of the long term care MDS? Who is your resource person if you have questions? And does this facility have a good survey history with MDS or are you going to be responsible to clean up if there have been scheduling problems?
  10. 1
    No, but if you ever come to Chicago I have a job for you!!!!
    Last edit by NRSKarenRN on Feb 10, '07
    juniemoon99 likes this.
  11. 1
    Hi Guys; I've been searching the web looking for MDS Coordinator positions in my area(NJ) All I could find was directed to experienced nurses (RN and LPN) I was wondering where should I get training. And also if an LPN could do that kind of work. (I'm an RN , though)
    Thank you
    juniemoon99 likes this.
  12. 5
    Quote from Faby
    Hi Guys; I've been searching the web looking for MDS Coordinator positions in my area(NJ) All I could find was directed to experienced nurses (RN and LPN) I was wondering where should I get training. And also if an LPN could do that kind of work. (I'm an RN , though)
    Thank you
    'just to let you know first that this is almost a year old thread. You may want to start a new one in order to get more replies.

    Anyhow, I can share a few pointers.

    MDS is a mandatory tool for SNFs. The accuracy of it's completion is crucial in complying w/ CMS regulations and sustaining the financial state of a facility, that is why an experienced or seasoned MDS coordinator is usually sought by most employers.

    There are several MDS training available online and maybe seminars provided in your state or nearby. They are expensive. Be forwarned however, without basic knowledge, the MDS cannot be learned instantly with just a one time online training and seminars. It will require an ongoing learning process, a hands-on on-the-job experience.

    My suggestion - work in an SNF that involves nurses in completing or collecting data for the MDS (this is different from assuming a full MDS coordinator responsibilty). Borrow the MDS RAI Manual (or you can download a roughly 600 page manual for free) and read it at home. Ask the coordinator questions. Join an MDS discussion group online (free). Most facilities will be delighted to have someone in their staff as a back-up in the absence of the MDS coordinator. They will even pay for the training. Your knowledge and experience will grow in a few months.

    You may preview the MDS process here ....
    MDS Login
    Registration is required but very short and simple.

    Now, regarding an LPN doing the job... With knowledge and expertise, anyone can do the job. Whether who is mandated by CMS to assume the responsibilty of an MDS Coordinator --- only the RN is. Altho I am aware of some facilities and some states designating an LPN as MDS Coordinators and having them certified or credentialed as one, I have yet to see a CMS statement that such practices are permissible. Nevertheless, a nurse w/ the expertise can just be as good as the other regardless of title.

    Good luck!
    Last edit by Talino on Mar 30, '07 : Reason: updating link
    juniemoon99, Merced, poohmdsnurse, and 2 others like this.
  13. 1
    Hi, I was iniated by fire so to speak. MDS coordinator for ICF residents (basic call me if you need help training) but well acquainted with the residents and MDS issues. Facility fired the Medicare/PPS nurse fdor possible "medicare fraud"(miscoding of the MDS-in a hurry and to many to do) nothing really resulted in overpayment) sooo I got promoted! 2 months later I was crazed and insane so got to go back to my sweet ICF people and I love my jo b again. did get training for the job after I had it 6 months but still read the Ria manual frequently. Looking for a QA position now regarding admissions/mds/careplans- my company has the need just need to keep promoting the job to the regional
    juniemoon99 likes this.


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