Is there any weight to MDS "certification?"

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    I'm not an mds coordinator, but I've been interested in learning and perhaps landing a mds coordinator position somewhere one of these days. The current mds coordinator where I work is always more than willing to let me help her with summaries, updating careplans and gathering information and entering it on the computer. I'm still fuzzy on RAPS and RUG levels but I'm excited about learning. I was thinking about going to one of these 3-day mds certification workshops.I mentioned it to one of my fellow nurses (who isn't known for being exactly positive in the first place) and she says that sounds stupid, because you don't need a certification to be a mds coordinator in the first place, and anyway, Nurse Goodbody won't be leaving her mds coordinator position until they carry her stiff body out of that office, which probably won't be for at least another 160 yrs.. I'm not out to take her job, but that's another topic.

    Anyway, the workshop isn't cheap and I'm not sure if it is for people who already have a pretty good grasp on the mds specialty or if the info. would be tailored to newbies.

    And does the certification really carry much weight?
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  3. 31 Comments so far...

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    MDS coordinator certification is neither endorsed nor sanctioned by CMS. Your state may have a more stringent requirement and some employers prefer those who are certified.

    Be aware, the current certification is for MDS 2.0. MDS 3.0 replaces the 2.0 in Oct. 2010. Thus, you will need to complete the new MDS 3.0 workshop in order to be certified.

    A newbie can acquire that certification in a 3-day workshop. But no fancy credentials make a good MDS coordinator. Only a comprehensive knowledge and actual hands-on experience will.

    You're current situation seems to be working on your favor. Learn the ropes with the current coordinator for now. Read the manual - passionately! If needed, take the certification workshop on the MDS 3.0 instead. By then, you'll probably have the know-how to take on the actual responsibility in another facility.
    IMABSNRN likes this.
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    That is good advice. Also if you are working for a company already as a MDS Coordinator, they may be willing to pay for your certification. That is how I got mine. I worked as the MDS Coordinator for two years before I was certified.
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    A lot of the certification respect is in the eye of the beholder. Most DON's and Administrators just want to know that YOU know how to do your job, because they don't have the foggiest idea what you do. They know that your job is to get the best re-imbursement and show that the quality indicators are all good. the actual respect for the post you hold comes only after about three months of good bottom lines and good QI's.
    ST
  7. 0
    Maybe it is not the DN or Administrator who need to de-fog their view...

    "BEST reimbursement" and "quality indicators ... ALL GOOD"?
    ACCURACY is not in the eye of the beholder---it just is.
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    hi everyone! I'm a newly license nurse and been working for 6 months now, i have Home Heath experience being a case manager, i also worked in VA. Presently I also worked in a Psyche lock in facility and have been helping woth their mds and carepplanning. Recently i got an offer for a position in another facility as ADON. They offer to train me for mds. Is this a good opportunity for me or I have to get more experience before I accept this big responsibility. I'm really interested but I'm afraid its not yet the right time for me. Can anyone give me an advice?
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    Is it an ADON position or an MDS position?? You don't have enough experience as a NURSE to be an assistant director. You've had 3 different jobs in 6 months? I'd suggest you stick with one job for a bit longer before you jump again to try something else. The MDS is a process more easily learned than learning how to manage and supervise other people.
    Last edit by CapeCodMermaid on Nov 26, '09 : Reason: more to say
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    Its ADON with MDS training. I'm still working as a Case Manager and home health nurse, staff nurse at VA and part time in a Psyche lock in facility...Thats what I'm thinking that I'm not ready for this kind of responsibility and thinks that I still need more experience...I asked the agency who offered me this job, why they choose me and where they got my number ..They told me that someone recommended me after I helped them, Ive been helping with the paperworks in my workplace and that's how I learned MDS but I don't have any formal trainings and certification other than working as a Home Health RN. ...It is where i get familiar with different agencies and forms. still I don't feel that confident. But thank you for your reply, this answered the questions I've been asking myself...I know its a good offer but I want to accept that kind of responsibility if I know that I'm prepared and ready to lead a whole facility... My time will come =)....Thanks again..
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    If you are doing the OASIS for home health, you have a good start for the MDS process. The main question I would ask is, What do you like about nursing? If you like accuracy and paper, minimal patient contact, and can bond VERY quickly with patients, so that you can ask really personal questions without feeling like you are using a 300 watt bulb, then the MDS process might be for you. In your situation, however, you will receive lot's of downright criticism for doing what the RAI manual tells you to do. Read some of the posts, particularly the QI REPORT IS NOT MY FAULT, and you will see what kind of armor you need to wear.
    The MDS is three things: a care planning tool, a reimbursement tool, and a quality reporting tool. All three of these areas are targets of surveyors annually, sometimes multiple sets of surveyors, none of whom are YOUR friends. They are charged with making sure patients and residents get good care, but they often overstep their boundaries and impose fines and tags when a good communicator can explain facility policy. You simply cannot be new to long term care and protect your facility from citations. All our recent F-tags were from the judgement of the (former) DON, hiring a hospital nurse as an ADON while we were in survey window. And in a true sour grapes revenge, when she (the ADON) was subsequently let go, she managed to get our building in even more trouble.
    Don't take the job until you have about two years of LONG TERM CARE and REHAB experience. This will do you and the facility a favor.
  12. 0
    I know for me getting Certified was the best thing I could have done, I was doing MDS for aprox 7 years as LPN and when I went back to work after having Triplets I took a 3 day course to get Certified and basicly refresher course and was able to compete with RN's applying that were not certified and have a great job now and the Company is paying for me to get Certified with 3.0 since I'm a member of ANAC I get a discounted rate 450.00


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