Published May 26, 2009
I currently work as an RN Case Manager at a local hospital. Although I love my job, my boss is the worse boss I've ever had. She can't keep help and I can't picture myself there much longer. I will be completing my Masters soon. There recently was an MDS Coordinator position close to where I live and I'm thinking of taking the plunge. I asked some of the SNF liason's about the position and they just seem to say "you'd be a paper pusher" when I ask for details. In reading some fo the posts, I see things about assessments? Are you assessing the patients or do you take information from the nurses on the floors? I really want to stay away from bedside nursing. I love speaking with patients, but I don't want more than that. Can someone tell me what else you really do? I'm sure there is a lot of paperwork, but what else? Meetings? Patient or family interaction? Are you completing work and then sending it to someone? Do you just keep paperwork on file for audits? These are just details I'm unsure of and any info would be appreciated! Thanks.
Ginger's Mom, MSN, RN
From my observations you take the assessments that have already been completed ( many times by LPN) and put them in the computer for CMS , no patient interaction.
I was a PPS MDS coordinator and have been doing MDSs for more than 20 years. Usually the staff nurses do the quarterly assessments:Norton,falls risk,dehydration risk..whatever assessments the facility does on a regular basis. When I did MDSs for long term Medicaid residents, I didn't spend too much time with the residents. BUT when I was doing Medicare MDSs also called assessments by some, I did spend time with the residents. Some things on the MDS could only be answered by gathering the information myself. Sure some of the nurses think you do nothing but push papers, but the MDS nurse in an integral part of the team. I used to run all care plan meetings and family meetings and discharge planning meetings for all the short term residents, but everyone has their own system. Good luck. A word of advice go to the CMS website to try to get some sort of idea about MDSs. I don't know anyone who would hire an MDS nurse who had no experience doing them.
Nascar nurse, ASN, RN
I don't know anyone who would hire an MDS nurse who had no experience doing them.
I would also be concerned hiring an MDS nurse with no LTC experience (although we did hire one many years ago from the hospital and she got it - with a steep learning curve).
Thanks for all the suggestions and info! I appreciate it. I have some LTC experience, although limited. I'm hoping that my case mgmt experience will help some, although I realize this is different from MDS. As far as MDS coordinator's being "paper pushers" I get that same attitude as a CM in the hospital I work at. Floor nurses tend to think only those nurses working on floors are worthy! Obviously I see this much differently, but I understand there are so many more opportunities than being a staff RN. Everyone must start somewhere and I'm hoping someone gives me a chance to get into this. CM was hard to get into as well, but while I like nursing, my comfort zone is doing more administrative type work. There is a website I was looking at as well - http://www.nrai.net/ which offers online courses/certification. Does anyone know anything about them? I thought it would help to get my foot in the door. Thanks again!
CMS offers a free course. I am sure you could google this and get the web address for it.
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