Quote from caliotter3
Consider yourself having been given a reprieve by your employer. I have seen experienced nurses immediately terminated during the conduct of the state survey and sometimes the higher ups (Director of Nurses) will leave immediately afterwards. The survey is no picnic. If you are not physically there, then you can't get involved in anything. Say prayers of thanks. Somebody is looking out for you.
I absolutely, totally, wholeheartedly agree. I worked in LTC for 6 years, as CNA, then LPN - on the PM shift. During that time I always lucked out and happened to be off when survey came or they were out of the building by the time I came in for PM shift. When I went on and moved up to RN, I was awarded an RN supervisor role and was taught the MDS. I'd only been in the role for about 3-4 months when survey came. I almost quit my position. I felt SOOOO beat up, no good, don't know a thing, didn't learn anything in my 4 years of college, lower than dirt, etc....(we got a citation for not doing a change of condition on paper, though we were doing everything we needed to for the resident - just weren't taking credit for it)... But I stuck it out and used it as a learning experience. After all, they don't teach the MDS in nursing school. I've been in my position for 10 years now and am comfortable with what I do - I rarely think about leaving now and surveys aren't so scary.
So, until next year, learn all you can about your organization, know the policies and procedures, never use the phrase "I don't know" with a surveyor. Even if there is more attached to the phrase to make a complete sentence, all the surveyor will document is "staff member said, 'I don't know.' " Our DON taught us to respond with repeating the question back to them and saying, "let me think about this and I will get back to you." Gives you time to put together your answer without saying something you don't intend to that can be twisted around.
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