Is MSD nursing stressful?

  1. I have worked as a nurse for 3yrs now and have recently started by 3rd job which I thought I would love but it is becoming the same as the other 2 direct patient care jobs. I am not getting breaks and I work 5 days a week and usually at least 3 of those 5 days are 10hr days, who cares if you have appts or life outside of work. You have been doing total patient care all day long (if census is low you have also processed all your orders and answered the phone all day long too) and god forbid you get a new admission (which can take 1.5 to 2hrs) or it is care plan conference day which you will be pulled from the floor to attend a meeting which may take up to 1hr and then by that time it is 9am and you still have full assessments, Vs and meds to pass. I don't mind working 40hrs a week and I want to do a good job, I am very detail oriented and don't like to let anyone down. I am getting burnt out on nursing though and am looking at other career options. I was wondering if MDS nursing was less stressful, I know the physical demands would be less. I interviewed and was offered an MDS position about 1.5 yrs ago at a LTC facility I had worked at and am kicking myself for not giving it a try now. I hated working the floor there we were always short handed and it was the same crap, no lunch 12hrs days turned into 14hr days and mgmt always left work on time and went out for lunch. At the time I had just left that nursing home a few months prior to go full time at my prn job at the hospital and was scared to give up the hospital (they get mad and don't hire ppl back if you switch jobs a lot) but now feel like the hospital is the same crap just better pay and benefits. But I have only in this nursing career for 3 yrs and am 26yrs old.....retirement is a long way off and I don't want to loose my mental sanity in the process. Can anybody with MDS coordinator experience give me any advice? Would I be trading one for the other, is this a case of the grass is not always greener on the other side?
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    About nurse1109

    Joined: Oct '10; Posts: 22; Likes: 16
    Specialty: 3 year(s) of experience in LTC, rehab to home, PACU


  3. by   katoline
    it really depends. how large is the facility, how much support would you get, are you expected to do other things beside the mds, would you have to take call, would you alone be responsible for the department?

    i have been in mds on and off for over ten years at three different facilities. 140 bed unit with 1 full time assistant, 120 bed unit with 1 full time assistant and now an 80 bed unit with a part time asst. at one, i had to take rotating call which meant i had to find coverage if a nurse called out or work the floor myself. i also had to do weekend mgr duty, which meant two 4hr days sat and sun with a day off during the week. at another, i had to take call in the past, but it was changed to just weekend mgr duty, with regular hall rounds and dining room duty daily. in this facility, i don't take call, have weekend mgr duty, make rounds, share occas. dining room duty and have many many additional assessments to complete beside the mds. i have been in charge of medicare residents in all positions and have strict deadlines when the mds have to be completed and transmitted. you have to be very organized, keep after other cooworkers to do their parts on the assessments, be aware of changes in the residents, make changes to their careplans regularly and be prepared for long hours with or without overtime depending if you are hourly or a salaried position. the facility/company depends on a timely completed and transmitted assessment with the highest reimbursment, estimates on what future assessments should bring in and to have the documentation in the chart to back the coding so the auditors don't come in and take money back.

    is it stressful? oh yes! the mds formulates the quality improvement/ quality measures reports that the state looks at before they come to the building, deciding which residents to look at. you have to be part of many meetings on patient care, improving record keeping, in-servicing staff and meeting with families who can range in mood from appreciative to irate. do i enjoy doing it? i must, because i can't seem to tear myself away. there will most likely be many additional positions created with the new format and may give you the opportunity to give it a try. i would personally perfer to be the assistant, with less responsibility, but with my background the only positions offered are the director/mgr of the dept. express your interest, and see what happens. good luck!
  4. by   nurse1109
    Thank you for your insight. It sounds like I would want to start out as assistant or co-coordinator having no actual experience with this. Like I said I am kicking myself for not accepting the position I was offered, it was an assistant spot with a coordinator to train me. So hopefully in the future there will be other opportunities. I am also considering going back to school to become a teacher. Just tossing the idea around though; it would be a big change/commitment and there are other opportunities in nursing besides bedside hospital care. School teaching was the back up plan if I did not get accepted to nursing school.
  5. by   lisaRN37
    MDS is stressful, probably more so than floor nursing because you are responsible for making sure your assessments are in on time and transmitted on time, otherwise your facility does not get paid, especially with PPS. Now with the change to 3.0 the stress levels are higher, so I think you should either stick to floor nursing or go for your back up plan.
  6. by   katoline
    just a thought, my daughter is an emt and cpr/first aid instructor and has taught many groups. one of the groups she is most fond of is the health occupations class at a nearby highschool. here, all is needed in an RN and a few years of hands on experience. and just think of the vacation time! no weekends or holidays and state benefits!
  7. by   Alli, RN
    MDS is nothing like floor nursing! It's stressful with time lines, etc. Floor nursing can be pure hell sometimes. If your looking for a different avenue of nursing and someone is willing to train you, I suggest you give it a try.
  8. by   lisaRN37
    Quote from Alli, RN
    MDS is nothing like floor nursing! It's stressful with time lines, etc. Floor nursing can be pure hell sometimes. If your looking for a different avenue of nursing and someone is willing to train you, I suggest you give it a try.
    Oh, I'm gonna have to STRONGLY disagree with that statement. In MDS, you not only have to know the patients, you have to know the federal and state regulations, you have to know guidlines for how to answer questions, timelines for when assessments are due, etc. While I agree being a floor nurse is stressful, having done it before going into MDS, I've learned to never think one job is easier than the other.