No experience with MDS, can you learn it?

  1. So, I've read through the forum 'getting started with MDS' but it hasn't been active in a while.

    I have had my LPN license since 2003 and most of my experience has been in the LTC setting. I got my RN license in 2010 and have been working in an intake office which consists mostly of checking benefits and finding appropriate placement for patients.

    There is a MDS Coordinator position that is located with a different company that I'm kind of interested in. On paper, I think it looks 'ok.' The ad states it's stricly an MDS position and not a MDS/Unit Manager position which is what my company uses. The managers are always saying "If I was just doing MDS's "or "if I could just manage the unit." The ad is also not requiring any experience for the position.

    Obviously, I still have to apply, interview and receive a job offer. My concern is I have "kind of" an idea of what the MDS entails. Can it be learned if taught appropriately in the right environment from starting at ground zero?
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    About erinp88

    Joined: Nov '06; Posts: 483; Likes: 94
    Former RN - Currently Team Beachbody Coach!; from US


  3. by   meghan61
    If it is what you want to do, apply for it. Keep in mind you will have to learn as you go and you will be required to put out a volume of accurate MDS. We have all been new at one time though. It will require longer hours in the beginning and the discipline to learn on your own but I would do it over again. You will know if it is for you. Good Luck.
  4. by   mdecastronp
    I have taught MDS training from basics and seen that it can be done by someone that had to learn it from scratch. You will need tremendous patience and great organizational skills to do MDS when your beginning and lots of cheat sheets!
  5. by   brandnew2mdsrn
    Everyone is new when they start ... we all learn ... just make sure you have great educational opportunities and support before accepting a new position from scratch ....
  6. by   rukiddingme
    Yes, it can be learned from ground zero. My first thoughts are to tell you to go to the CMS website and review the available information on the 3.0 and the MDS process. The RAI manual is the "bible" for the MDS process, and reading it will give you a head start before beginning a training class. Medicare assessments are a huge part of long term care, along with learning the payment system (RUG scores). Doing these things may help you get a better sense of what you would be in for.