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Nurses   (1,552 Views | 3 Replies)
by Melcraft91 Melcraft91 (New) New

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Hello. I have an interview for an MDS nurse position Thursday. I have no experience in the field but I do know what it entails. I have only been an RN for 6 months but this is something I want to go into. My question is, will I have enough experience to be okay in this area? I'm a little nervous walking into this.

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brownbook has 35 years experience.

1 Follower; 3,413 Posts; 46,650 Profile Views

Whilst taking a break after working in the hot sun on my drip irrigation system.....I thought I'd drink some water and glance at Allnurses. I came across your post....I had to leave Allnurses, go to Google, type in MDS, look through my options, read two different explanations to understand what a MDS nurse does. So maybe I am a little grumpy, forgive me.

Maybe you would get more responses if you spelled out MDS instead of using abbreviations and even gave a brief description of what it entails.

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tyvin is a BSN, RN and specializes in Hospice / Psych / RNAC.

1,620 Posts; 18,252 Profile Views

MDS coordinator...it depends on what system the facility you're going to work at uses. I worked at a place that let us have "not" over 24 patients each and we did it all save for sending. You are the team leader. You are responsible for going to the team meeting q morning. It's usually a Monday to Friday days. The place I worked let us make our own schedule. You set up the family meetings, make the care plans, do the 90 days assessments and the annuals, family meetings, etc.... You need to research it.

Places want their MDS coordinator certified (most do). They pay for it or they should.

There is constant training and updates to the actual MDS form. Than you have the faclities that make the staff RNs do the actual fill out the acutal MDS forms thinking this saves time. It doesn't; than you have one MDS coordnator for over 80 to whatever amount of residents and that is insane!

When someone else fills out the MDS form it's been my experience that the many of the busy staff RNs copy from the previous MDS. Hey, how does a night staff RN do an interview with the patient and check their skin head to toe and everything else that's required? Since nights isn't that busy this place I worked gave most of the MDS forms to staff RNs and LPNs to fill out in the nocs and eve shifts...ridiculous IMO. I was asked to be the MDS coordinator (more pay) at this one place that had the staff nurses fill out the actual MDS form and I refused unless they hired 2 others MDS coordinators since there were 84 residents in the facility.

CMS has made the MDS process so complicated. It may be overwhelming at first but take it step by step; it will all come together. There are constant changes. I think because we have computers that CMS just looks for things to change so that can redo that darn thing over and over and over...(LOL)

As team leader you sign your name to the MDS (minnimum data sheet) and you are responsible for it all. You need to check the all sections to make sure the people responsible for sections filled it out their's correctly: psych, activitity, diet, medication review, mental status, etc... get my meaning here. I had 2 years experience in LTC/SNF when I started as a MDS coordnator but like I said, I worked at a very good place with a doable resident load. The other job that wanted me to do the job where the staff nurses filled out the form I flat out refused.

There's a lot to it but you get your own office (or you should). You're independent. You are the team leader and never forget that. I read things on here that makes me wonder if the MDS coordinator knows the scope of their practice in relation to a job of this sort. If you worked 6 months in a LTC or SNF facility than it would be doable as long as you had someone who would train you. Now days with the EHR it's a breeze as the computer kicks out the care plans now days instead of you having to make them. Many will have to be tweaked and there's lots of vocabulary you will learn but if you get your feet wet now and pay attention it's a great job that is days and should pay more. Look up RAI MDS RUGS.


Some info...good luck :)

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HeySis has 25 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in PACU.

435 Posts; 5,949 Profile Views

I know exactly what an MDS coordinator does, I use to complete parts of those monster forms upon admission, then day 7, 14, 21, with any significant change of status.......

There is a ton to know with this job including ICD 10 codes and what each gets you in reimbursement and length of stay, so knowing which order to place them impacts patent too. So there is a lot resting finically on this person.

There is also making sure the direct care staff is doing the proper documentation to support what they are checking on the form... making sure everything is completely timely means coordinating with a lot of disciplines, some of which will not like to get their paperwork done and treat you ....at best like a nuisance, and worst like a royal b**ch for asking them to do their job.

Also the Medicare survey's are directed off of the MDS's for that facility. Does your MDS's reflect higher medication usage, more falls, more skin problems? Then that's where they will start digging when they come to recert.

As a new RN, I really think this is going to be a lot of stress and a steep learning curve, and frankly the facility that would offer you this job with only 6 months experience scares me. Please understand my comment is not a reflection on you... but the stress, complexity and responsibility of this position. Most RN's that do this have worked in rehab for years before starting it and have experience in completing at least a portion of the paperwork.

That being said if you feel you have the right stuff, support and training... only you know what else you bring to the table besides 6 months of nursing.

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