New Job- no knowledge base

Specialties Geriatric


Last Friday I became the MDS Coordinator. Due to circumstances I really have no one to

train me. I am really struggling. HELP!!!!

I barely know what an MDS is.

You need to call Eliot Press at (508) 655-8123 and obtain a copy of "MDS V-2 User's Manual" and begin to familiarize yourself with how to answer MDS questions.

Also, go to and surf their site for a while. This should be a good source of beginning information. Also, contact a neighboring facility and see if their RNAC would be willing to accept you as an apprentice a day or two a week, until you learn MDS. If your NHA has any brains, he will agree to let you go.

Good luck, and remember,good RNAC's aren't born, they are MADE.

Oh Dear-I sure know how you feel! I, too, have been asked to do MDS's and become the RNAC......not exactly sure what I am getting myself into. Fortunately, yesterday I was sent to a training session-MDS 101-but it seemed it was more for those with experience-most of it was WAY over my head-YIKES-what have I gotten myself into?


jean sheffer


I am not sure what either of us has gotten ourselves into. I too went to a seminar this week on careplanning and learned enough to question what I really knew before. She did suggest that I go to the HCFA site and read the Q&A section. I will e mail you the links to what I have found that looks helpful.

Hello fellow MDS Coordinators. Welcome to the MDS/PPS world. I have been an MDS Coordinator from 1996. Our MDSC at that time resigned and I was 'promoted.'

Well, I started by reading the RAI manual.

Also made an MDS roster which list the residents and the due dates for a one year period. Required nurses to write quarterly and annual summaries as well as do pain,SR,

B&B, Braden scale and mini mental as per facility policy as back up documentation for my coding.

Yes, you have to surf the web, attend seminars and call your State RAI too if things are not that clear to you.

Make a monthly MDS schedule so your team members can keep track of the due MDS and the Care Planning dates.

Try to make a separate list for your medicare patients and keep track of the RUGS categories for each ARD- 5day,14 day,30day etc.. Have a daily medicare meeting and know when the anticipate last covered day is and discharge plan. Stress the importance of daily medicare charting and documentation on how resident is functioning with ADLS.

Inservice your staff with current trends, documentation, PPS.

Instruct team to fill out a significant change in status notification when they recognize a significant change in the resient and set a date to meet.

Schedule your readmits for a meeting to discuss readmission status.

Learn as much as you can the all the features of your software.

AANAC,,,, are helpful websites.

Good luck!


Hi Fran, I was in the very same situation about a year ago. It's very frustrating but if you have the manual and follow it as you progress from question to question you'll be fine. I took over doing MDS's when the facility I was working in got nailed during their survey for their MDS's. I did 110 Mds'S in 90 days. Hang in there you'll do fine.

I am a BRAND NEW Unit Manager, I interviewed for a supervisors position, and got hired as a Unit Manager (big raise, and better hours, very supportive DON and ADONs) but very little in the way of orientation (more like try this, if you get it right I do not have to teach you anymore) and NO inhouse, mandatory inservice type orientation.

MDS are totally alien to me. I get told I need to have my staff document on this or that, but one week a really good note a week is ok, and others everyday is required. My RNAC is fairly petty and spiteful (by her own admission she holds a grudge forever) and after 2 months I only just translated her system for "on time" accuracy, before this as long as it was done by care conference it was good enough, and now I am putting the MDSes on the chart myself because she is not getting them there by the day they must be compleated, not even by the day of referance. She has told me all medicares are 10 page ones until quarterlies. at least I will not be missing anything using that rule.

for the most part I am consistant with the scaling, and it seems I am more accurate than my predecessor, but the RNAC is still totally dissatisfied with my work performance.

I am frustrated, ad would love advice!


*** May we all have the serenity to accept what we cannot change, and the determination to change what we cannot accept. ***

+ Add a Comment