So my grandmother (Retired last year as CEO of a nursing home) recently suggested getting certified to be an MDS coordinator to me. I am still in school, and know that I should probably have some experience and may even be required to have some experience before being certified as a RAC-CT. However, I was wondering what a position like this usually requires as far as experience, certifications, and also just daily tasks. I will be graduating in spring with my RN.


63 Posts

Clinical experience is always a positive thing. I doubt I could have done the job as a new grad. I am still new to the position myself. Each place is different on the types of duties that are required. In my building, I am responsible for making sure each person does their part correctly and on time. Time management and organization are a must. I'm also responsible for making sure the care plans are written and updated. The MDS has sections A-Q, all the these sections must be filled out correctly and accurately. Accuracy is the key. Now, I'm not trying to scare you but it is a lot of hard work. Each building divides who is responsible for what. In my building, Social Services is responsible for mood and some behaviors and community referrals, Dietary is responsible for diet and IV/Tube feed nutrition. I'm pretty much responsible for everything else. But I have to watch what the others are doing. Then certain MDSs have Care Area assessments, each department is responsible for filling those out and explaining why a resident "triggered" for those areas. But typically you will have the most to fill out in that section.

As far as certification goes, ANNAC has courses you can take to become certified, they are spendy. I have not gotten my certification yet but I may do so. I wouldn't become certified until you have some MDS experience under your belt, atleast 6 months. Some places may require sooner. Its not required in my building.