Long-Term Care

MDS 101: How to train the MDS newbie

PPS Alert for Long-Term Care, March 1, 2011

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Learning the MDS 3.0 has been a trying time for ­many veteran MDS coordinators, so imagine how ­difficult it must be for people who are brand-new to the world of MDS assessments.

"We are all new to the MDS 3.0, but those of us who have some experience in the industry are ­familiar with how things worked under the MDS 2.0," says Peggy Hamlin, RN, a nurse consultant in ­Trinidad, CO. "The MDS isn't taught in nursing school because it ­really is a specialty in the nursing field. So people who are hired fresh out of school to be an MDS nurse ­usually don't have any knowledge of how to complete an ­assessmentfacilities must teach them all of the basics as well as the nuances of the MDS 3.0."

Although training an MDS newbie may seem like a lot of work for a facility, putting in the time up front will be worth it in the long run.

"Correctly completing and submitting an MDS is a very complicated job and it is vital to the facility," Hamlin says. "It drives care plans, payment, and treatment. It plays a huge role in every department, so the MDS coordinator really has to be accurate and function well, and this only comes with proper training and support."

To ensure the success of a new MDS coordinator, which also means success for the SNF, you must know what qualities to look for during the hiring process, provide comprehensive training from the beginning, and support the individual as he or she progresses from an MDS novice to an expert.

This is an excerpt from a member only article. To read the article in its entirety, please login or subscribe to PPS Alert for Long-Term Care.

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