Utica, NY 13501
Job Description for MDS Coordinators
The objective of MDS coordinators is to promote the physical and emotional well-being of nursing facility residents. They use a Resident Assessment Instrument (RAI) to gather information from residents and their families during initial and periodic interviews. The MDS covers such areas as the patient's mood, behavior patterns, cognitive ability, and nutrition needs.
Information from these assessments helps nursing home caretakers formulate individualized care plans that include support from social services, dieticians, rehab specialists, and medical staff. MDS coordinators then implement and monitor these care plans to ensure their effectiveness. They must also make sure all strategies comply with Medicare requirements and ethical standards.
Education and Licensing Requirements
MDS coordinators commonly start their careers as registered nurses (RN) or licensed practical nurses (LPN). RN degree programs last two to four years at the undergraduate level. Licensed practical nursing programs commonly are one year in length. Coursework discusses pharmacology, pathophysiology, and nursing fundamentals.
All nurses must be licensed by their state of employment. State licensure commonly requires passing nursing examinations that are administered by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN). The NCSBN offers a National Council Licensure Exam for prospective RNs (NCLEX-RN) and for prospective LPNs (NCLEX-PN).
Formal MDS coordinator training programs are available, if employers do not provide this training on the job to newly hired nurses. The American Association of Nurse Assessment Coordination (AANAC) offers one that covers assessment scheduling, survey methods, and care planning. Those who complete this 10-course program become Resident Assessment Coordinator - Certified (RAC-CT).