To become an MDS (Minimum Data Set) Coordinator, one has to have an interest in the nursing world. Such a professional works in healthcare facilities like hospitals, nursing homes, and treatment centers, among others. An MDS Coordinator is in charge of making sure that all patient documentation is correct, up-to-date, and meets state and federal guidelines. Registered nurses (RNs) and licensed practical nurses (LPNs) can be MDS Coordinators. The following includes the steps to becoming an MDS Coordinator.
Education and Degrees Required
The first thing a person needs to do is graduate from a respected nursing program. Any and all MDS coordinators need to hold a nursing license. Different facilities have different specifications for: some will hire RNs and some will hire LPNs. The program one chooses will depend on his or her interests, needs, and school availability.
One should also look into investing in a MDS certification program. The American Association of Nursing Assessment Coordinators (AANAC) offers such a program. One does not need this certification, but it can improve one’s chances of getting a job. This is a great option for young nurses who want to further their career, learn new skills, and really get noticed when applying for important positions in the healthcare world. The job market is always uncertain. Young nurses having a hard time finding MDS Coordinator positions should look into such certification.
After earning a nursing degree, it is important to get some hands-on experience. This will happen during the degree program, but work experience is invaluable. Most healthcare groups what MDS Coordinators who have a certain amount of experience under their belt: anywhere from two to four years. It is important that one considers his or her interests. There is a big difference between working for a large hospital and working with a small nursing home.
Finding a Job
It is important to look anywhere and everywhere for jobs. There are MDS positions listed everywhere from Careerbuilder and Craigslist to Monster.com. One should also visit healthcare facilities’ websites to see if they have listings here. Often, networking is an important part of finding a job in the nursing world, especially for MDS positions. It is important to get to know other nurses, go the extra mile, and stay in touch with important contacts. This could lead to a great position later on down the line. Even if there are no openings, it can’t hurt to send a cover letter to different healthcare facilities expressing interest. This is a chance to get one’s foot in the door.
The healthcare world is one that is always humming. After all, people need to be cared for even when the economy is poor. This is why it is important to really get the right experience and make the right impression. To become an MDS Coordinator, one has to understand the importance of patient documentation, state and federal guidelines, and the healthcare community. With the right training, hands-on experience, and focus, one will be well on their way to a career as an MDS Coordinator.