Ask the nursing expert: Do directors of nursing need more MDS 3.0 certifications

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Ask the nursing expert
Ask the nursing expert
Question: As a director of nursing, do you think I should not only learn about the new MDS 3.0 but also pursue a more in-depth study and obtain certification?

It depends on how much you already know about the MDS/PPS process from assessment to transmission of information. I recently obtained my certification, but it was a requirement of my company.

Now that it is over, I am glad I went through the online training and testing. I learned more than I thought I would. I know that as DON, we have special auditors who do the MDS and most of the care planning, but I think it is smart to be able to inspect what we expect with a strong knowledge base.

It is your decision, but I recommend that DONs become certified.

How would you handle an employee who goes to the human resources director every time an issue comes up—no matter how big or small—to talk with him?

Keep notes of your conversations so it doesn't become the employee's word against yours or that the employee is accusing you of picking on her.

Some employees feel that every time you sit down to review a particular practice with them you are criticizing them. I am a DON who knows that there are frequently several “right” ways to approach a clinical issue, and when I have a question about an approach, I will ask an employee to explain their thinking process when they chose the approach that they did.

Nearly all employees, if presented in a non-threatening manner, will not have a problem. Every now and then, there is an employee who feels picked on. Just keep notes in case human resources wants to sit down and discuss this.

Please send your nursing-related questions to Anne Marie Barnett at