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  1. Be flexible in attitude.
  2. Feel comfortable telling a surveyor that you must attend to resident needs first and cannot talk with them “right now’. Offer to talk to them when your task is completed or direct them to your supervisor. Respond promptly as usual to resident requests and needs.
  3. Do not volunteer information that is not asked for.
  4. Do not discuss past surveys – even good ones!
  5. Do not complain to the surveyor about other staff in your facility. ESPECIALLY DO NOT COMPLAIN THAT YOU ARE WORKING SHORT.” A better answer to questions about if you are ever short of staff if asked directly is “We have a great team! We assure the residents receive the care they need, despite any circumstance that may arise!”
  6. Be respectful and accommodating.
  7. Be prompt with a surveyor’s request. (If you are unable to handle the request, direct them to a person who can.) If a surveyor requests to observe you providing care, be sure to inform your supervisor, so they can determine the amount of oversight needed.
  8. Do not monopolize the conversation. Answer appropriately and concisely any questions asked. Do not elaborate if they do not ask for more.
  9. Do not show a surveyor any more than they ask for. Do not hand over any documentation that you have not read over yourself. If there is a choice, hand over your best and most complete work.
  10. Know the regulations that apply to your job. Know the survey process as outlined in the State Operations Manual.
  11. Keep work areas organized and free of clutter. Be careful of nursing station conversations at the desk and over the phone. Keep things brief and professional. Observe all rules of confidentiality.
  12. Know where to instantly find policies, documentation, MSDS sheets, QA&A information, etc.
  13. If the surveyor finds a problem, ask for recommendations or suggestions on the spot and be very appreciative of what they do share. Clarify the issue and what the surveyor thinks needs to be addressed or changed. DO NOT state agreement, but DO thank them for their opinion.
  14. Do not argue! Especially do not comment that your facility is special or different, so the rules should not apply here. There is one set of rules, and we are all expected to comply with all of them.
  15. Do not make excuses to surveyors!!! If a problem is identified by a surveyor, make sure your supervisor is informed. The supervisor or administrator is in a better position to present a case if we believe the problem is unfounded.
  16. Be honest, but smart, with your answers. Do not agree with any negative comments about resident care.
  17. Do not be defensive.
  18. Do not point out problem areas or care issues. Let the surveyors do their job.
  19. Do your best every day, and you will show your best during the survey.
  20. BEWARE!!! Surveyors are people and may be very interesting to talk with, but they are there to do a job….do not fall into a false sense of security, and share things that you might not ordinarily share because you have started feeling comfortable with them. They have a job to do and will site deficiencies if problem areas arise in “polite” small talk.

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