CWCA: How to Prepare

In compliance with National Accrediting Standards, the ABWM does not provide review materials for the Certification Examination. It is the responsibility of the candidate to prepare by any means they feel are appropriate. Below are resources previous candidates have used to prepare for the certification exam:

CWCA Practice Examination

The CWCA Practice Examination is compiled from 50 test questions that have previously appeared on the CWCA National Board Certification Examination. Use this Practice Examination to help gauge your familiarity with each of the four content areas of the examination, experience taking a computerized exam, review example content, and learn more about the question format, style, and level of difficulty.

CWCA Content Outline

View the outline below by expanding the list. You may view the results of the National Job Task Analysis Study of the CWCA HERE.

  1. Wound Healing Environment
    1. Anatomy and Physiology
      1. Integumentary
      2. Musculoskeletal
      3. Vascular
      4. Neurological
      5. Lymphatic
    2. Wound Healing
      1. Phases
      2. Cell Function (e.g., signaling proteins, cellular mediators)
      3. Acute vs. Chronic
  2. Assessment and Diagnosis
    1. History
    2. Physical examination
    3. Wound and skin assessment
    4. Pain assessment
    5. Risk assessment
    6. Functional assessment
    7. Laboratory/Imaging
    8. Nutrition
  3. Patient Management
    1. Wound bed Preparation/Debridement
    2. Dressings
    3. Topical agents
    4. Complications in healing (including local and systemic factors)
    5. Nutrition
    6. Compression therapy
    7. Negative pressure wound therapy
    8. Pressure redistribution (i.e. offloading)
    9. Biophysical technologies
      1. Electrical stimulation
      2. Ultrasound
    10. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy
    11. Surgical closure or tissue transfer
    12. Cellular and/or tissue products for wounds
  4. Etiological Considerations
    1. Neuropathy
    2. Diabetes
    3. Venous Insufficiency
    4. Ischemia
    5. Pressure Ulcers
    6. Lymphedema
    7. Trauma
    8. Surgical
    9. Atypical wounds (e.g., malignancy)
    10. Dermatological
    11. Infectious
    12. Burns
    13. Edema (i.e., systemic vs. local)
    14. Pediatric issues
  5. Professional Issues
    1. Documentation
    2. Patient adherence
    3. Legal concepts
    4. Reimbursement and medical economics
    5. Medical ethics (e.g., palliative care, reasonable expectation of outcomes)
    6. Multidisciplinary teams
    7. Epidemiology
    8. Evidence-based practice and reasearch

In addition to classifying by topic (above) items will be classified by task. Tasks that are eligible for assessment include:

  1. Patient Preparation
    1. Perform safe patient handling techniques
    2. Assist in obtaining health and medication history
    3. Obtain recent nutritional history and needs
    4. Take and monitor vital signs
    5. Prepare and/or photograph the wound
    6. Assist with ensuring aseptic or sterile techniques
    7. Set up equipment for procedures
    8. Prepare wound for procedures (e.g., cleansing, removing dressings)
    9. Ensure proper cleaning of examination rooms between patients
  2. Patient Assessment
    1. Assess, or assist with assessing:
      1. Blood flow (e.g., perforem Doppler, check pulses, ABI)
      2. For risk of pressure ulcer development
      3. Level of pain
      4. Edema (e.g., limb circumference, volume)
      5. Functional status
      6. Skin (e.g., for color, swelling, and temperature)
      7. Wound and periwound characteristics (e.g., stage, tissue type)
      8. Sensory function (e.g., monofilament testing, vibration testing)
    2. Identify psychosocial barriers (e.g., cognitive, financial)
    3. Identify and measure wound tenneling and/or undermining
    4. Measure wound dimensions - length, width, depth
    5. Measure wound tunneling and/or undermining
    6. Measure the wound using digital methods
  3. Treatment
    1. Apply and/or remove:
      1. Dressings
      2. Compression wraps and stockings
      3. Barrier products
      4. Staples or sutures
      5. Offloading systems
    2. Assist with:
      1. Application of cellular and/or tissue products
      2. Wound biopsy
    3. Assist with or perform:
      1. Negative pressure wound therapy application and removal
      2. Debridement
      3. Culture/aspiration
      4. Wound irrigation or cleansing
      5. Biophysical technologies
  4. Education
    1. Provide education or demonstrate an understanding of:
      1. Offloading and/or pressure relief
      2. Wound care rationale
      3. Therapeutic interventions (e.g., dressings, wound products, negative pressure, compression systems)
      4. Medications
      5. Lifestyle changes (i.e. smoking cessation, diet, nutrition)
      6. Disease process
      7. Diagnostic testing
      8. Skin care
      9. Pain management
      10. Universal precautions
      11. Positioning and mobility
  5. Administration Tasks
    1. Document patient information (e.g., medications, progress, billing, photographs)
    2. Coordinate wound care with supervisor and other team members
    3. Order and maintain equipment and supplies
    4. Disinfect equipment
    5. Follow confidentiality and security regulations
    6. Read current literature on wound care trends
    7. Recognize strength of evidenced related to research
    8. Recognize aspects of research methodology
    9. Adhere to professional ethical guidelines

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