CWSP: 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:

CWSP Practice Examination

The CWSP Practice Examination is compiled from 75 test questions that have previously appeared on the CWSP National Board Certification Examination. Use this Practice Examination to help gauge your familiarity with each of the five 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.

CWSP Content Outline

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

  1. Wound Healing Environment
    1. Anatomy and Physiology:
      1. Integumentary
      2. Musculoskeletal
      3. Vascular
      4. Neurological
      5. Lymphatic
      6. Other Systems
    2. Wound Healing:
      1. Phases
      2. Cell function
      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. Skin substitutes
    4. Topical agents
    5. Complications in repair (including bioburden)
    6. Nutrition
    7. Biophysical technologies:
      1. Electrical stimulation
      2. Ultrasound
    8. Compression therapy
    9. Negative pressure wound therapy
    10. Oxygen therapy
    11. Pressure redistribution (i.e., offloading)
  4. Etiological Considerations
    1. Neuropathy
    2. Diabetes
    3. Venous insufficiency
    4. Ischemia
    5. Pressure ulcers
    6. Lymphedema
    7. Trauma
    8. Surgical complications
    9. Atypical wounds (e.g., malignancy)
    10. Dermatological
    11. Infectious
    12. Burns
  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 research

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

  1. Assessment & Diagnosis
    1. Obtain patient history
    2. Perform physical examination
    3. Order and interpret laboratory tests and imaging studies
      1. Arterial and venous studies
      2. TCPO2
      3. MRI
      4. MRA
      5. Ultrasound
      6. Nuclear medicine
      7. X Ray
      8. Biopsy
      9. Cultures
    4. Identify characteristics of the wound
      1. Measurement
      2. Periwound Appearance
      3. Drainage
      4. Tissue types
        1. Exuberant Granulation
        2. Friable Granulations
        3. Significance of Changes
      5. Determine etiology of the wound
        1. Arterial
        2. Venous
        3. Lymphatic
        4. Neoplastic
        5. Pressure
        6. Dermatological
        7. Surgical
          1. Compartment Syndrome
          2. Wound Dehiscence
          3. Fistula
          4. Foreign Body
        8. Traumatic/Skin Tears
        9. Burns
          1. Thermal/radiation
          2. Chemical
          3. Mechanical
          4. Electrocution
          5. Parkland Formula/Fluid Resuscitation
        10. Bites
        11. Diabetic
        12. Neuropathic
        13. Infectious
          1. Osteomyelitis
          2. Necrotizing Fasciitis
          3. Abscess
          4. Sepsis
          5. Soft Tissue
        14. Atypical
          1. Calciphylaxis
          2. Vasculitis/vasculopathy
          3. Stevens Johnson
          4. Collagen vascular disease (e.g., Lupus Erythematosus)
          5. Pyoderma Gangrenosum
      6. Determine severity of the wound
      7. Determine classification of the wound using:
        1. Wagner classification
        2. University of Texas classification
        3. NPUAP (e.g., stages I-IV, unstageable, suspected deep tissue injuries)
        4. Rule of Nines
  2. Treatment of Wounds
    1. Manage treatment of the wound using
      1. Debridement
      2. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy
      3. Electrical stimulation
      4. Contact and non-contact ultrasound
      5. Negative pressure wound therapy
      6. Compression therapy
      7. Dressings and topical agents
      8. Skin substitutes
      9. Surgical procedures
        1. Skin grafts
        2. Flaps
        3. Amputation
        4. Excision
        5. Incision and Drainage
      10. Offloading measures (e.g., beds, special shoes)
    2. Manage pharmacology
      1. Pain medications
      2. Antibiotic
      3. Systemic therapies (e.g., glucose control, transfusions)
    3. Manage complications:
      1. Bleeding
      2. Allergic reactions
      3. Adverse events
        1. Systemic
        2. Local
      4. Scarring
    4. Address nutritional deficits
    5. Arrange for consultations and referrals
      1. Burn Center
      2. Hyperbaric
      3. Endocrinology
      4. Diabetes Education
      5. Surgical
      6. Vascular
      7. Infectious Disease
      8. Physical Medicine
      9. Orthotics
      10. Social Services
      11. Nutrition
      12. Pain Management
      13. Palliative/Hospice
  3. Wound Prevention
    1. Identify and manage patient risk factors
      1. Addictions
        1. Nicotine
        2. Substance Abuse
      2. Obesity
      3. Diabetes
      4. Malnourishment
      5. Neurological deficits
      6. Orthopedic Misalignment
      7. Unstable scar
      8. Radiation therapy
      9. Chronic immunosupression
      10. Psychological
      11. Socioeconomic
      12. Residual Limb
    2. Educate patients and their families
      1. Social support
      2. Nutrition
      3. Patient responsibility/Nonadherent Patient
    3. Recommend and prescribe preventative measures to ensure patient safety
  4. Professional Issues
    1. Comply with documentation requirements
      1. Legal
      2. Reimbursement
      3. HIPAA
      4. Consent for treatment
      5. CMS "Never" Events (Present on admission)
    2. Identify and respond to issues related to medical ethics
      1. Patient competency
      2. Advance directives
      3. Off Label Treatment
      4. Indigent patients
      5. Treatment choice
    3. Identify and respond to issues related to medicoeconomics
      1. Cost consideration
      2. Physician compensation
      3. Accountable care
    4. Determine appropriate levels of care
      1. Acute
      2. Chronic
      3. Home
    5. Incorporate a critical evaluation of literature to practice
    6. Apply principles of evidence-based medicine

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