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 (e.g., endocrine, renal, respiratory, immunologic)
    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. Cellular and/or tissue products for wounds
    4. Topical agents
    5. Complications in healing (including local and systemic factors)
    6. Nutrition
    7. Biophysical technologies
      1. Electrical stimulation
      2. Ultrasound
    8. Compression therapy
    9. Negative pressure wound therapy
    10. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy
    11. Pressure redistribution (i.e., offloading)
    12. Surgical closure or tissue transfer
  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 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. Assess
        1. Wound healing status
        2. Factors related to delayed wound healing
        3. Wound characteristics
      2. Evaluate wounds using the following standardized grading systems:
        1. ​Wagner scale
        2. NPUAP (e.g., stages, unstageable, suspectred deep tissue injuries)
        3. Rule of Nines
        4. CEAP classification
        5. Determine etiology of the wound
  2. Treatment of Wounds
    1. Manage treatment of the wounds 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. Surgical procedures (e.g., tissue grafts and flaps, cellular and/or tissue products)
      9. Offloading measures (e.g., beds, special shoes)
    2. Prescribe or manage:
      1. Analgesic medications
      2. Antimicrobial therapy
      3. Systemic therapies (e.g., glucose control, transfusions)
    3. Manage the following complications:
      1. Bleeding
      2. Allergic reactions
      3. Adverse events
      4. Scarring
      5. Infection
    4. Address and manage nutritional deficits
    5. Address psychosocial apsects of patient care
    6. Identify the need for consultation and make referrals
  3. Wound Prevention
    1. Identify and manage patient risk factors (e.g., obesity, diabetes, vascular disease)
    2. Educate patients, families and caregivers
    3. Recommend and prescribe preventative measures
  4. Professional Issues
    1. Comply with documentation requirements (e.g., legal, reimbursement)
    2. Identify and respond to issues related to medical ethics (e.g., off label use, patient competency)
    3. Identify and respond to issues related to medical economics (e.g., costs, accountable care)
    4. Determine appropriate levels of care (e.g., inpatient vs. outpatient)
    5. Incorporate a critical evaluation of literature to practice
    6. Apply principles of evidence-based medicine
    7. Adhere to guidelines and regulations (e.g., professional, governmental, credentials)
    8. Follow confidentiality and security regulations

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