CWCA: How to Prepare

In compliance with National Accrediting Standards, the AAWM 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.

Find out more

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
      1. Integumentary
      2. Musculoskeletal
      3. Vascular
      4. Neurological
      5. Lymphatic
    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
    9. Documentation
  3. Patient Management
    1. Wound Bed Preparation/Debridement
    2. Dressings
    3. Topical Agents
    4. Complications in Repair (Including Bioburden)
    5. Nutrition
    6. Compression Therapy
    7. Negative Pressure Wound Therapy
    8. Pressure Redistribution (i.e. Offloading)
    9. Patient Adherence
  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 (i.e. Malignancy)
    10. Dermatological
    11. Infectious
    12. Burns

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

  1. Patient Preparation Tasks
    1. Perform lifting and transfer techniques
    2. Assist in obtaining health and medication history
    3. Obtain recent nutritional history and needs
    4. Take and monitor vital signs
    5. Position patient for treatment
    6. Obtain blood glucose level
    7. Prepare wound for photography
    8. Set up sterile field
    9. Set up for procedures
    10. Prepare wound for procedures
    11. Follow infection control guidelines for patient care
  2. Patient Assessment Tasks
    1. Assess:
      1. Circulatory status (i.e. ankle/brachial index, Doppler, pulses)
      2. Risk of pressure ulcer development
      3. Level of pain
      4. Edema
      5. Functional status
      6. Nutritional status
    2. Evaluate skin for color, swelling and temperature
    3. Identify and document wound and periwound characteristics (i.e. stage, tissue type)
    4. Identify cognitive abilities
    5. Review results of laboratory or diagnostic tests
    6. Measure wound dimensions - length, width, depth
    7. Measure wound tunneling and/or undermining
    8. Photograph wound
    9. Perform monofilament testing
  3. Treatment tasks
    1. Apply and/or remove:
      1. Dressings
      2. Compression devices
      3. Barrier products
      4. Staples or sutures
      5. Offloading systems
    2. Assist with:
      1. Application of skin substitute
      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
  4. Education Tasks
    1. Educate patient/family regarding:
      1. Offloading and/or pressure relief
      2. Wound care rationale
      3. Therapeutic interventions (i.e. dressings, wound products, negative pressure)
      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 (including handwashing)
      11. Positioning and mobility
      12. Use of compression systems
  5. Administration Tasks
    1. Document patient information (i.e. 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. Orient and train staff
    6. Maintain HIPAA privacy and security
    7. Apply knowledge of reimbursement and medical economics to practice
    8. Incorporate medical ethics into practice (i.e. palliative care, reasonable expectation of outcomes)
    9. Use evidence based practice and research to guide patient care