The American Board of Wound Healing (ABWH) serves to maintain and improve the quality of wound management by evaluating professional, clinical and educational standards of practice by using an examination process which is designed to assess the medical knowledge, judgment, professionalism and clinical skills required to provide quality patient care in the fields of Wound Care and Hyperbaric Medicine. The intent of the initial certification and the maintenance of certification of wound management specialists in the United States and internationally is to provide assurance to the public that a clinician who has been granted a Certificate of Added Qualification has demonstrated high levels of clinical competence.
All certification exams offered by the ABWH are recognized and endorsed by the American College of Hyperbaric Medicine and the American Professional Wound Care Association.
Physician Certification in Hyperbaric Medicine
For physicians who do not qualify for the ABPM or ABEM Hyperbaric Board Exam, the ABWH examination process is an excellent and recommended pathway for certification. The ABWH Physician Certification in Hyperbaric Medicine will require and attest to the same basic skills and knowledge now required by the ABPM and the ABEM. It will recognize and certify hyperbaric competence for mid-career physicians who cannot divorce themselves of their practices for a full year’s hyperbaric fellowship or for those physicians who do not meet the criteria to sit for the ABPM/ABEM. It will continue provide a pathway for certification once the ABPM/ABEM closes the practice track. It will provide nationally recognized credible evidence of competence to credentials committees, UHMS Hyperbaric Accreditation Survey Teams, and the Joint Commission on Hospital Accreditation.
Physician Certification in Wound Care
The exam was written and validated by physicians, and created in response to requests from hospital credentialing committees for a certification process resulting in verification of clinical competency in wound care. Certification in the specialty of wound care is the clinician’s professional mark of achievement, and more importantly a seal of quality care for the public and patients. As a physician specific examination, the ABWH believes this exam will serve as the foundation for specialty recognition.
Certified Hyperbaric and Wound Specialist (CHWS)
The majority of hyperbaric medicine programs are conducted in conjunction with a wound care clinic and it is estimated that greater than 90% of all hyperbaric treatments are provided as therapy for the adjunctive management of ulcers, wounds and soft tissue injury.
The hyperbaric technician is no longer only relegated to operating the chamber, but as an important member of the wound care team, hyperbaric technologists are often asked to assist in the direct wound care for these patients in addition to performing their primary role as chamber operators.
The Certified Hyperbaric & Wound Care Specialist (CHWS) examination will confer dual competency as a hyperbaric and a wound care technologist and serve to recognize and distinguish the important clinical role of the technologist in the wound care environment.