How to pick the best wound care certification to fit your role

wound care certification

If you’re working in wound care and seeking to earn wound care certification, kudos because your skills are in great demand.

Carole Jakucs

By Carole Jakucs, MSN, RN, PHN

“The wound care industry in general lacks enough knowledgeable clinicians to handle the challenges of chronic wounds, as rarely is comprehensive wound care training included during college training of all disciplines, this includes MDs, NPs, PAs, RNs, PTs, OTs and LVNs,” said Bill Richlen, PT, WCC, DWC, one of our clinical wound care instructors.

The lack of standardized, pervasive wound care training for clinicians, sets the foundation for why clinicians working with wound patients on a routine basis, may want to get certified in wound care, said Richlen, who also owns Infinitus LLC, in Santa Claus, Ind., a wound care instruction and consulting company.

If you’re having difficulty trying to decide which wound care certification to start with, the info below may be just what you’re looking for to help you decide which certification route to go.

Who should consider wound care certification?

Richlen advises that any clinician working on a day-to-day basis in wound care should strongly consider enrolling in formal wound care training before getting certified.

“If you decide to get certified, you’ll be experiencing comprehensive training in that process, and you need to complete all the training to be eligible to sit for the exam,” he said.

Wound care certified (WCC) open to all clinicians

In addition to having experience in wound care and a solid foundation of wound care knowledge, each wound care certification has different prerequisites and requirements, Richlen said.

“The wound care certified (WCC) certification is the most inclusive of the certs as clinicians from all disciplines and from various educational levels can undergo this training and sit for this exam,” he said.

The course that prepares our students for this certification is the skin and wound management course.

Ostomy management specialist (OMS) also open to all clinicians

The ostomy management specialist (OMS) training we offer also is open to all clinicians just like the WCC.

“The OMS certification is helpful if you’re working with ostomy patients on a regular basis,” Richlen said.

On the flip side, the wound ostomy certified nurse (WOCN) is specific only to nurses and requires at least a bachelor’s degree, Richlen said.

Diabetes wound certification (DWC) for working with patients with diabetes

For clinicians who routinely work with diabetes patients and their wounds, they’d want to consider our diabetes wound management course. Once completed, it makes you eligible to sit for the diabetes wound certified certification (DWC) exam, Richlen said.

“If you’re only working with these patients on a rare or occasional basis, the basic WCC would serve you well,” he said. “If not, DWC is specific to diabetes so if diabetic patients are the majority of your patients, the DWC would be a good way to go.”

NWCC is a nutrition and wound certification open to RDs and RDNs

There is a skin and wound management course we offer that is designed specifically for nutrition professionals such as, registered dietitians (RDs) and registered dietitian nutritionists (RDNs) who find themselves working with wound care patients, said Richlen.

“Completing this class and fulfilling the other requirements allows RDs and RDNs to sit for the Nutrition Wound Care Certified (NWCCTM) Examination.”

Richlen said it’s important to keep in mind that just because a clinician becomes certified, it does not make them an expert.

“Having an alphabet soup after one’s name does not necessarily provide you with expertise,” Richlen said. “Getting certified provides the potential for a clinician to become an expert. Getting certified is a big step toward that goal.”

Some clinicians base their practice on personal opinions and not facts, Richlen said.

“We need to treat patients using facts and evidence-based care, not feelings and opinions,” he said. “An expert participates in the process of continuous learning by attending conferences, reading wound care journals, staying up to date on evidence-based treatments and products for their patients with wounds, and engages in the practice using solid evidence on their patients — this is a true expert.”

Learn more about wound care today with one of our courses.

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Carole Jakucs, MSN, RN, PHN, is a full-time freelance writer. Her background in nursing includes tenures in healthcare management and as a care provider. She has worked in med/surg/telemetry, pediatric emergency department and college health. She’s a health and fitness enthusiast, studies dance and enjoys cooking.

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