Brazilian Nurses Use Pocket Cards as an Evidence-Based Solution to Enhance Nursing Team Competencies

May 30, 2024 by Magdalen Millman Staff Editor I

Nurses who specialize in oncology need specific knowledge and skills to ensure they are prepared to deliver high-quality patient care. That need is particularly pressing in low- and middle-income countries.

Pocket cards are a quick, accessible, and effective learning tool that can enhance team competencies. During a poster session ( on April 26, 2024, for the 49th Annual ONS Congress®, a team of Brazilian oncology nurses described ( their evidence-based practice (EBP) project to create recommendations for using pocket cards to address ongoing educational needs among nursing staff.

In underserved regions, resource constraints may limit nursing teams’ ability to obtain continual educational development. Pocket cards and other educational tools offer a means to bridge this gap. To evaluate the utility of pocket cards and develop recommendations for their use, nurse researchers at Albert Einstein Israelite Hospital in São Paulo, Brazil, conducted an EBP project. The question "For the education of nurses in oncology units, is the use of pocket cards compared to other teaching/learning strategies effective in team knowledge acquisition?" guided their literature search. After reviewing 10 studies that met their search criteria, the nurse researchers made a final recommendation to use pocket cards in inpatient and outpatient care settings.

To implement the recommendation, the study team surveyed nursing leadership to prioritize pocket card topics. The hospital’s nurse leaders ranked chemotherapy, fertility preservation, immunotherapy, radiation, sepsis, sexuality, and late effects of cancer treatment as the highest priorities.

By supporting nurses across the globe in gaining the knowledge necessary for high-quality patient care, pocket cards can enhance nursing competency and improve patient care, the speakers concluded.

Oncology nurses have access to a full complement of educational pocket cards in the ONS Huddle Card Library ( The cards provide bite-sized education in an easy-to-understand one-page resource, focusing on topics such as safe handling and scope and standards of practice. Nursing teams can use them as quick review during change in shift huddles, in-services, or staff meetings.

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