The following article features coverage from the 46th Annual Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) Congress. Click here to read more of Oncology Nurse Advisor‘s conference coverage.

New guidelines from the American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM) for the management of patients with cardiovascular implantable electronic devices (CIEDs) undergoing radiation therapy improved nurse knowledge of risks and recommendations, confidence in scheduling device checks, and communication between clinics. These findings were presented in a poster during the 46th Annual Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) Congress.

Radiation can cause changes in pacing thresholds, battery depletion, oversensing of electromagnetic signal, and ultimately CIED failure. Oncology nurses are responsible for the coordination of care between the radiation and device clinics to ensure CIEDs have not been damaged during patients’ radiation therapy.

In a single-center study, radiation oncology nurses at the Levine Cancer Institute were surveyed before and after the new guideline rollout for their knowledge and confidence in care for patients with CIEDs undergoing radiation therapy. The nurses rated their knowledge and confidence on a 5-point scale.

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After the new guideline workflow rollout, the nurses indicated their knowledge of the risk to CIEDs from radiation increased from 3.06 to 3.55 and their knowledge of the current best-practices recommendations for these patients increased from 2.76 to 3.55.

Prior to the new guidelines, protocols for device checks were largely based on manufacturer recommendations, which differed across companies. After the rollout, the nurses indicated their confidence in scheduling device checks increased from 2.47 to 3.45. They also felt their ease with communicating with the device clinic increased from 2.82 to 3.64.

These findings suggested that the rollout of the new guidelines of how to best manage patients with CIEDs undergoing radiation therapy has been successful in improving the confidence and knowledge of the nursing staff.

Read more of Oncology Nurse Advisor‘s coverage of the 46th Annual ONS Congress by visiting the conference page.


Hicks A, Hampton C. Standardization of management of cardiovascular implantable electronic devices in radiation therapy. Oncol Nurs Forum. 2021;48(2):abstr 9544.