Research Article| Volume 58, P39-46, March 2023

“Finding the Way in the Dark”- Working experience of specific-duty-post nurses in a nurse-led in-hospital pulmonary rehabilitation program: A qualitative study

Published:November 11, 2022DOI:


      • Initiating the position of SDP PR nurse requires adequate preparation and multidisciplinary support.
      • SDP PR nurses have transition shock, and many factors affect their adaption.
      • Independent management is essential for department of SDP PR nurses.
      • Optimization requires initial and ongoing management and policy adjustments.



      The globally low access to pulmonary rehabilitation can be attributed to the shortage of competent professionals. Setting up specific-duty-post nurses in pulmonary rehabilitation is a novel attempt to solve it. However, their work experience in this position has not been examined.


      To describe the working experience of special-duty-post pulmonary rehabilitation nurses to improve the efficiency of this mode and provide guidance for management hospitals contemplating setting up and optimizing this position.


      A descriptive phenomenology qualitative approach with semi-structured in-depth interviews was adopted.


      Fourteen special-duty-post pulmonary rehabilitation nurses were recruited by purposive and snowball sampling from May to July 2021. Four main themes emerged: finding the way in the dark, meeting qualifications and requirements, seeking independence, and anticipating better development. The lack of relevant standards, inadequate support, and variation in chronic respiratory diseases had made them felt like they were finding their way in the dark. As a result of meeting new requirements and qualifications, they experienced role transition shock. Moreover, they were seeking a clear role boundary and independence to foster their sense of belonging. They suggested ways that future management and policies could nurture them to invest more in pulmonary rehabilitation development.


      Developing detailed working standards before work begins and providing adequate support, especially from pulmonologists was key. Compared to a clinical position, this position requires a high level of specialty knowledge, communication skills, self-learning, innovative ability, decision-making, and resilience. Special-duty-post pulmonary rehabilitation nurses suggested ways that tailored management based on the identified factors could counteract their transition shock. A clear role boundary and independence help foster belongingness. To maximize effectiveness and overcome challenges requires identifying obstacles to success, initiating strategies to overcome these and ongoing efforts to promote interdisciplinary support of the role.



      SDP (Specific-duty-post), PR (Pulmonary rehabilitation), ICU (Intensive care unit)
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