An ICU nurse who has recently returned from Zambia where he delivered critical care training to local staff – including helping them to set up renal transplant care - said the trip was “incredibly rewarding”.

Chris Hill, a clinical practice educator at the Royal Free Hospital, spent two weeks at the University Teaching Hospital in Lusaka, the capital of Zambia, where he helped build up the level of ITU training, giving staff the tools to pass on the teaching to their colleagues.

Chris said: “I was helping develop diploma courses and masters courses as well as teaching. I’ve been a practice educator for 20 years and have had a variety of roles in critical care education. It’s been incredibly rewarding for me doing this work in Zambia – courses are expanding there but it’s still a very difficult place to work in terms of resources so you have to adapt accordingly.

“I would really encourage Royal Free London colleagues to consider working trips like this as they can be hugely beneficial. I do this in my annual leave and it definitely makes you appreciate what you have and to not sweat the small stuff. It also gives you a totally different insight and perspective on healthcare. I would definitely recommend it to nursing colleagues seeking a challenge.”

This is the third time Chris has been to Zambia and with his previous trips he has benefitted from the William Marsden Scholarship but this time his visit was funded by Health Education England.

He said: “For me I think when you are working it can feel like you can only make incremental change and of course this is an opportunity to make a much bigger difference. The staff in Zambia were about to begin renal transplants and that was something I had experience of so could bring those insights to the table.” 

The William Marsden scholarship provides up to £5,000 to enable a registered nurse or midwife from the trust to share their expertise, knowledge and skills within developing or underprivileged communities in the UK or overseas. 

(Main picture: Chris Hill with nursing staff at University Teaching Hospital in Lusaka and pictured below at the RFH, before mandatory mask wearing)