Royal Free staff supports Critical Care Nursing in Zambia


In 2017 Chris Hill, practice educator in Intensive Care (ICU) at the Royal Free, spent two weeks in Zambia helping to develop a BSc Critical Care nursing course. He was based at the University Teaching Hospital in Lusaka and worked on the ICU with Critical Care nursing students and worked with Zambia’s only Critical Care nursing tutor to develop the critical care course. 

Nurses in Zambia who want to become registered critical care nurses travel from across the country to study in Lusaka. Graduates of the course go back to hospitals around Zambia and provide critical care nursing support throughout the hospital for adult and paediatric patients. The school of nursing and the Critical Care nursing tutor, want to develop the course so that graduates will be awarded a BSc (Critical Care Nursing) from the University of Zambia.

Chris  felt at home in the Intensive Care Unit “It was organised and run in basically the same way as an English ICU, I could fit in and start teaching almost immediately”. Ventilators and monitors were also very similar or the same as the UK, but there were very few pumps or syringe drivers. The supply of ‘consumables’ was very different “Everything was sterilised and reused, empty bags of IV fluids were recycled as wound drainage bags”.

Chris Hill contributed to a textbook “Critical Care Nursing in Sub-Saharan Africa: An Educational Resource”, and it is now being used as a text book on the Zambian Critical Care nursing course, and being freely distributed as a pdf.

Chris said “Zambia is a delightful country and The School of nursing   appreciated all the support that was provided. There’s still a lot of work to be done to develop this project. They’re hoping to take the first students on the new course in 2019.”