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Letter from Zambia 5: A refreshing response to a writing workshop

Since 2014, nurses and nursing students from the UK have been visiting Zambia and working with the Ministry of Health there to help develop critical care nursing. In the latest of a series of blogs Majors Chris Carter and Sue Viveash describe how they encouraged Zambian colleagues to write articles for publication, holding a workshop and giving tutorials to put them on the path to sharing their experiences with a wider audience.

Since 2014, nurses and nursing students from the UK have been visiting Zambia and working with the Ministry of Health there to help develop critical care nursing. In the latest of a series of blogs Majors Chris Carter and Sue Viveash describe how they encouraged Zambian colleagues to write articles for publication, holding a workshop and giving tutorials to put them on the path to sharing their experiences with a wider audience

zambia blog
Young doctors and nurses in training at a hospital in the Ikelenge district of Zambia.
Picture: Alamy

Today we met with our nurse tutor peers to facilitate a writing for publication workshop. We began the session by asking the tutors what they believed the barriers were to writing an article for publication.

Unsurprisingly, lack of motivation, making time to write alongside busy personal and professional lives and lack of knowledge of the process were common themes shared by us all.

However, a major factor for Zambian academics is the lack of ready access to current and appropriate published research within their chosen area of practice, something that we take for granted in the UK.

Inspired to begin

Our colleagues found the information on the stages of writing and submitting an article helpful, and towards the end of the session were inspired to draft the beginnings of a paper.

We have offered to mentor them through the process, through one-to-one tutorials while we remain in the country and then by email when we return to the UK.

The response to our session was rewarding and refreshing, as they seemed genuinely excited by the chance to share their experiences and add to the knowledge base in the international arena. While we are unsure how this will develop, it is an interesting collaboration between two universities.


Major Chris Carter is a critical care nurse and nurse educator, and is chair of the RCN's defence nursing forum. Major Sue Viveash is a nurse educator. Both are at the Defence School of Healthcare Education, Department of Healthcare Education, which is co-located at Birmingham City University

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