Major Chris Carter not only teaches the next generation of critical care nurses for the British Armed Forces, but also leads a medical programme in Zambia…

Ten years ago, senior nurse Chris Carter took a risk which would prove to be life changing – leaving a job that he loved in the NHS for a leap in the dark – a career with the British Army. It was a choice that not only changed his life, but arguably it also changed the lives of many Zambians critically in need of nursing care.

Because his decision not only led to a new job, it also indirectly opened the door to a new and unexpected adventure when, rich in operational experience, he later answered a call for volunteers to go to Zambia to teach critical care.

A rewarding experience in the making, but he wasn’t expecting to end up heading a team which would be collaborating internationally and leading a program which would have a national impact on the future health care set up in a sub Saharan Commonwealth country.

A decade later, Chris, 39, is now a Major in the Queen Alexandra Royal Army Nursing Corps, and all of his aspirations have been answered, and more. Today he is a critical care nurse and a nurse lecturer working in the Defence School of health-care education, a military unit embedded in Birmingham City University.

There he heads up a team responsible for training the Armed Forces future student nurses. He has a tour of duty of Afghanistan tucked under his Sam Browne belt, as well as other deployments to the Middle East.

For many that would be more than enough to keep them occupied. But the urge to serve is strong in Major Chris Carter. Which is why in 2015 he answered an ad in a medical journal for volunteers to set up a critical nursing care program in sub Saharan Africa. And so, his intense relationship with the Commonwealth country of Zambia began.

Looking at the list of skills and life experience that the job called for, it was clear that Chris had just what the doctor ordered. And as far as he is concerned it’s his career in the Army that he has to thank for that.

He said: “In the Army, it’s not that they give you opportunities as such, they are available, and if you seek them out, and work hard for them, then you can get there.”

Read more about Chris and his adventures in Zambia here.