A University of Stirling Nursing graduate performed a career switch to follow in the family footsteps.
Saiju Palatty was one of 100 graduates at the University of Stirling’s Highlands and Islands Graduation ceremony on Friday (31 October).
Palatty, who swapped India for Inverness in 2005, called time on his marketing job in his homeland to settle in the Highlands.
With his wife a staff nurse at Raigmore Hospital and his sister and sister-in-law both nurses too, the career path was clear for Palatty, who completed an HNC in Health Care before continuing his studies at the University’s Inverness campus.
“I wanted to do nursing as I believe this is the role for me, helping the community I live in,” said Palatty. “When I started my training I was 39 and if I was in India I wouldn’t have gone to University as people at that age don’t study, they go for work.
“I always love working with people and have held previous jobs in the service industry, but with so many people in my family involved in nursing, I knew this was the degree for me and maybe my children will follow me too, though they are just in primary three and primary one at the moment.”
Palatty has already secured jobs at a local nursing home and as part of the operating theatre staff bank at Raigmore Hospital.
During his studies at Stirling he completed a placement at Nairn Town and County Hospital and carried out a quality improvement project to ensure older and vulnerable people take on enough fluids and nutrition whilst in hospital.
His fluid care bundle, which prompts nursing staff to record levels of fluid and nutrition, was recognised with a University award.
He added: “Water is provided three times a day on the patient’s table, but that doesn’t mean the water reaches the lips of the patients. That is understandable as patients are often worried or thinking about other matters, but it is essential they take on fluids and nutrition. Fluid assists fast recovery and performs critical roles like taking medication to the right places in the body.
“The fluid care bundle is a checklist there on the table next to each patient and allows the nursing staff to monitor fluid intake. It takes just two minutes to complete, but makes such a difference.
“The support and guidance I received whilst at the University of Stirling was fantastic, it meant all I needed to bring was the motivation. The fact the Stirling degree now includes the quality improvement project gives me an edge on other Nursing graduates and makes a big difference in my day to day practice and care delivery.”
Michelle Beattie, Nursing Lecturer at the University of Stirling Highland Campus, said: “Saiju’s quality improvement project was an excellent piece of work. The project is important as student nurses have the advantage of seeing things with fresh eyes and can come up with great ideas for improving aspects of care. We have been delighted with the results as many students have made real improvements in practice.”
The graduation ceremony at Inverness Cathedral on Friday afternoon recognised graduates from Nursing and from a wide range of other qualifications including in Mental Health Professional Practice, Child Welfare and Aquaculture. The ceremony also saw the conferment of two honorary degrees. Professor Faith Gibson OBE presented with Doctor of the University in recognition of her outstanding contribution to social work and dementia care.
The final Autumn Graduation ceremony takes place on the central Stirling campus on Friday 21 November.