Dr Michelle Beattie swapped her teaching shoes to step back into student shoes for one day only as she graduated as a Doctor of Philosophy.
Michelle is graduating alongside 117 other graduands from the Faculty of Health Sciences and Sport who studied at the University’s Highlands and Islands campuses.
She joined the Highland Campus at University of Stirling as a Nursing Lecturer in April 2011. Michelle completed her nurse training in Dundee in February 1996 and worked as a staff nurse in a general medical ward in Dundee.
She joined the Princess Mary’s Royal Air Force Nursing Service where she had a diverse nursing career before specialising in burns and moved to Inverness in 2010 with her son and husband.
Her diverse clinical and managerial background in nursing has influenced her academic pursuits in the area of health care quality improvement (QI). The ceremony’s Honorary Graduate, Dr Helen Bevan, was an early role model for Michelle’s QI enthusiasm.
“I remember hearing Helen speak at a conference when I worked in Dundee and thinking what a difference we could make to healthcare if everyone had Helen’s passion and commitment to make a difference”, said Michelle.
Michelle’s doctoral work focused on Measuring the Patient Experience of Hospital Quality of Care which resulted in the development of the Care Experience Feedback Improvement Tool (CEFIT).
She said: “There are lots of indicators used in the NHS to measure health care quality, but nothing existed to reliably capture quality of care from the patients’ perspective, that can be used by clinical teams to direct quality improvement efforts.
Michelle’s work has been published in the British Medical Journal and she is hoping her work will be used in NHS Highland and beyond.
“Research only becomes meaningful when it is used, so I want to continue working with patients and staff to see how CEFIT can be used to improve quality of care. There is still work to be done, but the tool has already attracted local and international interest.”