To celebrate International Women's Day, we sat down with our new Patient & Clinical Services Director (Designate), Caroline Rudoni. Caroline has had an impressive career, while taking on single motherhood and we're so happy to welcome her join the CliniMed/ SecuriCare team.
Can you explain your background and your journey to where you are today?
I completed my nursing degree in Bristol and moved over to Surrey and took my first role at St. Georges Hospital in South-West London. I quickly gained experience as a Junior Sister and then took a 6-week secondment in Stoma Care Nursing. It was during these 6 weeks that I found my passion and decided that I would like to move into Stoma Care full time.
I applied for a role in Stoma Care and then spent the next 17 years working and managing the stoma care department at St. Georges Hospital, working alongside two other stoma care nurses. This role was so varied, and I loved it. The environment was so busy, and we were the regional centre for neonates, paediatrics and urology as well as a trauma centre, so we would look after patients who had both planned and emergency surgery. We covered both hospital and community, so I managed to experience different environments outside the hospital setting.
During this time, I started a family and had 2 wonderful boys. After a year’s maternity leave, I decided to have a part time and term time contact to give me an opportunity to balance motherhood and my career.
As my children got older, I realised I loved what I was doing, but I wanted a new challenge and so I ventured into the commercial world and joined Convatec/ Amcare as a Nurse Manager, where I spent the next 8 years.
During my time at Convatec/Amcare, I looked at clinical governance, managed a team of nurses as well as working in education and medical affairs, to provide education for stoma care nurses.
I was then promoted and became the Director of Nurses/Clinical Services. I managed a nursing team across the UK and Ireland as well as the community sales team who provided market access, looking for opportunities that were available for the nurses in the community.
It was taking on this more senior role that I decided to start working again on a full-time basis.
In 2021, I decided that I wanted a change. The industry has changed so much over the years, and I felt that CliniMed/SecuriCare would be a brilliant next step for my career and be involved in a company that shared my values and passion for making progress and positive change within the medical sector.
I started my new role as Patient & Clinical Services Director (Designate) in January 2022 and I’m so honoured to have been selected to take on this role.
I now manage a large nursing team as well as the patient services team and pharmacy, which is an amazing opportunity.
What made you want to go into a career in healthcare?
As I was growing up, I always thought I was going to go into accountancy or nursing. My dad and brother are both in finance, so I always had an interest in going into the finance sector.
However, at the age of 15, a hockey injury left me needing surgery and resulted in a 2-week hospital stay while I recovered. I was so impressed by the whole environment, watching the nurses care for patients and the passion they had for their careers, I left the hospital knowing that being a nurse was the path for me.
How have your first 3 months at CliniMed been so far?
I’ve found that everyone is so friendly, and it’s been such a welcoming organisation to move into.
The entire organisation shares the same values, and everyone has the same goals.
Everyone is so helpful, and I always know there is someone I can pick up the phone to if I need anything. The team works together so seamlessly, and I feel like I can communicate easily with my team and others throughout the business.
How does it make you feel to be a woman in a senior role within large company?
It makes me really proud. When you start your career you never really think about where you might end up and I’m so happy with what I’ve achieved. We’re starting to see more and more women welcomed into senior roles now, but I think many companies still have a long way to go.
I feel so honoured to come into this position and work alongside 3 directors and a Managing Director who are all male. It’s amazing to feel so welcomed into this environment and that I’m respected equally among my colleagues.
What is your proudest achievement, personal or professional?
My proudest achievement is my children. I’m so proud that my boys have turned out to be such wonderful, kind people and I’m proud of myself for managing to raise them as a single mum for the last 6 years as well as pursue my career and achieve professional goals.
I feel very privileged to say that I feel I’ve managed to successfully managed motherhood and a career and overcome the challenges of feeling as though I’m not doing enough for either one.
Is there anyone that inspires you in your career?
I wouldn’t say there is just one person, everyone I’ve come into contact in my life has shaped me into the person I am now.
Throughout my career I’ve met some truly amazing people, both in and out of the healthcare industry. But I would say some of my biggest inspiration comes from my patients. There are some patients and their families you get to know very well, and they made me feel as though the care I gave them really made a huge difference to their life.
This inspired me to want other nurses to be able to feel just as good and provide the same level of care to their patients.
I’m so happy to say that I’ve been in stoma care for 30 years and I still wake up every day and I love what I do.
What tips would you give someone who is looking to pursue a career in the healthcare industry?
I would say, find something that you enjoy and follow your own path. By finding something you enjoy, it makes the learning and the journey much easier. That enjoyment will turn into passion and when you’re passionate about something, it pushes you on in your career, because you keep wanting to improve and take the next step.
Why do you think it is important to celebrate International Women’s Day?
I think a lot of senior roles are still male dominated and I think it’s important to show that females are often still seen as the lead caregiver for families and are sometimes expected not to take on a challenging career at the same time. Women are often the ones that take a career break or work part time to look after children or other family members. I think that’s why it’s important to me to share my story to show that you can still look after your family and pursue your dream career at the same time. It’s always a juggling act but it’s just about finding the balance that works for you.
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by SecuriCare Team
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