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Ruth’s career change into Children’s Complex Care

Ruth Karumba, a registered nurse, is the newest member of Children’s Complex Care nursing team. She’s been a qualified adult nurse for seven years and has recently changed career paths slightly, delivering care and support specifically for children and young people instead.

In this Q&A, Ruth discusses her career move, why she travels from Manchester to London to work for us and shares her Voyage Care recruitment experience so far!

Hi Ruth! Welcome to Voyage Care! Can you tell us about your background and experience?

Yes, so happy to be here! I’ve been nurse for about seven years. I qualified in 2014 and started doing cardiology initially. I then started supporting people in intermediate care settings like rehabilitation and have been working for the NHS with adults, mostly over 60’s, ever since.

What made you want a career change to work with children?

A lot of it is to do with COVID-19. It was really challenging. When we were locked down, everyone, including myself, was scared and we didn’t really know what to expect when we went into work. We just had to try our best to care for the patients we had. That was our job.

It was tough and the pandemic put things into perspective for me, especially because I’ve got kids and they caught COVID-19 too.

It made me realise a lot of people are struggling, especially children and young people and it just felt like the right time to make a change for me and move into a more nurturing role.

How have you found the transition?

Initially I thought it was going to be very hard and I was nervous. I’m a mother and I was worried about how it I might feel seeing a child that you need to look after. But the team have been great and have helped me to settle in and I realised I had nothing to worry about!

Caring for children is very different from caring for adults as I feel very involved and responsible.  The family I’m supporting at the moment have never had carers before and the parents are still getting used to having me around, so I feel like I’m walking on a journey with them.

It’s a very difficult time for them but I feel like I’m helping and can see the difference it makes to them. That satisfaction of helping somebody and knowing you’re doing something for somebody when they’re going through a difficult time, makes it all worth it.

Describe your recruitment experience with Voyage Care?

It was so amazing. The team were helpful, especially as everything is now online, and way they handled it all was so refreshing.

They had great communication and when they needed to contact me, they text me first or sent me an email before calling me to check what times are best and what they need from me.

They’ve also been really understanding and offered lots of flexibility, which is brilliant because, as a mother, I need to sort my children out too.

The training was excellent. I’ve learnt so much! I already had the basic nurse skills and experience, but they provided paid training to give me skills to support the specific child I would be working with. And, because I live in Manchester, they sent a trainer up here to deliver the training. They’re just great people.

And you commute from Manchester to London to work with us? Wow! How are you finding it?

Well initially when I started, I was a bit dubious about the commute. But I spoke with the team, and they said I could trial it to see if I would like it.

My foster Mum and Dad live in London, so I stay there while I’m working and then I go back to Manchester after. The team have worked hard to make the rota I work on flexible and have grouped my shifts together, so it doesn’t impact my family too much. The only problem is the traffic!

But I love it, and now I don’t think I’ll leave here. I don’t think there’s anything I’d change to leave this team; they’ve been so supportive and have become a little family to me.

Be like Ruth – make a difference!

We’re so proud to have someone as amazing as Ruth join our team. You could be like Ruth too! If you’re looking for a role where you can make a real difference to the lives of children and young people, apply for a job in our Children’s Complex Care team!

We’re currently looking for nurses and healthcare assistants to work with children and young people in their own homes or supporting them to enjoy life out in the community. Full training is provided, and you’ll be supported by an experienced team that want you to succeed.

Apply today! Email or call the recruitment team on 0207 407 7704.