When Devon Ballentine returns to work Monday it will be alongside the woman he spent the weekend celebrating with.
Ballentine is set to become a medical-surgical nurse at UCLA Medical Center, Santa Monica, where his mother works as a maternity nurse. Ballentine’s job at the Medical Center is unique not only because he’ll be working with the woman who gave birth to him, but also because he’ll be working in the very hospital he was born in.
“It’s nice to share the experience,” Geduld said. “We have a lot to talk about, life, work and experience. I’ve told him it’s hard work, but it’s gratifying work.”
The medical field has deep roots in the Geduld/Ballentine family tree.
Geduld’s mother was a dietician, exposing her to a hospital work environment relatively young. At just 16 years of age, Geduld was helping her mother around her workplace with various tasks such as cleaning test tubes.
During college, Geduld was initially on track to become a medical technologist but “didn’t like the idea of looking at telescopes all day.” Yearning for day-to-day human interaction, she switched her major and got into nursing.
For decades she’s held her nursing job and as a single mother, too.
Once divorced, Geduld says she chose to have her son on weekdays so she could do Mom Things with him. “I volunteered, did the field trips, did a lot of that stuff,” Gedudl said. “I was there for him going to the park, parties for when his friends were over, giving them rides, all that. I was tired, but I loved it.”
During these Mom Thing tasks and as he grew, Geduld would talk about her job with Ballentine. She says Ballentine was initially unsure of what he’d do for a career, but eventually, mom’s words enticed him.
“When I came home I’d talk about work, when I picked him up, I talked about it and I think deep down he liked the idea of my relationships with my patients,” Geduld said. “Hard job, very stressful, but at the end of the day, you feel good about what you’ve done. Not a lot of jobs can say that.”
Ballentine went to UCLA, graduating in 2016, and began an accelerated nursing-degree program at the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences. While in Massachusetts, he applied to UCLA’s new-grad program and was accepted.
He’s now just finishing up orientation as a medical-surgical nurse. He has no qualms with the career he’s chosen, especially as it brings him closer to mom. The two now share a livelihood, a life come full-circle for both.
“I could not be happier with my choice,” he says. “I’m learning so much. It’s a perfect career.”
“We always had a good bond, but our jobs have brought us together,” Geduld said. “The conversations we have now, talking about different medical situations, what to do, sharing a lot of information… It’s been nice. I’m proud of him.”