Nursing alumnus helps accelerate Foundation chair’s ICU recovery
By: Dean Glorioso
The fear and loneliness of an intensive care unit can be devastating.
When Palm Beach State College Foundation Board Chair Ricky Wade found himself at Good Samaritan Medical Center, he expected quality care but not from who would give it, his own good Samaritan.
Wade spent 17 solitary days in the ICU. “The nights were the worst,” recalls Wade. “I was afraid to sleep, the anxiety unbearable.”
Several nights into his stay, Wade was greeted with something unexpected: a familiar voice. “Is that you, Mr. Wade?”
Palm Beach State graduate and registered nurse David Baldeo had been working the night shift at Good Samaritan. During his time at the College, he was the student representative on the Foundation Board with Wade guiding him as a mentor for several years. Now, the student was poised to be the mentor, a caregiver when he was needed most.
Immediately, the miserable nights that haunted Wade became tolerable as he looked forward to Baldeo spending extra time with him, an intangible that would bring solace and help accelerate Wade’s recovery.
As a high school senior, Baldeo began his academic journey with the College’s early admissions program in fall 2014, leading to Associate in Arts and RN degrees. Earning his Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Palm Beach State in 2019, Baldeo took his first position with Wellington Regional Medical Center.
“The hands-on skills training of PBSC’s nursing program gave me tremendous confidence when I started working in the field,” recalls Baldeo, commending his professors and program.
Today, Baldeo is giving back as an instructor with Palm Beach State, teaching in the nursing program’s clinical rotations and skills lab and assisting with their progress as future medical professionals. “It is a great pleasure working as a nursing professor at Palm Beach State. As a graduate of the nursing program, I am able to have an up-to-date perspective with these students because I generally understand what they are going through as a nursing student in the same program that I completed.”
Wade’s time with Baldeo reflects the impact Palm Beach State is having on real lives throughout Palm Beach County. Since recovering, Wade has kept in touch with Baldeo, who has earned his Master of Science in Nursing from Palm Beach Atlantic University in May 2022, and is on his way to completing a doctorate in nursing practice to become a family nurse practitioner.
Baldeo values his role not only in this story but also in those still to come. “God’s plan of allowing me the opportunity to maneuver my education and be able to give back to countless people truly is a blessing.”
In recognition of Palm Beach State College’s 90th anniversary, the weekly Alumni Spotlight Series showcases the College’s role in preparing generations of graduates to achieve success in myriad careers and give back to their local communities.