At 40, Jill Fuller is finally working her dream job, as a mother-baby nurse at Adventist Hinsdale Hospital.
The work not only uses Fuller’s nurturing capabilities, it brings full circle a family tradition. All six of Jill and Adam Fuller’s children were born at Hinsdale Hospital. Adam and his six siblings were also born there.
“There is such a caring nature to the whole environment,” Fuller said. “Kindness just comes out of everyone.”
Fuller was a 20-year-old mother when she gave birth to her first child, Jack Fuller, now 19. She had no previous experience with babies and breastfeeding was a new concept. But hospital staff was anxious to help Fuller and answer her questions.
“They wanted to send me off with more knowledge than when I first arrived,” Fuller said.
Similar considerations also eased Fuller through the sadness of two miscarriages. The losses occurred 17 and 13 years ago, but Fuller still receives postcards — and now emails — keeping her up-to-date on resources to help with grieving.
“They’re still making sure I know about different events in their miscarriage program,” Fuller said. “This hospital thinks of every little thing.”
While raising her children — Jack as well as Riley, 18; Madeline, 16; Wyatt; 15; Griffin, 12; and Charlie, 10 — the occasional hospital visit has been inevitable. Each time, Fuller experienced the same compassion, no matter what department treated them.
“The whole environment is nurturing. We always had a great service,” Fuller said. “The hospital has a wonderful community feel.”
As much as Fuller relishes motherhood, as her children grew, she contemplated how she could translate her mothering abilities into a full-time career. That’s when Fuller decided to take her hospital experiences and pass them on to other new mothers.
“Nursing is a stressful job, so you have to do it for someone else; it’s a selfless thing,” Fuller said. “I thought I could do that because, as a mother, I did that every single day and I felt good about it.”
Around the same time, Fuller’s father came to live with her while receiving hospice care. After watching the job the nurses did,” Fuller enrolled in the nursing program at the College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn.
“The kids appreciate me more,” Fuller said. “I’m no longer just ‘mom.’”
In October 2013, Fuller began working at Hinsdale Hospital as a nurse intern, working with patient care technicians, said Nariza Bangayan, manager of the labor and delivery and mother-baby unit.
“Because she was a patient here herself, she understands what the mothers on our unit need,” Bangayan said. “She contributes to the team and helps provide the best experience possible for our patients.”
In January, Fuller was officially hired on as a nurse. Her nurse certification is complete, and she will graduate in the summer of 2014 with her bachelor’s degree in nursing from Purdue University in Indiana.
“I’m so incredibly happy I got this job,” Fuller said. “I’m now answering the same questions I once had and telling new moms, ‘You’ll be great.’ It’s such a beautiful thing to watch a mother and father with their children. To see that every single day is such a blessing.”