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Third-generation nurse vaccinates mother, carries on tradition of service

Her grandmother vaccinated people during the polio outbreak and would always be the nurse to vaccinate her own children when it was time for their annual shots. Her mother went on to become a nurse anesthetist. For Haley Fullman, the call to serve in health care has come full circle after vaccinating her mother with the COVID-19 vaccine last month.

Fullman, who is an undergraduate student at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Nursing, volunteered to help administer the vaccine when nursing students and faculty were asked to join frontline health care workers in the fight against COVID-19.

“When I learned of the opportunity to help in the hospital, I jumped at the chance,” Fullman said. “Not only would I be able to help people, but I would also gain hands-on experience. It was too good an opportunity to pass up.”

Lisa Fullman, Haley’s mother and the assistant perioperative director for Children’s of Alabama South Outpatient Surgery and the chief nurse anesthetist, says she was proud of her daughter for wanting to answer the call to serve.

“In 30 or 40 years from now, she can look back and say she had a hand in a historic moment,” Lisa Fullman said. “I told her I thought she would be glad she did.”

When the opportunity arose for Haley Fullman to vaccinate her mother, they were both eager to make it happen.

“I was excited to give it to her,” Haley Fullman said. “I gave it to her on my first day in the COVID clinic. I had given a few before my mom came, so she was not my first. I wanted to do my best job possible. I made sure I did everything I was taught.”

“She did a great job,” Lisa Fullman said. “It didn’t hurt at all! I was so proud of her. I told her, ‘you did a great job, and I didn’t know what to expect.’”

The moment was even more meaningful because of their family history. Lisa’s mother and Haley’s grandmother, Lucy Putman, R.N., was an industrial nurse who worked for American Cast Iron Pipe Company for 30 years. She would give Lisa and her sister their vaccines when they were children.

“I wanted my daughter to be able to have that experience, even though it was the other way around,” Lisa Fullman said. “I think my mother would have been very proud of Haley. She was a great shot-giver, and so was Haley.”

For more information about the novel coronavirus, visit www.uab.edu/fightcovid19.

(Courtesy of UAB)