You may have had a short meeting with Alma Jackson, one of our Employee Health nurses, or seen her in the halls. She’s a friendly person, but beyond that, she is also a committed professional. Alma has a talent for translating complex research into understandable terms, and her favorite topic to work on is safety and quality.
Alma recently spoke at the national conference of the American Association of Occupational Health Nurses; her topic was Promoting Health and Safety in an Aging Workforce, which was also the subject of Alma’s dissertation for her PhD. Her topic offers simple guidance for professionals in any industry to help create safer working conditions for older workers. For example, she says, “most people don’t know that people over 60 need 2-3 times as much light to see the same thing as a 20-year old.” Alma has pitched this topic many times for organizations like 3M and Yellowstone National Park. “It doesn’t matter what industry you’re in,” says Alma, “anyone can benefit from information like this, younger workers as well as older ones. Simple things like better lighting can really improve working conditions for everyone.”
Her expertise also led her to write a chapter in a recently published handbook called High Reliability Organizations: A Healthcare Handbook for Patient Safety & Quality. The book examines ‘zero-accidents’ safety programs in high-reliability organizations, such as the airline industry, in order to improve patient safety.
Alma’s chapter explains the role of the bedside nurse in research to improve safety. The content was inspired by some of the students Alma teaches at Regis University, and their experiences in the field. The book, and Alma’s expertise could be used to design a patient safety & quality program in other healthcare organizations.
Currently, Alma is using the research and work from her dissertation to write her own handbook on safety for the elderly. Alma would like this book to be more friendly for the general public, so that anyone can learn from the information. She isn’t sure when the book will be ready for publication, but she’s excited to bring her own brand of simple explanation to improve the lives of others.