When Bill Jackson arrived at Floyd Memorial Hospital and Health Services the day before his twentieth birthday, the facility had a single X-ray room. Forty-six years later, Bill admits to seeing more than just a little change.
“When I started in 1962, I was a transporter and darkroom technician,” Bill said. “We would develop the film by hand, and it took right at an hour to get the results.” Then, a few months later, the hospital expanded its capabilities to four X-ray rooms, and the new automatic processor would develop the film in seven minutes.
“I can remember thinking that was really something,” Bill reflected. “But look at us now: Today, we are almost 100 percent digital and completely filmless. It’s hard to keep up with how much it’s changed.”
In fact, Bill made a prediction when Magnetic Resonance Imaging started to crop up at larger tertiary hospitals. “Some people said we’ll never get it at Floyd Memorial,” Bill recalled. “But I said ‘you watch, it’s coming’ and sure enough we got it. I knew we would because the hospital changed and improved annually.”
Changes in Bill’s department went hand-in-hand with changes in his career. While working as a transporter and darkroom technician, Bill began to learn the field under the direction of the hospital’s radiologists. Then, in 1967, he went to school to become a certified registered radiological technician.
“Bill was able to work his way up over the years,” said Tony Cooke, RT, director of Radiology. “He played many roles in this department, even managerial ones, and was a seasoned and integral part of our team.”
Kathy Brown, radiology systems specialist who worked with Bill for 22 years, stressed that Bill’s relationships with his co-workers made him unique, regardless of where he was in his career. “Bill was able to create a special relationship with each and every individual,” said Kathy. “Even when he was promoted to a manager, Bill never forgot what it was like to be an associate on the front lines. He always treated people with respect, and that earned him the respect of others.”
For Bill, cultivating relationships was a major part of his job – especially given his 46 years at Floyd Memorial. “I have been here for so long, and so have many of my co-workers; in fact, several of the people in my department have been here more than 30 years,” said Bill. “I have trained them and taught them and coached them – sometimes it feels like I’ve raised them.”
As for retirement, Bill and Fran, his wife of 32 years, have no concrete plans – except to take it easy. “My wife and I are going to do whatever we want to. Go out and eat breakfast, go to the riverboat, stay at home – just do what we want to do,” said Bill. As for the Radiology staff at Floyd Memorial, one thing is certain: Bill Jackson will be missed. “Bill is one of those people with a fun-loving personality,” Kathy said. “Coupling that with his kind and caring demeanor made working with him very easy. He was a huge asset to this hospital.”