Hero in Health: Nina Gerrior

Kindness is key in health care

Nina Gerrior:  Admitting & Registration, Emergency Department, Peter Lougheed Centre

Nina brings kindness to every encounter. She compassionately cares for those who turn up at the Emergency Department and helps to ease the anxieties of patients and family members. Her work ethic, compassion, and devotion to patient care are what make Nina a Hero in Health!

In the family

When Nina Gerrior talks about her work in Emergency Department Admitting at Peter Lougheed Centre, she begins by talking about her family. Specifically, she brings up her mother. Her matriarch is so important to Nina, she brought a photo of her to her Heroes in Health interview.

This makes sense when you consider that Nina, a 22-year veteran of AHS, is not only a proud team member of the Emergency Department but is also proudly Indigenous.

Her mother grew up on Spotted Island, eventually taking a government boat to Cape Breton in search of a better life. She later moved to Nova Scotia where she raised Nina, her brother, and her five sisters.

Spotted Island, a tiny speck of land off the east coast of Labrador, was historically an Inuit whaling station.

Nina’s mother, who turned 80 in July of 2023, is a resilient woman who survived the residential school system, raised her seven children as a single parent, and worked as a health care aid assistant to support her family.

Despite the adversity she faced, Nina’s mother taught her children one important lesson: to be kind.

She instilled in her children the importance of helping people, to offer peace to every person they meet, and to identify with peace in their soul—that’s the Inuit way.

And that’s what Nina does every day in her role in the Emergency Department. Responsible for patient admitting and registration, she works with diverse populations. From mental health patients to the city’s homeless population to those suffering other forms of trauma, Nina meets people where they are at and does it with compassion and kindness.

Without Nina’s compassionate touch when admitting patients, their experience in the ER would be exponentially more stressful. If people are mean to her and others, she remembers to offer them her heart. Not everyone is as lucky to have the support of family as she does, nor the love and guidance of a mother like hers.

Nina recognizes that many of the people she admits on a daily basis are not as fortunate.

Nina’s supervisor and nominator, Agnes Veckenstedt, had this to say about her: “I watch her work and notice the small touches she adds to ensure front-facing patient care is delivered with the utmost compassion. I admire her work ethic and her passion for her critical role as a PLC Emergency Department admitting and registration clerk.”

When asked what advice she’d give others who work in health care, Nina suggested to never forget why they do the work. Her and her fellow health care colleagues wouldn’t have jobs without their patients, and she emphasizes to never forget to have empathy and to be kind.

Thank you, Nina, for sharing your mother’s wisdom with us and for offering exemplary care to those you serve.

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