2012 Compassion Award Recipient

Elaine Richards

LPN, Edmonton General

LPN models compassionate care with every gesture

Compassion by definition is the sympathetic consciousness of others' distress together with a desire to alleviate it. Elaine Richards' innate ability for compassion is one of the many reasons she has been recognized by her staff in the form of this Covenant Health Mission Award for Compassion nomination.

“With Elaine it is never one big dramatic event that shows her compassion for all, it is a hundred little things that she does every day that make her value to us stand out.” says her manager Tracy Tingey.

Only ever expressing frustration when she feels an injustice on behalf of her residents, Tracy continues, “when Elaine walks on the floor of 4AB, a feeling of 'everything's going to be ok' is felt by those who depend on her, as well as by those who work alongside her.”

The incident that first motivated Tracy to recognize Elaine was her compassionate actions for a dying resident. Staff knew that this patient was near the end of her life but her actual passing happened much quicker than expected. When family members were unable to make it in time, Elaine was there to hold this very dear resident in her arms and whisper to her, reassuring her, as she took her final breaths. “What more could anyone want but to go peacefully, being comforted by another?”

The challenge of balancing compassionate care with the clinical side of nursing is one that Elaine handles with ease and patience. She is not afraid to sometimes blur the boundary of caregiver and family at times when love and empathy are most needed. A hug, a kind word or simply looking a person in the eye when caring for them—these intimate moments make a world of difference to everyone that Elaine encounters.


Past Recipients

Read the 2011 Compassion Award recipient story


Read the 2011 Compassion Award nominees stories

Read the 2012 Compassion Award nominees stories