Using her creativity, ingenuity, and available resources to enhance care, Kate Gonzales demonstrates excellence as an oncology ICU nurse. Whether an emergency, end of life, or a special moment, Kate courageously ensures that all voices are heard and respected. When a patient, who Kate spent months caring for, was melancholy about how to celebrate her husband’s birthday, Kate devised a plan to restore her power and contribute to her joy. She purchased a card and snacks she had observed the husband eating. She held the patient’s hand steady so she could write a wish to her husband and created a special memory for the family. Kate is also there for families at the end of life. After advocating for the wishes of a ten-year-old’s parents, Kate sat with the family and supported them through the child’s last breath.
Kate demonstrates exceptional leadership skills by not only responding to complaints, but also leveraging them to identify new opportunities for her team. Her proactive approach has resulted in remarkable achievements, one of which is the “Adopt-A-Classroom” fundraising effort. When a nurse brought to her attention the lack of essential supplies in an elementary school, Kate took charge and spearheaded the initiative. This type of self-direction and creative instinct is just one of the many examples of Kate’s commitment to eliminating barriers for others.