Talking About The Problem

Jacqueline Gonzalez, nurse practitioner, Palmetto General Hospital

When a patient arrives at Palmetto General Hospital with a potential stroke or neurological issue, Jackie Gonzalez is one of the first people they come in contact with.

“I do a quick assessment of the patient, and from there we decide how bad the stroke is and whether it requires intervention,” she says. From there, I follow the patient until it’s time to discharge.”

Jackie says she feels a strong connection with the patients and their families.

“We become bonded from the very beginning because the first person who is actually there with them is me,” she says. “I have very open communication with the families.”

Jackie has discovered that communication is key. She always lets patients and family members know what is happening as it is happening, and she also makes sure to answer any questions that come, big and small.

"A lot of them are very appreciative because they have been able to participate in the care of their loved ones," she says. "They feel prepared for the future."

Of course, Jackie treats her patients the same way she would want to be treated herself in the same situation.

"If I was in their position I would want someone to hold my hand and explain to me what is happening," she says.