Frances is a native of southeast New Mexico and has worked in health care for 18 years. She received her degree in Respiratory Care from Eastern New Mexico University and received her Bachelor’s Degree in Health Administration from Ottawa University. She has worked as a respiratory therapist for the past 14 years in Carlsbad.
“As a respiratory therapist, I want to provide personalized care for every patient I get the pleasure of treating—as if they were my family,” says Frances.
Learn more about Frances Murray and her experience below, and please join us in welcoming her to Artesia General Hospital!
When did you choose a career in medicine, and what drew you to the specialty of respiratory therapy?
I chose a career in medicine almost 18 years ago. I wanted to be a nurse; but after my first semester in nursing school I knew, that wasn’t the path for me. So, I started to ask around about other medical professions that I could learn and complete near my home in Carlsbad without having to move somewhere else. The Respiratory Program was fairly new at Eastern New Mexico University, and the educators showed a real passion for the specialty. I liked the idea of specializing in something that was so important and yet so undervalued in rural communities. My mother suffers from COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) and asthma—and to be able to make a difference for her solidified my decision.
What is one of the most important lessons you’ve learned either from a mentor or from experience?
One of the most important lessons I’ve learned from experience is that you can’t help everyone, no matter how much you want to. Smoking, obviously, is a big issue in the respiratory field—and now vaping has made its debut over the last couple of years. As a Director of Cardiopulmonary and Sleep Services, I am blessed to be working among some very passionate therapists. It is my goal to help them keep that passion for our patients and if necessary, remind them to leave the judgment at the door.
How does your philosophy of care for patients, to provide personalized care as if they were my family, impact your role as a Director??
As a fellow respiratory therapist and now director of a department of amazing therapists, I always want my therapists to provide personalized care for every patient they get the pleasure of treating. I don’t want them to just treat an illness or a diagnosis the patient has been given, but to be an extension of family to that person. Making patients feel comfortable, respected and confident in their respiratory skills and in our facility. As Director I want to bring some of the confidence, I have in my personal philosophy back to my staff.
What inspires and motivates you to work in health care?
Throughout my career as a respiratory therapist, I have had the pleasure of bringing life into this world, and I have felt the grief of watching life slip from my fingers. It has not always been easy; in fact, there have been more hardships than I thought were possible. There were several times I wanted to forge a new path for myself away from health care—but those were the times that new life would make its appearance, or old life would be spared, and I’d know that this field was the only one for me.
Now as I have advanced in this career path and accepted a Director of Cardiopulmonary and Sleep Lab services position, I am seeing a different side to respiratory care, but maintaining, if not growing my passion for this field every day.
What are you most looking forward to in your work at Artesia General Hospital?
As a director of Respiratory Care here at Artesia, I am most looking forward to teaching what I know and learning what parts of the healthcare field I have not been so familiar with. I don’t want to just be a “boss”; I want the chance to be a leader. I believe Artesia General Hospital has offered me exactly that chance, and I am very thankful.
How does your work support patients and other staff at Artesia General Hospital?
I believe that clear expectations and standards of care are the best way to support our patients and other staff. The Respiratory Department has a unique opportunity in that we are literally needed everywhere in every department, from the emergency room all the way to outpatient. You can’t get too far without one of us popping in! We have a great responsibility to be the positive voice or helpful hand around the facility. I want our work to exceed expectations, bring about an ease of flow for everyone, and benefit the community.
What three words would you use to describe yourself?
I would describe myself as driven, communicative and helpful.
What do you like to do in your free time?
I have a family of boys. To say my free time is chaos would be an understatement! My oldest son, Tristin is a senior this year and is keeping me busy with graduation, baseball and college plans. Spencer is my middle child (12 years old); he is the funniest, smartest person I know. He makes me feel blessed every day. Nolan is my youngest (11 years old) and has given me every single gray hair I have. He is carefree and spontaneous, which gets him into more trouble than he knows what to do with; and he is lovable and loyal, which reminds me that I love him anyways. I honestly have no idea what “free time” is.
What do you love about southeast New Mexico?
Southeast New Mexico is my home. I love the small communities of people who have become family. I love that you can personalize your care in this area because it’s easy to get to know everyone. They come in asking for you, and it makes your whole day. I love the fresh air, endless recreational opportunities and wildlife. I enjoy hiking our beautiful mountains and paddle boarding in our lake. We are truly blessed in this part of the country.