Dee Murray was born and raised in Kings Mountain, N.C. She relocated to Charlotte at a young age and has worked as a healthcare provider since her mid teens.
Murray worked as a nurse’s aide while raising children until obtaining her nursing degree around the age of 40. She is currently an RN for Novant Health in the post-anesthesia care unit (PACU) where she has worked for the last 10 years.
What is it like being a nurse in the PACU at Novant Health?
It is very much a team atmosphere. We work very hard, but we also have fun. I love my co-workers!
What do you like most about your job?
Helping people and my co-workers.
Have you ever worked in other departments or specialty fields?
I have worked with the National Bone Marrow Registry and also as a nurse recruiter. But I have always worked in healthcare since I was 16 years old.
Although all medical professionals may not be considered frontline healthcare workers, one may gather that healthcare care providers in general, such as nurses like yourself, might be more at risk of COVID-19 exposure. Can you describe what it was like for you during the earlier days of COVID-19 with respect to your being a nurse?
Scary and challenging. There were just so many unknowns.
Are there any additional areas of nursing or the medical field you would like to explore?
I cannot imagine being anywhere else. But if I had an opportunity to teach nursing, I would love to.
In your interview, you mentioned beginning your nursing career around age 40. What did you do before that?
I have raised four children and worked in healthcare since the age of 16.
What was it like for you living through an era when being openly gay was considered unsafe?
I remember feeling really isolated and lonely as a teen girl growing up in a small southern town. I felt if anyone knew the real me, they would not love me. I can recall being afraid to hold hands with my girlfriend in the car.
Choosing only one, what medical instrument within the scope of your current position would you say is most essential to your job?
The monitor, but I think my senses are my best instrument.
What sorts of things do you enjoy doing outside of work?
My wife Riley and I are busy raising our four-year-old granddaughter and enjoying our other 11 grandkids. Riley and I also like to travel when we can. Just last year we traveled to Greece. We also enjoyed a Caribbean cruise for our 15th anniversary.
You mentioned a number of LGBTQ organizations in your interview. What organizations have you been a part of or participated in, and in what ways were you able to contribute?
I have volunteered for Charlotte Pride. I also am active in my church, Caldwell Presbyterian, that is very active in many social justice issues.
What is your favorite food?
What is your favorite color?
What is your favorite book or movie?
Ohhh, that is tough. Right now, Riley and I are binge-watching the show “Ratched” on Netflix.
When it comes to book-to-movie adaptations, would you say that the book or the movie is better, or does it vary?
The book always!
Can you describe your domestic situation or home life? Have children?
My wife Riley, and I have been married for 15 years. We have four children and 12 grandchildren! I love my wife dearly and cannot imagine life without her. We are crazy busy but incredibly blessed!